Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Crain’s names first female editor – Crain’s

Veteran Chicago journalist Ann Dwyer will lead the newsroom at the 41-year-old business publication.

Daily Herald chosen for ProPublica Local Reporting Network – Robert Feder


Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity acquires the Illinois News Network – INN

Comment: Salute to Chris Krug and his team. This is true: "INN journalists take an earnest and sincere reporting approach that helps taxpayers understand the complexities and mundane inner workings of government so that they can see for themselves how their contribution to the welfare of the state is spent."

Jerry Jones, Ross Perot said to back bid for Tribune Publishing – NY Post

Comment: Ross Perot? Great. At Wirepoints, we like charts, too.

Michael Sachs bidding for Tronc/Chicago Tribune – Feder

Comment: Just what Illinois needs -- a Dem crony capitalist friend-of-Rahm owning the Chicago Tribune

JournalStar cuts its political column – JournalStar

Comment: Terrible news. The shortage of good local coverage is already acute.

Finally, a tough interview of an Illinois candidate for governor – Quicktake

For a break from the usual softball interviews, watch Mark Maxwell's 15-minute interview of Governor Bruce Rauner. His questions largely reflect arguments made against Rauner...

BGA’s Fact-Check Corrupts The Terms ‘Fact-Check’ And ‘Corrupt’

The latest, goofy "fact-check" is out from the Better Government Association through its partnership with the Chicago Sun-Times and PolitiFact.

Rich Miller: A challenge with newspaper coverage

Comment: The reason why Dan Proft's papers exist is to counter the Democratic bias persistent in so much of Illinois media. That includes Rich Miller, though he is far more clever than most.

BGA, PolitiFact Form Exclusive Partnership To Hold Illinois Government Accountable – Better Government Association

Comment: They need to stop focusing on petty, gotchya issues, and keep politics out if it, which has crept into some of their "fact checks."

Justice Department Investigates TV Station Owners Over Advertising Sales – WSJ

The probe has examined whether Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., SBGI -0.19% Tribune Media Co. and other independent TV station owners coordinated efforts when their ad sales teams communicated with each other about their performance, potentially leading to higher rates for TV commercials, one of the people said.

McCormick Media’s deal to buy Michael Ferro’s Tronc stake falls through – Chicago Tribune

An investor group’s deal to buy former Tronc Chairman Michael Ferro’s entire stake in the newspaper chain has fallen through. In April, Ferro struck the deal to sell his 25.6 percent stake in Tronc — which owns the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and other newspapers — for $208.6 million to McCormick Media. Ferro owned the shares personally and through his Merrick Media and Merrick Venture Management entities.

When Local Newspapers Close, City Financing Costs Rise – CityLab

The newsroom of the Philadelphia Inquirer, in 2009, when the owners filed for bankruptcy. “You can actually see the financial consequences that have to be borne by local citizens as a result of newspaper closures.”

No, Rush Limbaugh, that 1% statewide property tax in Illinois hasn’t happened – Quicktake

Rush Limbaugh has an article posted today saying the Federal Reserve in Chicago is instituting that new statewide property tax. Uh-uh.

In victory for Tribune, judge rules that Emanuel broke law in withholding emails – Chicago Tribune

Circuit Judge Kathleen Pantle agreed with the Chicago Tribune that Emanuel and his office violated the state’s open records act by belatedly releasing the emails, handing the newspaper a victory in its ongoing court battle over the mayor’s use of personal devices and accounts to conduct the public’s business. In addition, the judge opened the door to having Emanuel testify about whether he and his office failed to preserve texts and emails on his personal phones and accounts in violation of another state law relating to the preservation of government records.

Veteran Chicago Journalist David Greising to Lead the Better Government Association

The Better Government Association today announced the appointment of a new chief executive officer, David Greising, who will succeed long-time BGA CEO Andy Shaw in leading one of Illinois’ premier nonpartisan, civic watchdog organizations.

How Do We Keep Bias Out of Stories? — ProPublica

Comment: Respecting their recent work in IL and Chicago, yes, they've done a pretty good job avoiding bias, except on the hit piece on IL Policy Inst they co-authored with the Sun-Times, which was disgraceful.

New York Times Opinions: Conservatives Finally Welcome – National Review

Maybe a similar epiphany happening at Crain's Chicago?

Statement from Sun-Times Media CEO on change in Chicago Reader leadership – Chicago Sun-Times

Comment: The obvious question is whether he was fired because he dared to skewer Pritzker. The Sun-Times, which owns The Reader, is owned by labor unions and their champions, and Pritzker is their boy in the race for Governor.

Pulitzer winner Mark Konkol to lead Chicago Reader – Chicago Sun-Times

In his new role, Konkol will be tasked with maintaining the Reader’s history as the social-justice and cultural voice of Chicago while developing and executing a digital content strategy to ensure that that voice remains strong well into the future.

Illinois News Network Acquired by Franklin Center for Government – INN

Comment: Let's hope it means continuing success of INN. They've produced lots of great work we link to here on topics being ignored by other media.

EPA Union Blasts Pruitt’s Pick to Lead Regional Office in Chicago – WTTW

Cathy Stepp, a businesswoman-turned-politician who as head of Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources sought to ease enforcement of environmental regulations, was named Tuesday by the Trump administration to lead the Environmental Protection Agency’s regional office in Chicago.

