by Don Washington on 2011/11/22
There are times when I’m glad my grandfather is dead because if he were alive to see what’s happened and is happening to this country it would kill him. If he saw this video where Mayor Rahm Emanuel was run off a Chicago street, something our angry little marmoset of a Mayor had better get used to, and the media’s reaction to it then he’d probably spend his last days serving a life sentence. This would be true because my granddad was from Texas and the media’s reaction would have caused him to reach for his concealed carry and thin out the stenographer, talking head and videographer pool. Then he would have looked at me when I came to visit and said something like: “If’n they can’t do their damn jobs they sure as hell can stop doing the Mayor’s job for him.”
Now it is possible that I have no idea what the news actually is or what the media actually does. I blame this on the fact that I went to high school in the 80’s. This means I may have been among the last publicly schooled Americans to be taught civics from a text book not written for or by reactionary Christian school boards in Texas. I was taught that the media was the 4th Estate; that their job was to inform the public on dissent and debate and that what makes something newsworthy is that it has an impact on the powerful and possibly an impact on your life. I was also told that media covers accountability and acts as accountability. Now you will note that I used the past tense of was. I did so because my experience has shown me that everyone in the Chicago media not writing for the Reporter or the Reader might be capable of writing for the RedEye but that’s about it.
Look at what happens in the video. Mayor Rahm Emanuel comes down to State Street to make small talk about one of the many needless, expensive circus attractions for people with money. This one is called: Lightscape: A Multisensory Experience. Word has it that it is part of Chicago's Winter WonderLoop festivities and if that sounds like the kind of thing that should have been cut out of the budget you’re right. I bet we wouldn’t have even missed the few million dollars this nonsense will be costing the city. It should have been a boring, routine presser where the Mayor spends thirty minutes talking platitudes about Chicago’s coming shopping season and how joyous the season is but that’s not what happened. Mayor Emanuel, platform shoes and bushy-smooth hair cut steps to the mic and gets hit with the kinds of questions the media should be peppering his narrow behind with everywhere he goes.
Will you be dropping the charges against the Occupy Wall Street protestors? You said that you’ve been cooperating with the movement then why are you arresting and charging them? Why did you beat them with batons and pepper-spray them when they are just exercising their 1stAmendment Rights? The mic-check was visceral and Rahm, not being able to order policemen to shoot them down on the sidewalk, as his moral center would instruct him to do did what bullies typically do. He ran away. You couldn’t hear the sound of his little hooves leaving spark trails back to his vehicle and he was too short to see his tail raised as part of his aggression display as he fled but it was evident that he was unhappy enough to start sucking the souls out of people right there on camera. Somehow he held it together and ran away instead.
Now you would think that when this happened the media would have turned their cameras on this “new” tactic the OWS people are deploying. They are not just gathered they are protesting a target and they are making a demand. You’d think the reporters would be interviewing the OWS activists and the people on the street. You might even think that they’d be shamed into doing their job but no it was a collective media failure that would offend the Devil. They turned their backs on the demonstrators. They looked annoyed at them for disrupting the nice press event they were going to do about the holiday season. They tried to ignore the demonstrators and in some cases, you can see it right on the video, they are so annoyed that some of them are asking for quiet. You see some of them acting like a barrier between the protesters and the Mayor. If a shooting had broken out I’m fairly certain they would have acted appropriately but it is pretty clear that they haven’t a frick-frackin’ clue to do when actual NEWS breaks out at a press conference!
Somewhere Mother Jones, Upton Sinclair, Ida B. Wells, I.F. Stone, Henry Demarest Lloyd, Julius Chambers, Nellie Bly, George Orwell and Ray Baker must be spinning in their graves so hard they passed through the earth’s core! The video is amazing. It clearly illustrates what is wrong with our country. The media, the private investigators for the public, the watchdog of the public trust and the facilitator of public debate visibly and physically protect and support power to such a degree that they can’t even cover news when it happens less than a foot behind them. Their behavior is beyond disappointing, it’s an abrogation of their public trust and we the public should demand more from them. In a better world Mayor Emanuel would not be able to evade the questions raised at his mic check but we live in this one where the media, ethically, psychologically and even physically protects the powers that be and ignores the people they are supposed to serve. Hacks all of them… I’m so glad my granddad’s not in jail over this.