Rock River Patriots and the Daily Jefferson County Union

We recognize this is slightly dated, but still believe there is a need to set the record straight.

On June 20, 2012, the Daily Jefferson County Union published an article by Kevin Murphy entitled, “No added prison for Fort man“.  This article reports on a Fort Atkinson man who was on probation for possession of an explosive device and recently charged/convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

In the article (attached), the Rock River Patriots are mentioned because this individual supposedly attended one of our meetings.  Is this a deliberate attempt to smear the RRP using a classic “guilt by association” tactic?  We think it may be just that.

As anyone who attends our meetings can tell you, they are all open to the public.  Many people have come and gone since the group formed several years ago.  We have a core group of regular attendees and many others who attend sporadically.  None of the leaders in the RRP recognize this person.  The RRP were never contacted by the writer of this story for comment either.

The article also indicates that the judge told the defendant to avoid groups with “nothing positive to offer” with the implication being that the RRP have nothing positive to offer.  We obviously disagree.  For the thousands of people who have attended our events over the years, I think they would disagree also.

Our group is not a “right-wing” group, and has never advocated violence of any kind.

UPDATE: The above article was discussed at our last meeting on June 27th, and the commentary above was sent out via email.  According to the Daily Union, a “handful” of complaints were sent to them about the article which they addressed in their OP ED – Don’t Kill The Messenger published on Wednesday June 27th, 2012.  Their OP ED (in summary) states that they were merely reporting what was said.  Hence the title, “Don’t Kill The Messenger”.

We understand they are reporting what happened in court and have no problem with the Daily Union reporting that.  However, we will ask the question, “Why weren’t we ever contacted for a comment on this story, considering it paints the Rock River Patriots in a negative / questionable light repeating allegations that are untrue and/or giving an impression that is false?”  At least give us the opportunity to respond to the comments that are reported, and let people make up their own minds.  I think virtually everyone can agree on that point.

So this leads us to the question of whether or not this was a deliberate omission by the Daily Jefferson County Union.  That can be left up to the readers.  However, the questions of impartiality that were raised during the recent recall elections must not be overlooked.  When Media Trackers reported that a Daily Union reporter covering the Fitzgerald recall and an Editor at the Daily Union signed the recall petitions, the topic of media bias was brought to the forefront.

Here are links to Media Trackers stories about this:

Editor, Reporter at Local Paper Sign Fitzgerald Recall Petitions

Let the Bias Continue: Anti-Fitzgerald Reporter Still Covering Recall

We must couple the signing of recall petitions with an incident that occurred at a pre-recall election TEA Party Express rally in Jefferson by one of the same Daily Union reporters.  We were content to let this incident go unreported as the reporter subsequently apologized for the behavior, and we believe his apology to be sincere.  However, in light of this recent issue, we think it is appropriate to mention.

When confronted about signing the recall petition in a joking manner by one of the Patriots, the Daily Union reporter responded with several choice expletives directed at the Patriot.  The reported proceeded to get into the Patriots face , in what appeared to be an attempt to intimidate the Patriot.  Other people were in the immediate vicinity when this incident occurred and were offended.  Another Patriot who was standing by stepped in and again questioned the reporter’s impartiality.  Seeing that the Patriots were not intimidated, the incident ended with the Daily Union reporter eventually leaving the area.  The reporter later returned to apologize.

We ask the readers to take this information, and make up their own minds about the Rock River Patriots.  Our meetings are open to the public.  As long as people do not disrupt the meetings, they are welcome to hear what we have to sayand participate.  We welcome everyone to stop by our booth at the Jefferson County Fair and receive free DVD’s and information.

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4 Responses

  1. Sorry you feel that way Lucie. While vigorous debate has been a cornerstone of our constitutional republic since even before its founding we do always try to be civil in our discourse.

    Actually, the RRP does not have membership.

    One thing to keep in mind, when it comes to principle we do not compromise, Compromise of the truth is not a virtue, it is a character flaw. Often standing on our principles can be seen as offensive even if there is no intent to be so.

    I hope you will be able to attend one of our meeting where we would be happy to address your concerns.

    • Linus, if the RRP doesn’t have dues paying members, who pays the expenses of speakers flow in from around the nation? Do you think that those that pay do it for your good or because they want something in return?

  2. I have witnessed members of RRP and other tea party grps and find them to be agitators and offensive to those who do not agree with their beliefs. I, for one, will be glad when this grp runs out of tea.

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