Controversy flared this spring when rocker Ted Nugent was announced as one of the acts for the Wisconsin Valley Fair. The chair of the Marathon County Democratic Party said Nugent wasn’t a good fit for the Wausau community. Nugent makes no secret of his conservative politics and has made a number of controversial comments in recent years. Despite that, Nugent’s concert went off without a hitch Friday. No one protested the concert, but that didn’t stop WSAW television in Wausau from attempted to create some protesters of their own.
The station juxtaposed coverage of the Nugent concert with a sparsely attended “Unity Concert” in downtown Wausau, giving the appearance of two competing events. But there is just one problem: the organizing group, “The Unity Project,” told the station that they did not plan their event as a response to Nugent, that the scheduling was purely coincidental. That didn’t keep the station from presenting it as a response to Nugent:
The goal was to celebrate bringing the community together to honor diversity. Promoting acceptance and love, the concert held a different tone than outspoken conservative rocker, Ted Nugent. The initial announcement that Nugent was performing drew criticism, with many people saying they’d boycott because of statements he’s made.
But there were no protests or boycotts. Just a concert that organizers concede was not in any way related to Nugent’s appearance. And then the station added this: ” Despite the opposing messages of the two concerts, Unity Concert organizers said the scheduling was purely coincidental.” The station did not report anything that Nugent said at the concert that would represent an “opposing message” to the Unity Concert. It also didn’t define the “tone” at the Nugent concert that it claims was different from the Unity Concert.