Scott Walker sits upon a throne made from the skulls of his enemies.
Several websites were forced to correct, and in one case retract, stories they published Friday which falsely accused Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker of wanting to rollback sexual assault reporting requirements at state colleges and universities.
The left-leaning website Jezebel kicked off the latest attack on Walker, a Republican who is considering a 2016 presidential bid, with an article headlined “Scott Walker Wants Colleges To Stop Reporting Sexual Assaults.”
“Under Walker’s budget, universities would no longer have to report the number of sexual assaults that take place on a campus to the Department of Justice. Under Walker’s plan, university employees who witness a sexual assault would no longer have to report it,” Jezebel reporter Natasha Vargas-Cooper wrote on Friday.
“There are no policy recommendations in Walker’s budget how or what would replace these reporting mechanisms. The Governor simply instructs that they should be deleted,” Vargas-Cooper continued.
Vargas-Cooper gave a good indication of how she was approaching her subject, describing Walker as “a small-time guy who is having a big-time moment by playing the conservative werewolf.”
But Vargas-Cooper’s claim — which was picked up by The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, and Raw Story — was inaccurate and devoid of context.
It ultimately led to a correction at Jezebel, a changed-up headline at HuffPo and a complete retraction at The Daily Beast.
What did Vargas-Cooper get wrong?
First, the University of Wisconsin’s 26-school system already reports sexual assault statistics to the U.S. Department of Education. The new proposal, part of a bill which will cut state spending on higher education by $300 million, removes the requirement that the UW system report sexual assaults to the state’s Department of Justice.
Vargas-Cooper appears to have been under the impression that the bill removed a requirement to report to the federal DOJ.
Second, the UW system, and not Walker, requested the change to the language of the bill asserting that current reporting requirements are “redundant,” given its reporting to the U.S. Department of Education.
But wait! There’s more!
Vargas-Cooper was very reluctant and ungracious when it came to setting the record straight:
‘That’s your apology?’ Reporter of debunked Scott Walker hit piece remains ‘rather indignant’
Take 2: Jezebel writer’s second attempt at an apology a noted improvement
Jezebel writer who smeared Scott Walker has protected her Twitter account
As of this writing the headline at Jezebel reads:
This is what happens when you are so blinded by hate that you sacrifice your credibility on the altar of ideology.