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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Note the Sun Times: More Than One Party Is Challenging for the 5th District

Over the weekend, I criticized both Chicago newspapers for what I saw as disingenuous tough anti corruption stances. I pointed out that in the special election for the U.S. Congress' Fifth District election to replace Rahm Emanuel, the Sun Times endorsed a Democratic candidate but didn't even acknowledge that a Republican was running. Yesterday, the Sun Times was at it again. They put in a big spread profiling all of the candidates that were first time politicians. When I say all of the candidates, of course, I mean all of the Democratic candidates. Of course, the Republicans have a set of their own political newcomers running in the special election, but the Sun Times just totally ignored then in this story.

In fact, the Sun Times has essentially pretended as though only one party is vying for this seat. Outside of Chicago, this may seem inconsequential, but the 5th District is in the heart of the news that the Sun Times is supposed to cover. This special election is the only election this area will see in over a year. if not for Blago et al, this special election would be the biggest local political news going right now.

Yet, one of the two major newspapers is acting as though only one party is fielding candidates. Now, if you are a political junkie like me, this won't affect your vote. Yet, most of the people that will vote in the special election are not political junkies. All those folks that read the Sun Times with any regularity will get a heavy dose of profiles of each and every Democratic candidate. As such, the typical reader will have a level of comfort with whoever comes out of the primary in the beginning of March. Then, they will be faced with a new set of choices for the general election in April. It is not hard to figure out what this one sided coverage will do to the likelihood of each reader's vote come the general election.

The journalistic corruption of this one sided reporting is obscene. Worse yet, it goes totally ignored by nearly everyone. One of two major newspapers in the city has decided to be totally in the tank for the ruling party. The ruling party already has the advantage of demographics, money, and the fact that the President is from that party. Now, they have another advantage of having one of two newspapers totally ignore the other side throughout the primary. As I said before, one party rule has a major contribution to the rampant corruption in the city and state. By only covering that party, one of the city's two major newspaper contribute directly to that one party rule, and by extension, the corruption that comes out of it.

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