After I joked about Fox News' now-infamous footage of union rough-housing in the network's own privvate Wisconsin (the state in which the streets of Madison are lined with palm trees) a friend sent a Facebook note written by one of his old Army buddies now living in the Eau Claire area .
It's an interesting account by a state resident who's not involved in the protests, but who is looking to learn the truth about what's happening in Madison.(I've broken up the spacing to make it easier to read online, and embedded links and video).
And yes, Rusty Lear knows horses.
Fox News Coverage of the Protests in Madison
by Rusty Lear
If there is any one factor uniting the opposing sides of the current budget proposal in Wisconsin, it is perhaps, and hopefully, the desire of honest reporting.
The vast majority of us are not there, and because we are not there, we must rely on the hope of journalistic credibility to bring us these issues. For this reason, I was startled, yet not surprised, when I viewed the footage from Fox News correspondent Mike Tobin regarding the situation in Madison. As we all know, Fox News has aired file footage from other events when attempting to report on current events. They have, so far, chalked this up to editing errors, I believe. Tsk, tsk.
The current budget proposal and the resulting demonstrations in Wisconsin have become a national issue, and as such, aren't we to expect a level of professionalism that equates with that importance?
If you get your information from Fox News, then there is a pretty healthy chance that you are being misled. Cry all you want, but the facts speak for themselves.
Here is a recent video from Mike Tobin, Fox News correspondent, in a piece where Bill O'Reilly suggests that the current upheavels are due in part to liberal forces being "bused in" while Mr. Tobin is fortunate to have been spared in this sea of anarchy:
In this video, you'll note quite a bit of hostility, and mounted officers in the fray. That's interesting, because the Madison police force has precious few mounts. There are four of them, in case you were curious. They're all here.
To many of you, a horse is a horse. Not to me. I was fortunate enough to grow up on a farm with horses in a community where horses were not uncommon, and because of that I realize that individual horses can be quite unique. For instance, it is easy to recognize horses by their facial markings. An easy summary of that principle can be found here.
For the sake of argument, please go back to the video with Mr. Tobin and observe the white markings of the police horse in the video, taking careful notice of how they widen out near the eyes and forehead. Compare that to the only horse in the Madison mounted force that has a vertical white stripe.
Does it seem odd that there is a large difference between the two? Do you find it odd that a national news organization has made this mistake, yet again? How have they not yet found the terrible video intern who has so misaligned their intentions of honest journalism?
If they are so inept as a news organization that their editing team cannot differentiate fact from fiction, then you must ask yourself of what factual worth are they, or, if their editing team is spot-on, then I suppose you must ask yourself a different question entirely.
Army veteran Rusty Lear enjoys hunting and ice fishing beneath the palm trees of Wisconsin.
Update: For those readers who are coming here to find out whether there are palm trees in Wisconsin: the answer is no. The Lear bio line is intended to be funny.
To fact check my claim about Wisconsin flora, visit Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium, a site maintained by a member of the faculty in the Biology Department at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point.
Photo: An image of a clearly distraught and anonymous crowd member in protesting in Madison.