On Saturday, just three days before the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election, the Wisconsin Citizens Media Co-op, a “group of citizen journalists who began covering the Wisconsin Uprising in February, 2011,” reported that Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) had fathered a love child back in college, then abandoned the kid. They quoted a “friend” of a supposed former lover of Walker’s; this “friend” said that Walker had impregnated her roommate, then abandoned her because he was running for student body president. Who was this “friend”?
Dr. Bernadette Gillick is now a college professor at a major Midwestern university. Through her attorney, Mike Fargione, she issued a statement: “It is rare that you will ever hear from me on issues of politics, as I am a firm believer that most politics are local and can be as local as our own kitchen tables. But I’m asking you to consider what I have to share …”
Over the phone, Bernadette recounted how she watched a recent televised debate between Scott Walker and Tom Barrett. As he talked about his “lifelong integrity” her anger grew. This was a man who had abandoned his pregnant young girlfriend — completely turned his back on her at the most fragile point in her life. She notes his “now-convenient ‘pro-life’ proclamations” after burying his past “indiscretion.” Says Bernadette, “I cannot listen to his lies anymore … I cannot dream of how anyone would support such an evil man. Once a man shows that he has no soul, there is nothing more.”
Daily Kos quickly picked up on the story. A groundswell of leftist excitement began to build. Soon, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Daniel Bice was inundated with emails on the topic. So he followed up by tracking down Gillick’s roommate. He reported, “she adamantly denies that Walker is the father of her child. Yes, she got pregnant as a first-year student, but she believes Dr. Gillick is mixing up stories.” He also reported that a family court suit involving one Scott Alan Walker had been mixed up with Gov. Scott Kevin Walker.
Daily Kos quickly backtracked:
We need to be careful with stories like this that haven’t been verified. Yes, someone could be impersonating Daniel Bice, but the comment rings true to me. Yes, the woman who had the baby could be covering up for some undisclosed reason, but we have zero evidence of that.
That didn’t stop Kos from reporting it in the first place, though. The left is so eager to nail Walker that they’ll report unverified rumor as probable fact without doing simple vetting.