Gray Matter

  • The Property Tax Revolt of 2010

    If you think the health care reform debate is devolving into an out-of-control shouting match, just wait.

  • MPD

    True community will always trump PR

    Hundreds of neighbors mingled on a gorgeous summer evening in Riverwest's Kadish Park. But on the way home, a reminder of why nights like these are so important.

  • Health Care Reform Full Court Press

    Barack Obama may not be much of a bowler and he didn't bring much heat at the All Star Game. But when it comes to basketball and policy, he got game. Think health care reform is in danger? I'd think again.

  • The Future of News

    Once people get used to not paying for something, it’s hard to pry the cost of a subscription out of their penny-pinching paws.

  • Move On, Folks, Ain’t Nothin’ to See Here

    When I found myself writing about Le Affaire Flynn/McBride last week, I promised myself that I’d return with a thoughtful reflection on why these stories are so irresistible. Then the Mark Sanford story broke and last week seems so, so long ago.

  • Caesar’s Wife and Jessica McBride

    It didn’t take Milwaukee Magazine editor Bruce Murphy long to respond to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigative reporter Dan Bice’s story about Jessica McBride’s affair with Police Chief Edward Flynn. Murphy does a fine job of detailing why the quality of the story should not be questioned. Not a single fact has been challenged and, by […]

  • Won’t Someone Please Think of the Children?

    Any self-respecting editor knows that a personal relationship between a writer and a subject calls the legitimacy of the story into question. And suggesting that Bruce Murphy disputed that rang untrue. I took the liberty of contacting Murphy for clarification. I sent him an email saying that I don’t much care what two consenting adults do but it seemed to me that a reporter ought to maintain a certain distance from his or her subjects or disclose the nature of any personal relationship. So what gives?

  • By The People, For The People?

    The eyes of the world are focused on Iran where the will of the people is struggling to be heard. Here in Milwaukee the people spoke in favor of a paid sick leave mandate. So what's the difference?

  • Ubiquitous Obama Adjusts to Evolving Media Universe

    While media mavens struggle to figure out how to earn a buck selling the news, the tsunami of changes they face also presents enormous challenges for the folks who make the news. Way back in the last century, when a president wanted to make news he simply walked into the White House Rose Garden and […]

  • Bronx Girl Makes Good

    It’s going to be hard to demonize the girl from the Bronx projects. She went to Princeton and Yale Law, served as a prosecutor and corporate attorney, was appointed to the federal bench by the first President Bush and was elevated to the appeals court by President Clinton. Sonia Sotomayor has the kind of back story that lends itself to a delightful “Movie of the Week” portrayal.

  • Smoke Free Compromise Expected to Pass

    The good news is that the Wisconsin legislature is likely to pass a comprehensive bill to prohibit smoking in all workplaces in the state as soon as Wednesday. Yes, that includes all bars and restaurants. The bad news is that the law won’t take effect until July 5, 2010.

  • The Sweet Spot of Political Speech

    As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama was eloquent. He was inspirational, charismatic, a veritable rock star. Tens of thousands of people turned out to hear him speak at rallies here in the United States as well as abroad. Now he’s been reduced to reminding us to wash our hands and cover our mouths when we […]