by Don Washington on 2011/05/27
Some politicians need public relations departments to make them look good. Others have the Chicago Press Corps to take care of that for them. This time it was Fran Spielman who left her journalistic skills in her other set of pants and went all stenographer on us when she gave us a blow by blow description of Mayor Emanuel’s appearance on” Windy City Live,”.
In this shameful propaganda piece Fran reproduced two of Chicago media’s favorite storylines. One, that Mayor Emanuel is keeping his “legendary” temper in check, which shows us that he is a mature leader because he can sit a room full of people and not hurl an f-bomb as he bites the head of a live baby duck. Two, the Mayor has superhuman physical powers. Now, not only is he able to complete a triathlon; he comes from the Jewish equivalent of the Planet Krypton producing a super agent, a doctor and of course the Mayor himself and he is the funniest man in the room.
Maybe all of that is true but is this something that we desperately needed to hear? Was this all the Mayor did all day, went to a t.v. show and traded one-liners with talking heads? I thought we had a city full of challenges? I was under the impression that he was trying to get his fingers around our budget problems? I’d have liked to hear something about his job and not this nonsense. How hard would it have been to ask a few simple questions and then write about them instead of an appearance on a talk show? I don’t want to sound ungrateful but Fran, Jesus do you even know what your job is at this point? Because the Tutorial is not as clever as most editors here are just some of the questions or issues you might have spent some time with instead of spending a second on the talk show story. I’m only telling you this because from what you wrote on Friday there is a good chance that you just didn’t know any better than to do what you did. So here goes. Don’t thank me I just asked ten people what they’d have liked to have had you write about.
1. Now that we have 970 of the 1,000 new policemen on the street how will this impact public safety, who exactly are these officers and what were they doing before?
2. How is he planning on working with the four foundations who funded his transition work and do they feel like they can perform their traditional roles of providing funding to groups that are at odds with the power structure?
3. What is the Mayor’s plan to deal with the Teacher’s Union and what is the Teacher’s union’s plan to contend with the Mayor? Is it even an adversarial situation?
4. Will the Mayor be using TIF funds to hire 250 more officers? Is that legal? Why hasn’t he already done that?
5. How does the Mayor plan to address the impact of the foreclosure crisis on the city of Chicago or is that outside of his bailiwick?
6. Why does the Mayor want a Casino? Doesn’t he know how gambling is already working in Illinois… do you know Fran?
7. How did the Mayor pick the leaders of the City Council? Does the City Council even have the ability to be a legislative body?
8. Has the Mayor responded to the coalition of community groups who have been shaking their tiny fists over TIF reform and demanding some face time with him? Has he even deigned to talk to them?
9. Which services does the Mayor plan to cut or eliminate and how will that impact the city?
10. What’s being done to address the recent problems at the 911 Center? Yes, there have been fairly recent problems at the 911 Center and it’s a good bet that nothing has been done to address them. Did you know that the new 911 guy has already proven he can barely operate his own legs without screwing something up? I’d really check into that at some point.
Fran, we all have days when we wish we had another damn job and I’m pretty sure having a job where your editors may or may not be in direct communication with Satan or worse must weigh on you but you’re covering the Mayor. I know, I know you’ve been mailing it in since you first started covering Daley and you’ve picked up some bad habits but with a new Mayor you have a chance to start fresh, not do exactly what you’ve been doing for so long that it looks like habit. The job is to discomfort the powerful not comfort them… savvy? Fran you can do better than this and we need you to start because we depend on you to do your damn job. Get off the bench lady and start getting into this journalism thing. You can do it. It’s never too late to make a difference. It worked for Scrooge. It worked for the Grinch. I think you can do it too.