By Steve Kabelowsky Contributing Columnist Published Apr 10, 2012 at 5:19 PM

It isn't anything new to those of us who realize that we Wisconsinites are often the test subject for national trends. I remember McDonald's launching test products here in the Milwaukee market that never saw the light of day beyond the state borders. Other items that performed well here were added to menus around the globe.

For national TV outlets covering politics, Wisconsin is firmly on their radar. Our run at recall elections and its possible effectiveness are being measured by political experts from both parties. If something works or doesn't work well here, chances are pretty good that it will get repeated elsewhere.

"It was a pretty easy call to go to Milwaukee," Rich Edson of the Fox Business Network said before our elections last week. He pointed to the recall elections in the wake of the policy changes lead by Gov. Scott Walker, the open race for Herb Kohl's U.S. Senate Seat and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan's work on the national budget.

Wisconsin is a hotbed of political activity.

"What you have going on is part of the national conversation," Edson said. "With the economic crisis, we see how different governments have dealt with this problem."

Edson was getting to the heart of the matter, discussing that Wisconsin serves as a test to see possible paths to take with politicians affecting structural changes in terms of state budgets.

As we near another primary and special recall election cycle before the presidential election this fall, we can expect more national news outlets to send reporters and camera crews into our neighborhoods.

Steve Kabelowsky Contributing Columnist

Media is bombarding us everywhere.

Instead of sheltering his brain from the onslaught, Steve embraces the news stories, entertainment, billboards, blogs, talk shows and everything in between.

The former writer, editor and producer in TV, radio, Web and newspapers, will be talking about what media does in our community and how it shapes who we are and what we do.