A story I’m proud of and a promotion at the Chicago Sun-Times

By: Mark Glennon* Three years ago I wrote here taking a close look at a front page Chicago Sun-Times story I thought was dangerously unfair....

Welcome to ProPublica Illinois — ProPublica

ProPublica Illinois is the first regional operation of ProPublica, the New York-based investigative nonprofit newsroom.   Comment: Illinois progressives certainly can use a more credible news outlet; let's hope ProPublica doesn't disappoint. We will link to what they publish that is pertinent to our economy and government, compliment what's good and criticize what's bad.

Misleading reporting by Reuters on Chicago’s finances – Wirepoints Original

More misuse of phony government "budget" numbers.

Selectively Deleting Comments is Dishonest – Wirepoints Original

Selectively deleting comments is among the ways of bias. We have two conspicuous offenders in Illinois. It’s dishonest and wrong.

Watchdog group gets the story, media take the credit – Dupage Policy Journal

A pair of crusaders battling waste and fraud on the local government level have exposed dozens of corrupt officials and saved millions in taxpayer dollars, but they rarely get noticed in the press for their investigative work,

Naked Ignorance: Sun-Times Editorial Board Goes Exhibitionist – Wirepoints Original

The editorial board last week pulled its pants down to say they really just don't know what they're talking about.

WBEZ-FM’s new political reporter about to face off against nemesis Gov. Rauner – Chicago Business Journal

Comment: Read the piece linked here about how Dave McKinney peddled, or was suckered by, Rahm's B.S. He was among the most biased reporters in town when he was at the Sun-Times.

Chicago Sun-Times sporting full-page union labor ad in today’s newspaper – Chicago Business Journal

"The evolution of the Chicago Sun-Times took a new — and potentially disturbing — twist in today's issue, which prominently carried on page 5 a full-page display ad from [unions]."

Wife’s Cook County position draws line in sand for Tribune reporter – Chicago City Wire

The managing editor of the Chicago Tribune assured Chicago City Wire that reporter Kim Janssen is taking every precaution to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest given that his wife, Becky Schlikerman, is a spokesperson for Cook County.

PolitiFact fumbles fact-check: Education funding proposal is a CPS bailout – Illinois Policy

Comment: Matt Deitrich, who wrote the "fact check" piece for Politifiact, which is now affiliated with the BGA, is among the most biased columnists in the state and his article was hack job nonsense.

How I fell for Emanuel’s budget spin – Greg Hinz – Crain’s

Says Greg Hinz: "I'm referring to my post yesterday that the city's projected deficit for fiscal 2018 is the lowest in more than a decade, a sizeable but still manageable $114 million. But it turns out, that figure includes neither the cost of contract settlements with police and fire units or the roughly $70 million needed to finish hiring the new police the mayor has promised will hit the streets over a two-year period." Comment He's still missing it. The big one is growth in unfunded pension liabilities. That's where the losses get buried. Government "budgets" mean almost nothing and are routinely invalidated by actual results.

Chicago Sun-Times investors lost $80 million – Crain’s

Chicago venture capitalist Michael Ferro brought other wealthy businessmen together in 2011 to buy the Chicago Sun-Times in a gambit they thought would revolutionize the industry. Now, they're out at least $80 million, according to some of his co-investors.

Sorry Illinois politicians, PolitiFact is back – PoltiFact

Comment: Sorry indeed. It's partisan and error-ridden. See their first story since teaming up with the Better Government Association linked here. It's about the pending school funding bill and it's garbage.

Reporter Loses Job after Exposing Chicago Dyke March’s Anti-Semitism – National Review

The journalist who first reported the fact that three Jewish women were thrown out of the Chicago Dyke March several weeks ago has been moved from her reporting role to a job at her paper’s sales desk. As of yesterday, Gretchen Rachel Hammond — who works for a Chicago LGBT paper called the Windy City Times — no longer serves as a reporter at the paper, but she has declined to say officially whether her coverage of the march was the reason for the sudden shift.

Brown: Chronicle this — news website wants to fake you out

Comment: Kudos to Brown who, though not a Rauner fan himself, calls out an anti-Raune website. The Illinois Chronicle, brown says, is more like...

Univision Chicago scores historic ratings victory – Daily Herald

For the first time the Spanish-language station's 10 p.m. newscast was No. 1 among all viewers between 18 and 49.

Is a buck enough to buy the Sun-Times? – Crain’s

A bidding battle for the Chicago Sun-Times is likely to wrap up this month, with the Justice Department throwing its weight behind the one contender that isn't the paper's archrival.

Even though former Chicago Ald. Edwin Eisendrath and a group of unions have offered to pay just $1 for the paper, antitrust regulators at Justice seem prepared to torpedo the only other offer, from Chicago Tribune owner Tronc.

If the Eisendrath group can make good on a pledge to raise at least $11 million to sustain the money-losing Sun-Times operation, it will have the upper hand with ​ Justice, sources say.

In Chicago, Thought-Police Brutality – National Review

'What’s going on in Chicago is a reminder is that greasepaint revolutionaries can barely handle even mild intellectual opposition. They picture themselves riding bravely into the battlefield of ideas. But if anyone shows up to fight for the other side, they cry meekly, “Excuse me, I don’t think you’re allowed here.”

Speech Muzzlers Triggered: Chicago’s Theater Community On The Attack – WP Original

Together we make great theater -- unless you disagree with us, in which case you're a bigot.

