Milwaukee Journal Sentinel just gives up on this whole “asking questions” thing

Time to play “Are You Smarter Than a Professional Journalist?” Finish this opening sentence from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

If elected officials, community leaders and stakeholders agree that the region’s cultural, artistic, sports and entertainment venues need new funding, __________________.

Possible answers:

a) no force on Earth is great enough to stop them.

b) Milwaukee voters, who are strongly opposed to paying for a new Bucks arena, may decide it’s time to get some new elected officials, community leaders, and stakeholders who have a clearer sense of what’s a “need” and what’s a “want.”

c) it means Wisconsin must have finally gone ahead and legalized hallucinogenic drugs.

Or you could go the safe route and conclude with “there is no shortage of options available to them,” which 1) is blandly inoffensive enough that it almost certainly won’t offend any of your paper’s major sponsors or sources, 2) firmly plants the question about a Milwaukee Bucks arena as being how to pay for it, not whether to pay for it, and 3) is what the Journal Sentinel actually went with, meaning you’re exactly as smart as a professional journalist.

The rest of the article, by the paper’s Don Walker, goes on to list every possible way that taxpayers can be put on the hook for these projects (“Is a sales tax the answer? Or a sin tax on liquor or cigarettes? Or should additional funds be raised through the property tax?”) in laborious detail, without ever once raising the question of which projects the public should be paying for and which could be funded privately (or not built at all). For that, you have to turn to the very active comments section, which may make this the first case in Internet history where you want to skip reading the article and just read the comments.

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11 comments on “Milwaukee Journal Sentinel just gives up on this whole “asking questions” thing

  1. If the Bucks move to Seattle, does this mean that the Wolves can play in the same division with the Bulls, Pistons, Pacers, etc.?

  2. I find in most good publications the comments are much better than the content when you factor in how much time people spent on them. Frequently people’s slapped together 10 minute response to something on some Reuters blog is much better thought out than the original post by someone paid to write about these issues for a living.

    Add in that most journalism is so format based you can infer 90% of the content after the first 10 seconds, and the comments are frequently where it is at.

    Article about mortgage subsidy…is the journalist for or against…for…as he is talking to realtors and families…ok here is the paragraph from some banker who is supposed to present the counter-point of probity, restraint, and hard headed business sense…of course no mention of how the banker benefits…and it is a wrap.

  3. Milwaukee will get it done eventually. People from Seattle like to believe they are living in New York, and not a provincial hellhole. If the NFL is all right without having a team in Los Angeles for two decades, it may be five decades before Seattle gets another basketball team. The NBA showed them what they think about Seattle’s favorite pastime: the protest. Take care of your health, Seattle people, and one day maybe your thugs will be throwing the ball at the hole again. I have a date tonight, so maybe I’ll start thinking about that.

  4. Did anybody post in the comments that if the Bucks actually left Milwaukee, businesses there would actually make more money since there would be less competition & more money to go around? Since the money that would be going to the Bucks instead would get re-directed to other…**gets whacked**

  5. Bucks to Seattle
    Jazz to Las Vegas

    idc how Seattle & Vegas get an NBA team, but they both should bc they are the most exciting options!

  6. Memphis and New Orleans are even farther east than Minnesota yet currently play in the WC. I could see one of them moving to the southeast then having the original NW division of Seattle, Portland, Utah, Denver and Minnesota resurrected.

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