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Monday, December 28, 2009

The Chutzpah of the Chicago Tribune

So, there I was reading the Sunday Chicago Tribune when I came upon this editorial. It's a call to arms you see.

If you enjoy the political culture as is -- with the next corruption scandal never far off and with your public officials borrowing future generations into penury in order to prop up today's treacherously uncontrolled spending -- then you should support candidates who'll protect the status quo.

If, however, the failure of too many politicians to make urgently needed reforms infuriates you, then reach for a broom.We hope you're among the millions who are infuriated. And we hope you'll reach for that broom. If you're just coming up to speed on Illinois politics, fine. We'll help because, next year, you have to be a change agent:

The Tribune is having their Network moment. They're mad as hell and they aren't going to take it anymore. It's time to elect good politicians. It's not a moment too soon. After all, the county and state primaries are just about a month away and in this one party county and state those are as good as the general elections.

We've got a vital primary in the Cook County President's race and doggone it, it's time to elect a good leader already. That's the message from the Tribune.

Now, I'm all for the media helping the voters in their selection of candidates. That's a top priority of all media. Of course, the Tribune's been around for a hundred plus years and there's been elections all throughout. I'm not saying that the Tribune is cynically responding to a wave of cynicism among the electorate and hoping no one will include them in the, maybe I am.

After all, the last poll the tribune itself ran, the top two candidate in the Democratic primary, Brown and Stroger, had 90% plus name recognition, and the rest 60% and lower. Now, if the citizens of Cook County don't know who's running for Cook County Board President call me cynical but isn't some of the blame on the media for not telling them about it.

I'd be less cynical if the Tribune hadn't acted as cheerleader and chief propagandist for the Olympics movement but as a watchdog, you know the job of the press. It's been five years since the Chicago Hired Truck scandal broke. Donald Tomczak is in jail for taking bribes. He literally had bags of money delivered to his office. You know who's not in jail. Whoever delivered him the bags of money. It appears the Tribune investigation of the scandal stopped at Tomczak. The money, you see, just magically appeared at his doorstep. Again, I wouldn't be so cynical if someone at the Tribune noticed that money doesn't just magically appear.

Frankly, what really makes me cynical about this movement is how this particular editorial itself ends.

This editorial launches our pre-primary push to answer that question. Subsequent editorials will explore how a reconstituted Illinois can confront three mighty challenges:--The wreckage from current spending and borrowing -- and the taxing to pay for it all.--The need for ethical reforms to better curb corruption and to reduce the concentration of power in the hands of those Illinois oligarchs.--The disturbingly low level of job creation here as state government policies nudge employers to locate and expand elsewhere.

That's right folks. Electing good politicians in Illinois is so important, that this particular editorial was an introduction. Just you wait. Starting next week, the Tribune will really become the watchdog we all know they can be. Until then, the clock ticks until the primary and another seven days will wind down before the Tribune gets serious about helping the electorate to elect good politicians. Me cynical?


Anonymous said...

WTF?!?! are you effing KIDDING ME??? this kind of tripe is EXACTLY why I can't read your right-wing-kook c?@p ANYMORE.

as a middle-aged small biz owner who has only voted Democrat for Presidential elections, a loyal husband and caring father, I call BS on this:

money doesn't just magically arrive on doorsteps.

You SIR, apparently are not FROM Chicago. Keep your politics from wherever you are.

mike volpe said...

You sir don't understand satire. That money doesn't magically appear was my point.

I do live in Chicago and have since I was six and a half.