Illinois a joking matter no longer – Fort Wayne News-Sentinel

From an econ prof in Indiana: "It is time to stop joking, as the situation has become much more grim.Chicago is the nation’s third...

State-run media service seen as $3 million–a-year necessity – JournalStar

The Illinois Office of Communications (IOCI), originally known as Illinois Information Services (IIS), has been around for almost 100 years and employs roughly 20 people. IOCI is responsible for assisting state agencies and government entities in the delivery of information to the media and the public.

Oversight group’s leader laments lack of good reporting on bad government – Chicago City Wire

Andy Shaw, president and CEO of the Better Government Association (BGA) President and CEO, argued that the lack of coverage brought about by big...

Crain’s to charge ‘nomination fee” to be considered for its ‘Forty Under Forty’ list – Feder

For the first time in 27 years, Crain’s Chicago Business is requiring payment from people to be considered for its annual “40 Under 40”...

Sinclair Bid for Tribune Gives Conservative Voice a Big-City Perch – Bloomberg

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.’s deal for Tribune Media Co. would give a broadcaster known for its conservative leanings fresh reach into leading media markets...

Editor gets the boot from Reboot Illinois – Feder

Longtime Springfield journalist Matt Dietrich is out as editor of Reboot Illinois, the website and subscription newsletter covering state and local government and politics.

The Media Bubble is Real — And Worse Than You Think – POLITICO Magazine

New media jobs are heavily and increasingly concentrated in deep Blue areas. Thank goodness you have Wirepoints. We understand what they don't.

Chris Krug to lead Franklin Center and Watchdog.org

He currently leads the Illinois News Network as Publisher and General Manager, a role which he will continue as he takes the helm at...

Nothing fake about news reporting – News-Gazette

Comment: Wish it were true. That national media is worst. Most of it now has no credibility. Trying to discern truth requires triangulating among...

Am I blue? No, but I have a right to speak, radio host argues – Chicago City Wire

Proft cited the apparent hypocrisy of critics dismissing his news outlets as not being objective while their own work is published by companies with...

DNAinfo management hints site might shut down if staff unionizes – NY Daily News

Comment: Sad to see their troubles. Their Chicago reporting is good.

How to Publish Fake News and Get Away with It: Eric Zorn and Deanna Isaacs Show Us the Way – Wirepoints Original

Just write a story about somebody else's fake news without saying it's fake.

(Fake News) Illinois Will Permit Wearing Burqas in Driving Licenses Photos

You'd think this was from The Onion, but these guys are trying to pass this off as real news.

Worst Editorial of the Week is John McCarron’s – WP Original

By: Mark Glennon*   When the books are written about Illinois' collapse, much will be written about deniers in the media -- those who have misled...

Krug: Establishing priorities differentiates ILNews.org – Opinion

"There were more than two dozen other original stories in which ILNews.org brought truth to light for Illinoisans – in real time, without rumor...

Billionaire doctor demands right to buy more shares in fight for control of Chicago Tribune parent – Chicago Tribune

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, the Los Angeles billionaire battling for control of Chicago Tribune owner Tronc, is pressuring the company's board to allow him to...

Illinois News Network site redesigned with Illinoisans in mind – ilnews.org

Comment: Lots of good, straightforward, objective articles have been coming from these folks. Best of luck to them.

DNAinfo Chicago publisher Par Ridder departs – Crain’s

DNAinfo Chicago Publisher Par Ridder has left the hyper-local news organization and hasn't been replaced, said a spokesman for the outlet. Comment: Hate to see...

McCaleb appointed to top news role at Illinois News Network – Illinois News Network

McCaleb most recently was the editorial director of Shaw Media’s newspaper operations in Illinois and Iowa, as well as the executive editor of the...

The vanishing Statehouse press corps – Illinois Times

The full-time Statehouse press corps has been slashed to about one fourth of what it was in 1991/1992, according to a list from Rick...

Mark Giangreco’s penalty for anti-Trump tweet a wake-up call for media members – Chicago Tribune

If your political views are closer to those Giangreco expressed than not, imagine if a local news personality during Barack Obama's administration had posted...

Layoffs hit DNAinfo Chicago – Feder

Comment: Bummer. DNAInfo is great.

All that who ha over Chicago’s murders is just a plot to embarrass Obama – ChicagoNow

That's the take on Chicago's street gang murders by Chris Hayes, the MSNBC anchor who came here to lecture us about how it ain't...

Trump set to ‘eliminate arts funding programs’, cutting off NPR and PBS – The Independent

Comment: I presume this will impact Illinois outlets like WTTW and Illinois Public Radio, at least indirectly, though I don't know the details of...

Illinois Issues: Editor Jamey Dunn Says Goodbye – NPR Illinois

Comment: She's leaving to do communications for a Dem politician, Comptroler Mendoza. Surprise, surprise. That should be a seemless transition. Let's hope IL Issues...

The Amount of Money Raised For the Chicago Victim is Amazing–But Not Just Because of How Much It Is – Independent Journal Review

Goal was $10K but they have raised $130K. What's noteworthy is that the donations aren't in huge lump sums — they're small donations from...

Why did CNN air a documentary about the band Chicago produced by band members? – The Washington Post

CNN pre-empted its usual prime-time programming on New Year’s Day for a special two-hour film about the group Chicago. Only at the conclusion of...

