By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Natalie Eilbert, the Green Bay Press-Gazette’s new “Government Watchdog” reporter, has opened up an all-out assault on conservative lawmakers, particularly state Rep. Shae Sortwell (R-Gibson).
Her “political hit job” reporting, as a Brown County law enforcement official described it, should come as little surprise from a young reporter who has posted her hatred and disgust for Republicans on social networks.
Eilbert has hit Sortwell especially hard in recent days, with a screaming headline “investigation” reporting that Sortwell had been referred to the Brown County District Attorney’s Office — before he joined the Legislature — on felony child abuse allegations. The District Attorney’s Office passed on filing charges.
The intrepid reporter followed up with a piece attacking Sortwell for restricting comments on his Facebook account.
It is interesting that Eilbert has removed many of her most politically biased rants from her social network accounts. But some things online don’t disappear.
“Longfuckingsigh 2020 … We need to support each other as we train our anger at the Republicans…”, Eilbert, who fancies herself a poet, tweeted on Feb. 5, 2020. That was the day the U.S. Senate acquitted President Donald Trump of the first impeachment charges against him. She expressed her antipathy for Republicans nearly a year and a half before signing on as government watchdog for the Gannett-owned newspaper.
In December 2018, as the Republican-controlled Wisconsin state Legislature was voting to rein in the power of the executive branch before liberal Tony Evers took over as governor, Eilbert tweeted her biased thoughts on the so-called “lame duck session.”
“This is all being done because Republicans want ‘an equal amount of power at the table,’” she tweeted, referring to Assembly Speaker Robin Vos’ comments at the time. “This is the craziest fucking story of corruption and power I’ve heard in quite some time. We want CHANGE so badly and we got change; they want power so badly they don’t give a fuck about what we need to survive.”
This is the person the Green Bay Press-Gazette — part of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, USA Today Network newspaper chain — hired to provide unbiased and objective government watchdog reporting.
In another post the same day, Eilbert retweeted a New York Times story, adding, “The news of Wisconsin should be blasted. It is so unbelievably scary.” The Times piece stated, “The legislation was aimed at undermining Democrats. There would be a new limit on early voting, which tends to benefit Democratic candidates, after an election that saw record-breaking turnout.”
Eilbert has gone on to report on Republican-led Legislature’s investigations into voter integrity concerns surrounding the November 2020 presidential election, alongside that beacon of impartiality, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Patrick Marley. The Journal Sentinel’s coverage has been highly critical of the probes.