Are MSNBC and CNN afraid of the Koch Brothers?

Are MSNBC and CNN afraid of the Koch Brothers?

by digby

I really have to wonder why the national political press is so unwilling to engage on this Walker/Koch story. Both MSNBC and CNN allowed Walker to give his prepared statement (which included an absurd statement that his budget will save workers' money because they won't have to pay union dues!) --- and then cut away from the Q and A when the Wisconsin press tried to ask him about his statements in that prank call today. Have they been scared away from this story by Republicans calling it a "Breitbart" hoax? Or is it that the evocation of the Big Money Koch brothers makes them squeamish. (After all, going after ACORN and Planned Parenthood only affect a bunch of low income women, so who cares?)

I don't know about that but the Wisconsin press is very, very interested. TPM reports:

Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) held a tense press conference Wednesday afternoon, following the revelation that he had a 20-minute phone conversation with a prank caller pretending to be Republican financier David Koch, a call in which Walker and "Koch" discussed possible ways to disrupt the protests against his budget bill, and to bring the Democrats back to the Capitol.
The first questioner asked Walker whether he could be trusted to negotiate in good faith, given he had discussed with "Koch" methods of tricking the Democrats into coming back to the Capitol building, and after he alluded to having considered bringing "troublemakers" into the crowds.

"For us I think it's real simple. First I want to say I take phone calls all the time," Walker said, before being interrupted by a reporter in the crowd who yelled, "Not mine!." Walker continued: "I've talked to individual taxpayers across the state. As I said last night I've listened to people both pro and con in terms of the e-mails I've received. But bottom line, the things I've said privately are the same things I've said all along."

Regarding the idea of planting agitators in the crowds, Walker said: "We've had all sorts of options brought to us by staff and lawmakers and people across the state, but as you heard we dismissed them."

Regarding the idea of bringing the Democrats into the Capitol to talk, only to have the Republicans use their presence in the building to declare the Senate in session for the budget -- as Walker said, "I'm not negotiating" -- Walker said: "I'm willing to talk, but ultimately I think it has to lead to a vote. I don't think that's a trick."

Uhm, yes that's a trick. It's not illegitimate. They can fool the Democrats into coming back and the stab them in the back if they want to. But it's definitely a trick --- which has now been revealed because of his loose lips.

The bigger question Walker has to answer now is why he's taking calls from millionaire out-of-state donors and coordinating strategy with him. Even if it's not illegal, his constituents might not find it quite as benign as the jaded cable news networks.

And then there's the fact that he admitted that his goal wasn't to balance the budget but to break the unions. You'd think that would be newsworthy.