Wisconsin’s Lt. Governor says the reputation of a Green Bay radio station is in jeopardy.
Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton is still waiting for an apology* after a talk show host made offensive comments about her on his radio station’s webcast this week following her sudden exit from the governor’s race.
“If I owned a radio station I would want very quickly to have a very clear and expansive apology publicly made so that people would understand that that wasn’t the intent of the ownership and that it’s meant to be a serious news outlet, but clearly their reputation of that is very much in jeopardy right now.”
Jerry Bader’s story was later retracted, and he’s been suspended for two weeks. But the Lt. Governor says this kind of personal attack is the very reason qualified, potential candidates for public office are opting not to engage in the political process.
“People thinking about running for office are going to take a hard look at this and say, ‘am I going to submit myself, my good name and my family and their good name to such outrageous lies?’ that can go on just because you have stepped into the public realm.”
Lawton adds, it’s not good for any community to have such an individual leading the discussion of public issues and “spewing inflammatory rhetoric” on the air, saying Bader’s comments taint Green Bay’s image as a quote, “provincial backwater.”
Meanwhile, Lawton says she’s been flooded with calls, emails of support and visits to her office from people who share outrage over this assault on her character. Lawton avoided discussion about a possible lawsuit based on slander, and a decision on Bader’s future with the radio station (WTAQ) is forthcoming.
UPDATE: Thursday afternoon Bader posted a brief apology to the Lt. Governor on the radio station’s blog.
*UPDATE2, from the blog of Jerry Bader: “After several attempts yesterday and this morning to contact Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton to personally apologize, I was contacted by a representative of her office this morning and was told that she accepts the apology I posted on this blog yesterday, and she hopes ‘this can be the end of it.'”