Most Biased Response to Illinois’ Out-Migration Flood Comes from Crain’s Greg Hinz – WP Guest

By: Dalton*   When the Illinois pols who destroyed the state are swamped by news of Illinoisans voting with their feet to leave, they probably know...

ProPublica to Expand with State-Based ‘ProPublica Illinois’ Unit – ProPublica

"With this state-based expansion, ProPublica seeks to further address the business crisis of the press. The collapse of regional and local newspapers, and the...

Another newsroom is coming to town: ProPublica

Comment: Good. The more the better. Let's hope they are balanced and not biased to the left, as some have charged. George Soros, among...

NBC5 Chicago Spins Saturday Night Live as Real News – WP Original

  By: Mark Glennon*   The top listed story on the "News" section at NBC5 Chicago's site right now is headlined, Even During a Security Briefing, SNL's...

Are We Being Used as Russian Propaganda Tools? – WP Original

  By: Mark Glennon*   Zero Hedge, which has reprinted some of our articles recently, is among news sites used as Russian propaganda tools, according to The...

How to tell truth from fiction in the age of fake news – Chicago Tribune

Comment: This is a good article as far as it goes, but it's only about the most blatant fake news. Much of the national...

NPR: After Pollak, No More Live Interviews for Conservatives – Breitbart

Stemming from an interview with former Chicagoan Joel Pollack, who is now with Breitbart.

Off the deep end goes Neil Steinberg at the Sun-Times

"Your neighbors will gladly murder you, given the nod by authority, then blame you for bringing your own death upon yourself. They’ll then move...

Crain’s Chicago Business announces leadership changes – Crain’s

Scary: “We want to figure out new ways to leverage our dominant position in the Chicago marketplace,” they say. They do some things well....

My, What an Exceptionally Stupid and Irresponsible Headline Rewrite by Crain’s – WP Original

  By: Mark Glennon*   Yesterday, Bloomberg ran a syndicated story under its headline, "New Jersey Tops Illinois as State With Worst-Off Pension System." The story covers...

Tronc If You Want to Save Journalism – BloombergBusinessweek

Busy year for Michael Ferro. Bought Tribune Publishing. Renamed it tronc. Endured ridicule. Tried to sell to Gannett. Failed. Up next: Figure out how...

This Election Has Disgraced the Entire Profession of Journalism – Observer

Comment: And most of the public has come to see that, which is what's really significant. The media's credibility is gone. The implications of...

Gannett Terminates Talks to Buy Tronc – Bloomberg

Gannett Co., the owner of USA Today, dropped its pursuit of Tronc Inc., the publisher of the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times.

“If Trump Loses, I’m Grabbing My Musket”: Former IL Congressman Ready To Go Full Revolution – Zero Hedge

Despite the fact that DNC operatives have been exposed as the ones inciting violence at rallies – Robert Creamer and Scott Foval for example...

A Media Cover-Up of Grand Proportions – Townhall

"Captured by video, the men’s self-incriminating comments and severances are being ignored by major media, which either pretend this never happened or are trying...

Five Books to Change Liberals’ Minds – Bloomberg

More articles like this, please. On both sides.

Tronc Chairman Michael Ferro’s media track record does not include profits – Crain’s

Comment: The Tribune is the one paper other media like to beat up on. Hmm.

Film makes plain: The Khan of Madiganistan has to go – John Kass – Chicago Tribune

Comment: Finally, a review of the movie that isn't just a biased, ad hominem rant about the Illinois Policy Inst, which was behind the...

Kudos to the emerging Fifth Estate, “Madigan” rules – Illinois Review

"Shouldn't Illinois' media be reacting with facts and documentation to prove or disprove, rather than responding with emotional Tweets scorning the messenger and completely...

Federal election agency gets complaint on conservative paper in Illinois – The Republic

Comment: The First Amendment issues in this attempt to muzzle the authors of the paper are HUGE.

Analysis: Chicago journalists overwhelmingly vote Democrat – Chicago City Wire

Chicago City Wire examined 366 primary ballots cast over the past three decades by 68 active reporters, editors and news anchors from leading media...

Worst Editorial in a Long Time is Scott Reeder’s – WP Original

By: Mark Glennon* "Whoever sits in the Oval Office doesn’t get to decide whether we are happy or sad. wrote columnist Scott Reeder today. That’s...

John Kass apology for participating in IPI film – Chicago Tribune

Comment: I don't get this at all. We'll be writing further about this and the whole controversy (probably after the film is out, so...

Chicago’s Awful Crackdown on Food Trucks – Reason

"Late last month, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Windy City's local ABC affiliate teamed up to produce what amounts to little more than a...

Illinois newspapers lash out against entrenched Springfield establishment – Sangamon Sun

The editorial boards of dozens of newspapers statewide have been busy, with their favorite topics being the state's debt, redistricting reform and Madigan.

Rich Miller of CapitolFax cries foul over interview for anti-Madigan documentary – Illinois Review

Comment: Would answers have been different if the identity of the interviewer was different?

Eric Zorn says it’s time to end online comments – Chicago Tribune

Zorn: "I don't read them when they're under my work and I seldom read them under others' work. When fellow journalists tell me they...

Misleading Poll Fails to Dispel the Notion of a “Tax Revolt” in Chicago – Illinois Mirror

Miller and the folks at IEPI may be trying to dispel the notion that people are leaving the city because of skyrocketing taxes and...

