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Wisconsin governor can’t exclude some reporters just because he doesn’t like who they work for

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Wisconsin has a long tradition of open government. That is why it is troubling that the state’s top executive is openly flaunting laws ensuring a free press. Governor Tony Evers has, for the past six months, been excluding one media organization from having access to otherwise public meetings. Evers has reused to include the conservative-leaning MacIver Institute on its email list, and has prevented the group’s reporters from attending regular press briefings. Evers has allowed other media to those same events, but seemingly because he doesn’t agree with MacIver’s editorial viewpoints, is barring them access. That is simply wrong. The First Amendment says so. Now the MacIver Institute is suing Governor Evers for excluding its journalists. It shouldn’t have to come to that. Evers should simply make clear the group is free to cover his public events, just like other journalists. This is no different than the case of President Donald Trump who had been blocking people and groups he didn’t like from following him on Twitter. The Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that doing so was illegal. It doesn’t matter what political philosophy a politician subscribes to. The nation’s constitution protects a free press whether they are liberal or conservative. Governor Evers needs to realize this, and lead by example. Because a free press is vital to our democracy.

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    Tom Fitzpatrick

    August 10, 2019 at 7:39 am

    No doubt about. Evers is wrong on this issue.

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