What It’s Like To Be A News Anchor Named … Scott Walker

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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“Don’t oppress women with malicious ultrasounds,” the woman from Florida pleaded with him on Twitter. “Focus on jobs, not vaginas. Please!”

The man at the receiving end of that message, Scott Walker, responded with what has become a frequent hashtag to misguided Twitter haters: #WrongScottWalker.

Meet Scott Walker, the news anchor in New Orleans who isn’t the Scott Walker gearing up for a White House run but is frequently confused for the Wisconsin Republican governor online.

Walker — who anchors WDSU News at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. on weeknights — is amused about the coincidence of sharing a name with someone who is getting a lot of buzz as potential Republican presidential candidate. But he says the confusion isn’t new.

“It’s been going on for years now,” Walker said with a laugh in an phone interview with The Daily Caller.

When the Wisconsin governor, a foe of public sector unions, was facing a tense recall election in 2012, the newscaster said the tweets poured in.

“I just don’t understand how people confuse the two,” Walker, the anchor, said. “If I send a tweet, I know who I’m sending it to. He is @ScottWalker, I’m @ScottWalker6. I don’t look like the guy. I’m a news anchor in New Orleans. He’s the governor of Wisconsin.”

Yet the tweets, some mean and others not, meant for the Wisconsin governor continue to come his way. A sampling:

At one point, someone on social media, who made a composite image of Republican politicians, included the anchor’s photo in the place of the Wisconsin governor’s.

Walker, for his part, has attempted to set his followers straight:

“It really hit a crescendo — and I’m sure there’s another crescendo to come — a few years ago when the Saints played the Packers for the season opener after the season after the Packers won the Super Bowl,” the newscaster recalled.

Walker was sent by the station at the time to Wisconsin for a week to cover the game.

“That was an interesting week,” he said. “I called people to set up interviews, and I’d say my name is Scott Walker. I’d get hung up on. People would laugh. They’d be like what? It was fun.”

Eventually, the governor himself reached out.

“I’m at the stadium at Lambeau Field doing some live shots on game day, and I get a tweet from Gov. Scott Walker who says, ‘Hey, I hear you’re in town, we should meet.’ And I tweet him back and say ‘Yeah, sure of course,'” he said. “So we meet in the tunnel at Lambeau field before the game. I do this five-minute interview with him where I talk about how difficult it was to have his name in Wisconsin for a week.”

Newscaster Scott Walker in Wisconsin.

Newscaster Scott Walker in Wisconsin covering the Saints and Packers.

Will it become a total pain if the Wisconsin governor becomes a top competitor in the 2016 race?

“I don’t know,” the anchor admits. “I don’t how big it’s going to get. If it isn’t much bigger than it is now, I think it’ll be fine. It’s not really a bother. It’s a Twitter mention. No big deal. I’ll retweet it and put the hashtag #WrongScottWalker behind it.”

In New Orleans, Walker, who says he used to have a “I Stand With Scott Walker” bumper sticker at his desk, says friends bring up the coincidence every once in a while.

“A few friends mention it,” he said. “Last night, I tweeted out a picture that the Drudge Report had on the front page and said they were investigating Scott Walker’s college years. And I said, ‘Uh oh, this could be bad.'”

Sometimes the station has fun with it when they have to cover a story involving the governor. “And of course they make me read the story, because it’s funny,” Walker said. “I’ll read that sometimes during the newscast, and say, ‘No relation.'”

Sometime around 2004, Walker says he interviewed for a news anchor job at WISN in Milwaukee, where Walker was a county executive.

“Imagine the craziness if I would have taken that job,” he said, “and was still working in Wisconsin.”

During a 2012 newscast, Walker addressed the confusion. “I don’t know why, really,” he told viewers. “Because I’m the news anchor in New Orleans, he’s the guy, the governor of Wisconsin.”

The newscaster, also known for his role as the anchor of the viral “Mobile leprechaun” video, has written about being confused for the Republican on his blog over the years. In 2011, he wrote a post titled: “I’m Not THAT Scott Walker…”

“But all the traffic coming into this website from Wisconsin would almost make one think otherwise,” he wrote. “I’m Scott Walker, news anchor. He’s Scott Walker, governor. Things at my job are going pretty well. His … not so much.”

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