A hearing last Thursday at the Brown County courthouse with newly-appointed John Doe Judge Kendall Kelley was largely ignored by the local and mainstream media. None of the four television stations in the market were in the courtroom, including one located across the street from the courthouse. The light coverage is noteworthy because the John Doe probe has become nationally infamous as an example of government and prosecutorial overreach into citizens’ private lives.
During the hearing Kelley laid out three series of questions to attorneys and principles in the courtroom designed to determine what he can and cannot do with the controversial John Doe probe which the Wisconsin Supreme Court previously terminated. It could be the first step in a process that leads to contempt sanctions against prosecutors and others involved in the probe. Also in attendance was Eric O’Keefe, Director of Club for Growth of Wisconsin, a target of the probe that included early morning home raids and targeted conservative political activity in Wisconsin.
In attendance were reporters from Media Trackers, the MacIver Institute, Wisconsin Public Radio, and a USA Today network Wisconsin reporter(JS Online published a story on the hearing). No local news stations were present, even though the WBAY channel 2 station is located directly across the street from the courthouse. Online, the hearing was minimally covered as well, with Right Wisconsin being the only additional outlet to cover the story besides those in attendance.
Media Trackers covered the hearing in depth, with extensive comments from O’Keefe.