By: Brian Sikma
A political reporter, who frequently covered Senator Ron Johnson (R) from 2010 to 2012, yesterday called the senator the “Biggest Douche” in Washington. Clay Barbour, who left the Wisconsin State Journal last September around the time of layoffs at the newspaper, made the comment in a Facebook post left on the wall of Jack Craver, a former Democratic Party intern who currently covers politics for the CapTimes. Barbour now works as a reporter in Virginia.
Barbour’s frank opinion came out in response to a CapTimes article critical of Senator Johnson’s recent statements about spending and unfunded legislative priorities in Washington. “Said it before. Say it again. Biggest douche in a town (DC) full of douches,” Barbour opined. When Barbour first developed this opinion isn’t clear, but his reporting on Johnson at the State Journal was less than objective at times.
In a profile piece in 2010, Barbour made a number of subtle and not-so-subtle jabs at the then-candidate. Calling Johnson “the Minnesota native,” Barbour opinionated that the candidate’s performance at a Madison event was “unspectacular.” Johnson and his wife have lived in Wisconsin since 1979.
Johnson’s frequent conservative stands have made him a regular target of Wisconsin journalists who highlight with incredulity positions and statements of his that they seem to believe are ludicrous.
Barbour left the Wisconsin journalism scene last September for The Virginian Pilot, a newspaper in Hampton Roads, VA. His employer, the State Journal, simultaneously announced numerous staff layoffs, including newsroom employees.