RightWisconsin received the following email from WISN-AM’s Mark Belling one hour before he went on the air to make false claims about an op-ed submitted by Julian Bradley, a candidate for the state senate:
Again, note the time. It was sent to our general email address one hour before air time even though Belling has my personal email address. We only learned about Belling’s attack after a reader emailed us, and then we discovered the email buried between the press releases.
Clearly, Belling had no intention of hearing our side of the story.
There was no reason to rush the story, either, as Bradley’s op-ed was not time-sensitive and the Republican primary election is not until August. Instead, Belling rushed to the air with a one-sided attack:
“Julian Bradley put out the following statement and he submitted it to this website, RightWisconsin,” Belling said. “I’m going to read it in its entirety because they refused to print it. Without changing it. The guy who runs it, Wigderson, said I’m only going to run it if I can water this thing down.”
Belling then posted Bradley’s piece unedited on his website with the headline, “Read The Column By A Local Black Conservative State Senate Candidate That ‘Right Wisconsin’ Found Offensive.”
We have already addressed the false claim that we rejected state senate candidate Julian Bradley’s pro-life op-ed.
Judging from Belling’s reaction, it does not appear that he read the original email exchange between RightWisconsin and Jess Ward of Bradley’s campaign. He would have seen that there was no intent to remove any references to Planned Parenthood’s racist past.
Belling himself is a columnist. His column runs in the same newspaper where I had a newspaper column for ten years. His columns and my columns went through the same (sometimes) infuriating copy editor.
Belling is no stranger to the editing process, and he certainly understands that even his pearls of wisdom will be questioned on occasion. If he had seen the email exchange, he would have immediately seen the ridiculousness of the claim that we were rejecting the op-ed.
Worse for Belling’s listeners, because the Bradley campaign likely lied to Belling, he read a column on the air that itself contained a serious factual error – uncorrected.
I wish that Belling had given RightWisconsin more time to respond before he took to the air. Now that the facts are out, Belling should take the time to question the Bradley campaign why they falsely claimed that RightWisconsin would not run their op-ed, and why they used him so badly.
It must gall him that he was so easily fooled by a desperate Bradley campaign. Apparently, for Belling to claim he’s a fighter against fake news, he has to generate some of his own, and the Bradley campaign appear to have been the willing accomplices.
Regardless, Belling’s listeners were terribly misinformed about RightWisconsin on Thursday, and I hope that he takes the time on air to correct the record. If he had bothered to take the proper time to do the story, he wouldn’t need to make the correction, but here we are.