Last week, the Journal Sentinel called on Sen. Ron Johnson to resign or be expelled over his repeated election-related lies and conspiracy theories. Johnson wrote in reply to the paper. In response to his reply, the Journal Sentinel footnoted Johnson’s reply with 19 specific refutations.
A few remarks:
If Johnson runs again, the Journal Sentinel won’t decide the outcome of the 2022 race. Still, Johnson’s foolish to think that he can win a back-and-forth debate with the paper. They’re in the publishing business: they can go round after round with him.
It seems Johnson didn’t expect that they might add footnote refutations to his reply, and on Twitter he’s upset that they did. He – or his staff – should have understood that a newspaper that calls for an official’s resignation or expulsion won’t let go. Did he think they’d look at his reply and say oh gosh, you’re right – and we were so very wrong, Mr. Johnson?
Johnson’s Twitter complaint about the footnotes rests on being kept to a 1,000-word reply limit. He contends that if he’d been allowed to reply at greater length, there would have been no need for the Journal Sentinel’s footnotes. The Journal Sentinel added the notations, however, for “additional context so that readers have a fuller understanding of the senator’s actions.”
In effect, they’re calling him a liar, not someone who left out a few trivial details. If Johnson had written at greater length, then he might have found himself facing even more footnotes in refutation.
Previously: U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson: Ambitious, Compromised, or Crackpot?, National Reporting on Sen. Ron Johnson, Ron Johnson’s 12.16.20 Senate Hearing on Election Security, Whether Ambitious, Compromised, or Crackpot, Sen. Ron Johnson Doesn’t Disappoint, Ron Johnson Attracts Attention, and Johnson & Fitzgerald: Betrayers of Wisconsin.