Tribune Tower Sale Sign Of A Slowing Industry – WBEZ

    It's a tough business to make money in. But here at WirePoints' world headquarters, shown below, you can see we have our office and...

Dan Proft’s rebuttal to criticism of paper he’s linked to – McHenry Times

Comment: This is an interesting issue but Proft is right. Most of the regular media have no standing to criticize.

A particularly cheap shot by a Chicago Tribune reporter – WP Original

  "Whip-smart" or dumb as a rock?   By: Mark Glennon*   Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger said her challenger in November's election, Susana Mendoza, maybe is "not so good...

Will a new law really make Illinois’ FOIA stronger? Journalists there aren’t so sure – Columbia Journalism Review

Comment: From our experience, they sometimes just ignore FOIA requests. Then, we'd have to go to court to enforce it. Not realistic.

Press Association says Proft’s newspapers aren’t eligible for membership – Capital Fax

Comment: In other words, the establishment media have their near monopoly on peddling lousy articles and the viewpoint of Illinois Democrats, and they want...

Good for the Media, Bad for America – The American Interest

"Another gulf that has opened in the same new media landscape—between the upscale few, who know how to access and digest serious political reporting...

Politifact affiliation brings unwarranted suspicion to Reboot – Reboot

Comment: The scary part is he thinks this article should placate those suspicions.

Introducing PolitiFact Illinois – PolitiFact Illinois

Reboot Illinois now is the exclusive home of PolitiFact Illinois, partnering with the world-renowned news operation to prosecute political speech, find the facts and...

‘Let Facts Be Submitted to a Candid World’ – WP Original

By: Mark Glennon*   To sense how badly discourse and reporting on government has degenerated, particularly in Illinois, start with the reasoning in the the Declaration...

Tribune renames itself ‘Tronc’ while Gannett weighs its bid – Sun-Times

Tronc Inc., standing for “Tribune online content.”

Worst Article of the Week is from IL NPR’s ‘Illinois Issues’ – WP Original

By: Mark Glennon*   “The fact is, the current budget crisis was completely avoidable," says House Speaker Michael Madigan, and Illinois Issues' Jamey Dunn wrote today that...

Lisagor Awards cite Jamie Kalven for Laquan McDonald story – Feder

Comment: That top prize was well earned, as are a few others on the list. But most of these others are a joke. Best...

On information, the lifeblood of bloggers – Stump

Author Mary Pat Campbell is an actuary who writes about pensions. Comment: She's absolutely right that readers want facts, not opinions. We see that here....

Gannett offers $815 million to buy Tribune Publishing – USA Today

In a letter to Justin Dearborn, CEO of Tribune, which owns The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and nine other dailies, Gannett CEO Robert...

Poll: Vast majority of Americans don’t trust the news media – A.P.

Comment: Reads like an endorsement of WirePoints' approach: "Americans are more likely to rely on news that is up-to-date, concise and cites expert sources...

Child Journalist Defends Scoop After Backlash – Sky

Good job, kid. Please start covering Springfield. Press corps there needs help.

Rich Miller Ignores Supermajority Reality To Demand Rauner Capitulate – Illinois Mirror

Comment: Miller is basically a public union mouthpiece. The incompetence on fiscal issues and bias among Illinois political reporters is a prime reason we...

My, What a Foolish Comment by the Chicago Tribune’s Chairman – WP Original

  By: Mark Glennon*   Michael Ferro is the Chairman and largest shareholder of Tribune Publishing, owner of the Chicago Tribune. This week, he said:   I now understand...

Tribune chair Ferro donates Sun-Times stake to charitable trust – Chicago Sun-Times

In a written statement issued Wednesday, Sandra Martin, chief financial officer of Tribune Publishing, said Ferro’s “divestiture will create a very clear separation of...

New standards for digital access to the Chicago Tribune

A new “metered” approach that will give nonsubscribers access to up to 10 articles each month before being asked to subscribe.

Chicago Tribune names Bruce Dold as new editor; Gerould Kern to retire – Chicago Tribune

Comment: Separately, Dold said he wants to "cover the hell" out of politics. Let's hope Dold recognizes how poorly the fiscal crisis is...

Chicago Sun-Times Chairman Sagan works to keep the newspaper “viable” – Crain’s

Sun-Times Holdings Chairman Bruce Sagan said he isn't focused on whether the Chicago Sun-Times will ultimately fold into its larger rival, Chicago Tribune, now...

An error-filled article on pensions in Chicago Magazine

Regular readers here should be able to spot the obvious errors so, this time, we'll let you do it.

The air John Bills breathed in City Hall convinced him corruption is OK – Chicago Tribune

Comment: The Tribune brags a bit -- as it should -- about its role uncovering the red light camera scandal, and asks the right...

Stupidest editorial of the week is from Crain’s

By: Mark Glennon*   The water disaster in Flint, Michigan proves you can't "run government like a business." And since you can't run government like a...

Another Dishonest Headline From Crain’s – WP Original

  By: Mark Glennon*   "The Cost of Gridlock" is Crain's headline about a recent University of Illinois Study that quantified Illinois' higher borrowing cost.   The study said...

Crain’s to launch political newsletter – Feder

They don't like us there, as you might guess.

