FREE WHITEWATER

Culture

Into the Void

Across Wisconsin, newspapers have not distinguished themselves since the Great Recession. Most have descended into a cautious, center-right boosterism. They acted on their publishers’ own politics, and on the politics their elderly (but dwindling) readership. Doing so has only exacerbated their problems. The time to break from this was before – or even during –…

Fact-Checking is an Active, Ongoing Effort

Laura Hazard Cohen explains that “First-generation fact-checking” is no longer good enough. Here’s what comes next: “Fact checkers need to move from ‘publish and pray’ to ‘publish and act.’” “The idea that fact checking can work by correcting the public’s inaccurate beliefs on a mass scale alone doesn’t stack up,” write representatives from Full Fact…

Trump’s Base Delights in Tales of Others’ Deprivation

In this conflict between defenders of America’s liberal democratic order and Trumpism, those of opposition and resistance have wisely steeled themselves for stories of cruelty as state policy. Trumpism’s aim is a herrenvolk, where his demographically homogeneous base receives permanent preference over others, and in which that same base delights in deprivations and depravities inflicted…

What Can Be Done About Rural Newspapers (Even Though It Probably Won’t Be)?

Yesterday I wrote that Another Local Paper Changes Hands. With the failure of legacy publishing, what are rural communities to do? (Obvious point: FREE WHITEWATER is not an online newspaper – never aspired to be, never will be. This is a website of independent commentary: aligned with no faction, beholden to no faction.) A few…

Another Local Paper Changes Hands

Local newspapers are changing ownership quickly now.  Knox gave up publishing the Jefferson County Daily Union in December, and now Bliss will sell the Janesville Gazette (and radio stations) this June. These changes of ownership are not coming because the papers are strong: these sales are halfway to fire sales. The new, common ownership (APG)…

Beyond the Third Investigation

Some weeks ago, I promised readers a copy of the third investigation report into sexual harassment on the UW-Whitewater campus. That report is linked at the bottom of this post. Read merely alone, the report describes gross intentional misconduct, gross negligence and moral indifference about harassment and assault, as well as separate matters of managerial…

Coming & Going Depend on Doing

Originally posted 5.3.19, updated 5.17.19. Although another candidate has withdrawn from the final pool of applicants for a new UW-Whitewater chancellor, conditions that led to the present (stretching over the last two chancellors’ tenure) matter more than the immediate and futile hope that a single appointment will overcome years of the wrong direction.  Genuine change…

‘Why Don’t White Athletes Understand What’s Wrong With Trump?’

Jemele Hill, formerly of ESPN and now of The Atlantic, asks Why Don’t White Athletes Understand What’s Wrong With Trump? (“The Red Sox players who visit the White House owe their black and brown teammates an explanation”): So far, the conversation about the upcoming Boston Red Sox visit to Donald Trump’s White House has centered around…

Third Investigation: ‘Up to 10 students, faculty report being harassed by former UW-Whitewater chancellor’s husband’

Originally posted 4.19.19. One reads today, in a Good Friday records release from the UW System, that Up to 10 students, faculty report being harassed by former UW-Whitewater chancellor’s husband: An investigation into the husband of former University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Chancellor Beverly Kopper found that at least seven and up to 10 students or staff…

‘Migration Key To Wisconsin’s Workforce’

For many years – and despite nearly a decade of corporate welfare and crony capitalism from the WEDC and local versions of it – Wisconsin has seen a decline in younger workers and families. Shamane Mills writes Report: Migration Key To Wisconsin’s Workforce (“State Has Seen Large Drop in Net Migration Of Families With Children…

The Antidote to Boosterism

Bret Stephens offers Neal Armstrong as a worthy example in Apollo 11’s Forgotten Virtues (“Armstrong stayed humble, and human, in the era of relentless puffery and self-promotion”): There’s a short scene near the end of “Apollo 11,” the thrilling new documentary about history’s greatest spaceflight, in which Mike Collins, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong make…

Accreditation in Context

There is a liturgical tradition in which parishioners reflect on what they have done and what they have left undone.  A secular equivalent for Whitewater would ask a policymaker to consider not merely what has been done so many times before, but what might – and should have been – done, years ago and now.…