How Wisconsin Media Handled the Baldwin Fundraiser Story

Fox News and CNN both reported Thursday on a planned Oct. 1 fundraising event for Wisconsin Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin that was to feature the lawyers for Professor Christine Blasey Ford. Ford has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in the early 1980’s when both were in high school.

CNN reported that:

Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, is being represented by attorneys Debra Katz and Lisa Banks, both of whom are listed as headliners in a “cocktails and conversation” event for Baldwin, a Wisconsin Democrat who is facing re-election this fall. People are asked to contribute up to $1,000 to attend the October 1 event, and a source familiar with the matter said it is slated to take place at their law firm Katz, Marshall & Banks.
After CNN contacted the Baldwin campaign and the attorneys, Katz called CNN to say that the event was being canceled. The invite was sent Thursday morning, but a campaign spokesman called it an “old invite” scheduled before Ford’s accusation became public.
Republicans quickly accused Baldwin of exploiting the controversy to raise campaign funds. Baldwin’s Republican opponent, state Sen. Leah Vukmir called the fundraiser “despicable.”
Wisconsin media reporting on the fundraiser was scant. The three in-state generated stories Media Trackers did find omitted key facts that were included in the Fox News and CNN reporting. A report by Bill Glauber at JS Online referred to an “old email invitation,” but did not mention that the invitation was sent Thursday. That sending is what prompted Republicans to accuse Baldwin of exploiting the controversy for profit, even if the attorneys had been invited prior to Ford’s allegations.  Glauber also doesn’t mention that the attorneys were dropped from the event after the fundraiser was reported by two national media outlets. We reached out to Glauber via email for comment but have not heard back.
Further, Glauber states that it was an old email invitation(a fact CNN reported with attribution; a Baldwin campaign spokesperson) but doesn’t say who told him that. He reports it as fact, unattributed. The Journal Times and WISC-TV, Madison  do both report that the email went out Thursday.  Like JS Online, neither report that Katz and Banks were dropped from the event only after the CNN and Fox News reports.