Mesirow Financial chief economist, Diane Swonk, departs – Pensions & Investments

Comment: She's particularly good on local working class issues. Let's hope she ends up somewhere independent of the sell-side bias that encumbers many pundits...

A Great Article on Chicago Property Taxes From, Yes, Al Jazeera!

  *By Mark Glennon   Much of Chicago's media praised the city's property tax increase as a bold step towards solving its financial crisis. Property taxes are...

AP names Ivan Moreno as its new statehouse correspondent in Springfield, Ill.

Let's hope for the best -- that he's fiscally smart, skeptical about everything said or done by the majority and cynical about how things...

‘Affirmation Journalism’ Reversed: A Great Sun-Times Article – WP Original

By: Mark Glennon*   If you know what "affirmation journalism" is, you'll know why today's article in the Sun-Times about Chicago public salaries is especially praiseworthy.   It's...

Oops, Correction: Dumbest Editorial of the Week Was From Crain’s, Not Sun-Times

  By: Mark Glennon*   Apologies, Sun-Times. Our earlier story should have said your editorial about Chicago's budget was runner up for worst one of the week....

Dumbest Editorial of the Week is from the Sun-Times on Chicago Budget

  By: Mark Glennon*   The Chicago City Council's endorsement of Mayor Emanuel's new budget "should be strong, even overwhelming, " the Sun-Times editorialized this week.   Why? because...

A Mom on a Blog Led to CPS’s CEO Prosecution – Illinois Review

Sarah Karp, whose son attends sixth grade at a Chicago public school, said while reviewing CPS paperwork, she found that the CPS Board had...

The End of the Chicago Sun-Times? – The Awl

People have been saying that the Sun-Times wouldn’t make it another year since time immemorial—through the ownerships of Rupert Murdoch, Conrad Black, and the...

Tribune Publishing’s Jack Griffin catching up on digital – Marketing/media News – Crain’s Chicago Business

 For a man leading a digital revolution, Tribune Publishing CEO Jack Griffin is surprisingly sanguine about the enduring value of newspapers. He believes they're still...

Unreal: Crain’s Notion of ‘Chicago’s Road to Reality’ – WP Original

By: Mark Glennon*   Crain's Chicago Business' editorial board today endorsed Rahm's budget proposal under the headline, "Chicago's road to reality paved with pain and politics."...

New York Post coming to Chicago – Chicago Tribune

The New York Post, the notoriously sensational tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., is entering the Chicago market beginning Monday. But it will be...

Dumbest Illinois Pension Article of the Week

By: Mark Glennon*   How does this sound for pension reform? Pass a law forcing taxpayers to automatically fully fund them in whatever-it-takes amounts. That's what...

Best Illinois Pension Article of the Week

  By: Mark Glennon*   For the ugly story behind the demise of Chicago Public School pension, read From Retirement Security to Political Slush Fund by Illinois...

The Not-So Center for Tax and Budget Accountability: Illinois’ CTBA – Citizen vs Machine

Comment: The CTBA and Ralph Martire are staples of the Illinois media and often described as nonpartisan. Nonsense. They are union controlled.

Natasha Korecki Leaving the Sun-Times – Robert Feder

But we'll still be getting her abundant supply of material for our Media Watch section -- she's going to Politico to cover Illinois politics...

Why the best story this week about Chicago’s big tax hike was, well, ours – WP Original

By: Mark Glennon*   The narrative over the whopping Chicago property tax increase is forming: Time to pay the piper for past sins. Pensions can't be...

That Sun-Times Article on Madigan’s Mouthpiece Took Guts – WP Original

By: Mark Glennon*   All reporters face tough choice between negative reporting and keeping up relationships with news sources. That's why the Sun-Times article last week...

Best editorial of the week: ‘A bad vote’ from the News-Gazette

On "what may be the worst piece of legislation ever passed by the General Assembly."

Best pension story of the week: Tribune’s on the sickening abuse of spiking

By: Mark Glennon*   No conscience, no sense of shame encumbers many workers still intent on soaking our already insolvent public pensions. "Soon-to-be retirees can effectively...

‘Wishing for Katrina’? Actually, Our Financial Mess Is Worse. More on the McQueary Story – WP Original

  By: Mark Glennon* A bit of a national stir has erupted over an editorial by the Chicago Tribune's Kristen McQueary. Frustrated by Chicago's unwillingness to...

Lamest story of the week is from Dan Mihalopoulos – WP Original

By: Mark Glennon*   The acting secretary of human services in Springfield signed a $20,000 consulting contract to develop a plan and timeline for a department...

Updated – He’s Back: Dave McKinney, Pensions, and Partisan Reporters – WP Original

Update 9/2/14. Dave McKinney has accepted a job a Reuters, and apparently will cover Illinois issues. This is a tragedy. Political reporters are not...

Where columnist Rich Miller gets his money – Illinois Review

$260k from taxpayer funded state agencies.

Best article of the week: Reuters on how multitude of local authorities soak Illinois homeowners

Great summary of the a key reason why our property taxes are out of control.

Reporter Dave McKinney finds eager editors at Crain’s – Feder

Read our article linked here about McKinney and the Illinois press.

Progressives, Too, Should Cringe: Crain’s Article Says Property Tax Best Way to ‘Soak the Rich’ – WP Original

  By: Mark Glennon*   Greg Hinz at Crain's is among the most influential political reporters in Illinois. His column yesterday is headlined, Want to soak the...

Unacceptable: Natasha Korecki’s Springfield Reporting – WP Original

By: Mark Glennon*   If you are relying on the Chicago Sun-Times for Illinois state government news you are being misinformed because its primary reporter assigned...

A small Illinois paper makes its play for a bigger Web audience – Columbia Journalism Review

The digital editor of The Southern Illinoisan, the daily newspaper in Carbondale, a city of 26,000 that sits about an hour from the Kentucky...

Chicago media is getting rid of what it needs the most – Our Man In Chicago

More cutbacks at Tribune, Sun-Times and WBEZ. Comment: Criticize their failures when you see them, but be mindful of the crisis in finding a business...

Distorting the News: A Few Whoppers from the Chicago Sun-Times and Crain’s – Updated – WP Original

  By: Mark Glennon* Updated 5/31/15 (adding Crain's where indicated)   There's simply no way to justify the Sun-Time's characterization of Chicago's proposal to address its pension crisis,...

Just Makin’ Stuff Up: Natasha Korecki’s Latest – WP Original

  By: Mark Glennon*   Bias in the media is bad. Incompetence in the media is bad. Natashi Korecki at the Sun-Times seems intent on making herself...

Chicago Press Resurrects Self-Criticism — But Only to Defend Jesus Garcia – WP Original

By: Mark Glennon*   Something great rose from the dead this past week in Chicago's media -- self-criticism. Sort of.   First, WTTW's Phil Ponce was widely criticized...

Best article of the week — from the Bond Girl on Chicago’s budget — Medium


Illinois Media: One Huge Failure, One Big Success for the Week – WP Original

AWOL on legislative hearings on municipal bankruptcy, but they did their job with Aaron Schock.

Inexcusable: S&P’s Warning to Chicago Ignored by Local Press – WP Original

No wonder Chicago voters are attracted to a populist demagogue, Chuy Garcia, who is promising the moon while holding property taxes flat.

How a local news site busted open Chicago’s biggest sports story this year – Poynter


Sun-Times bracing for buyouts, layoffs – Feder Blog

http://www.robertfeder.com/2015/02/10/sun-times-bracing-for-buyouts-layoffs/ Comment: Let's hope they keep the good ones and find a revenue model that works. As for who gets laid off, well, let's hope...

Ouch: Crain’s closes Washington bureau, cuts five jobs – Feder Blog

http://www.robertfeder.com/2015/02/06/crains-closes-washington-bureau-cuts-five-jobs/ Among those cut was Paul Merrion, a particularly good reporter who will be missed.

A hatchet job ‘fact check’ from the Associated Press an State Journal-Register – WP Original

  By: Mark Glennon*   An Associated Press "Fact Check" story, widely reprinted around Illinois today, says Governor Rauner's arguments for reform contained in a slide presentation...

Must-read of the month: Forbes article on municipal salaries and pensions – WP Original

By: Mark Glennon*   Cynical as we are on this site, I confess to being stunned by some of the numbers about municipal salaries and pensions...

Charlie Hebdo goes on sale in Chicago area; sells out – Redeye Chicago


Illinois Press Already Complaining About Lack of Attention From Rauner, Sanguinetti – Illinois Mirror

We find this particularly interesting, considering this has already been one of the most transparent administrations Illinois has seen in decades in just the...

Complaints about ‘media access’ at Rauner inauguration were bunk – WP Original

The only scandal that was hidden from the press: Not enough bars. Took fifteen minutes to get a drink.

Pay Attention, Media: Federal Court Slaps Prosecutors – WP Original

By: Mark Glennon* John F. Grady is a U.S. Federal District Court judge in Chicago, widely regarded as particularly fair. This week he issued an...

Clarence page explains why he’s ‘not Charlie’ — and makes a fool of himself

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/page/ct-charlie-hebdo-free-speech-paris-racism-perspec-0111-jm-20150109-column.html Page entirely misses the point of the "I am Charlie" refrain, which is that all of us should support free expression even of cartoons...

Worst pension reporting of the week

By: Mark Glennon*   All the regular media in Illinois. That's who botched the primary story this past week on Illinois pensions, which was the annual...

Best article of the week on Illinois is from The Economist

  By: Mark Glennon*   Let's hope every policy maker in Illinois has read America's Greece? in The Economist this week.   It summarizes so much about our...

Malpractice in Journalism at NBC-5 – WP Original

By: Mark Glennon*   Do Chicago journalists need to make stuff up to do a juicy story about political criminality, greed, and conflicts of interest? At...

Another Muckraking Hit from the Sun-Times – WP Original

By: Mark Glennon* The Sun-Times' front page article today is, "Obama pal Eric Whitaker stonewalls feds on sex question in grant fraud case." It's shameless...

A transparent stunt by Carol Marin and NBC5 over their Rauner reporting – WP Original

By: Mark Glennon*   Carol Marin and NBC5 evidently smell the backlash and danger to their reputations as the facts gradually come out about the now...

A rebuttal on the Dave McKinney issue – The Windy City YR

http://www.chicagonow.com/windy-city-young-republicans/2014/10/a-rebuttal-on-the-dave-mckinney-issue/ "Bruce Rauner's campaign was not only right to challenge the merit of publishing a poorly sourced story that served a purely political purpose but...

Has the Sun-Times Given Up on Objectivity? – Illinois Mirror


When Rich Miller Doesn’t Think It’s a Scandal, It Really Isn’t – Illinois Mirror


A Threefer for The Civic Federation – best economic analyses of the week – WP Original

By: Mark Glennon*   Thank goodness for private sector organizations that crunch the real numbers about what's going on with Illinois' economy. The Civic Federation recently...

What happens when a ‘reality TV historian,’ gossip columnist becomes an NBC Chicago political reporter? – WP Original

By: Mark Glennon*   Answer: You get reporters like Erin Carlson at NBC Chicago and articles like this from her today: This week in Mudslinging:...

Anudder day in Chicago – somebody sez some pol took some bribe, Cubs in last place – UPDATED

By: Mark Glennon*   Update 10/1/14: The bribe allegation against Senator Trotter was withdrawn. As we said originally at the bottom of this piece, there was...

Best pension work for the week – Forest Park Review’s on actuarial shenanigans

We followed this up with our own story on the topic, and on the further questions it raises, which was republished nationally in Pension...

Best story of the week – The Washington Post

It's not on anything we normally cover here, but some things cannot be ignored. http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/09/10/i-am-a-14-year-old-yazidi-girl-given-as-a-gift-to-an-isis-commander-heres-how-i-escaped/

Best Article of the Week: A Padded Payroll

By: Mark Glennon*   Short and simple stories are always best, if the topic allows for that. Lost in the bigger tale of patronage at the Illinois...

A particularly useless article by Carol Marin

By: Mark Glennon*   When a story is headlined "How to press a candidate in a bubble" you should expect to see some "how to," right?...

Best economic reporting of the week – Michael Lucci at IPI

By: Mark Glennon   If you have any genuine interest in understanding Illinois employment numbers, the must-read work comes from somebody who is not a traditional...

Dumb and Dumber: Another awful article on an Illinois city’s municipal pensions – WP Original

 By: Mark Glennon*   Last week we detailed a list of errors and omissions in a story about the Village of Forest Park's police and fire...

Lamest Pension Editorial of the Week is John McCarron’s

Inexcusable errors by a leading commentator.   By: Mark Glennon*   Prominent journalists usually do at least a little homework before publishing opinion articles, but sometimes, none at...

Best opinion piece of the week: Eden Martin on Rauner and taxes


Obey that Editor: “Don’t Fuck with the News” – WP Original

By: Mark Glennon*   A recent Sun-Times article quoted the standing instruction a former editor had for his reporters: "Don't (bleep) with the news." (I'm taking...

Worst and Best Articles of the Week Both on Millennium Park

A magnificent park but a staggering cost. Worthy of a fifth star on Chicago's flag?

UPDATED: A particularly irresponsible article by Greg Hinz at Crain’s

By: Mark Glennon* Update: Friday, 7-11-14: Today, Greg Hinz ran another article doubling down his distortion of this non-story. Hinz says today that he has...

Lamest pension editorial of the week is from the Sun-Times

Instead of calling for Plan B, how about admitting there never was a Plan A?

Still waiting for apologies and retractions on the Scott Walker criminality stories

By: Mark Glennon*   Last week headlines almost everywhere, including in Illinois media, said prosecutors alleged Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was at the center of a...

Best story of the week: Chicago Business Journal on bar owners getting rich off World Cup

  Cut us some slack on this because we're desperate for positive stories around here and this was another lousy week for Illinois. So, best...

Tribune’s Skiba wins National Press Club honor

And a blogger from The Patch is recognized for his fight to keep sources confidential. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-tribunes-skiba-wins-national-press-club-honor-20140625,0,4208632.story?track=rss

Best fiscal reporting of the week: Sun-Times on Chicago’s $200M swap deal

By: Mark Glennon The Sun-Times somehow discovered a potential $200 million hit Chicago could take under a 'swap' transaction the Daley administration executed. It's Tuesday...

Best article of the week: Tribune on ‘fetcher bills’

By: Mark Glennon The Chicago Tribune ran an article linked here about "fetcher bills" in Springfield -- a problem that's rarely reported but all too...

Sloppiest pension reporting of the week goes to the Associated Press – WP Original

By: Mark Glennon*   A 56% increase in Chicago's telephone tax might substitute for a huge property tax to solve Chicago's pension crisis, right? That's what...

Best quote of the week — from Andy Shaw, BGA

  By: Mark Glennon*   Andy Shaw, President of the Better Government Association, addressed the need to outlaw certain conflicts of interest in an interview with him...

Kudos to Terry Savage, a journalist who warned about Illinois pensions long ago – WP Original

By: Mark Glennon*   Pension problems ignored compound over time. Illinois would be much better off had it listened to early warnings. Few, if any, journalists...

Best piece of the week: Getting to the truth on exploding Chicago property taxes – Reboot


Media wrong that say Quinn never promised to make tax increase temporary – IPI


Stop reporting political stunts as serious proposals – WP Original

By: Mark Glennon*   Sen. Terry Link, D-Waukegan, last week aired a plan to stabilize Illinois police and fire pensions, you might have read. It wasn't....

Is the Chicago Press in Support of Illinois’ High Tax Rates? – Illinois Review


Who ratted on Pat Quinn about the grand jury proceeding? – WP Original

By: Mark Glennon   Grand juries generally work in strict secrecy, so it's interesting to wonder who did it when their work is leaked, which is...