The [Tuesday] Papers
It just gets weirder by the day.
"Chicago congressmen Bobby Rush and Danny Davis, fresh off a meeting with Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. at Jackson's Washington D. C., residence, called on the public and the media to give Jackson the time and breathing space to allow his mental illness to heal," the Sun-Times reports.
Sure. I say we give him two years and then he can run for Congress again as a challenger to regain the seat he should clearly relinquish. He and his wife and handlers have squandered the benefit of the doubt, and goodwill should be extended to the public, not to his personal political ambition or employment needs.
"'I appeal to you to give him and his family a chance to work their situation out, give him a chance to heal,' said Rush (D-IL) at a press conference at O'Hare Airport, where Rush and Davis had just landed Monday evening."
Like I said, take all the time you want. Just not at our expense.
"Davis, (D-IL) said Jackson 'expressed a great deal of concern for his family, a great deal of concern for his constituents.'"
Right. He said, "Hey, how are my constituents? I'm really concerned!"
More like, "Am I in any trouble? What do the polls say?"
"Jackson also told his two colleagues that he had put out an automated call to residents in his district 'asking for a level of patience, a level of understanding and that they would give him enough time to effectively recover so that decisions he would have to make would be based upon a solid foundation of good mental and emotional health,' according to Davis."
Coincidentally, probably right after the election will be enough time.
Look, I would be inclined to give him a lot of time and space if his camp hadn't been putting out a string of lies since June. That sort of makes me less patient.
"Rush said that Jackson's absence from Congress has not harmed his district because the legislative body has been in session only 32 days since Jackson took his leave.
"'Nothing really occurred in those 32 days, that his constituency has suffered,' Rush said."
Do we have to pay you guys for those days, then?
"And until his illness, Jackson had 'an almost impeccable voting record,' according to Rush.
"'It's kind of paradoxical to me to see someone who has one of the best voting records in Congress now he's being accused of being a loafer and not showing up for work,' Rush said."
Nobody's accusing Jackson of being a loafer. They're accusing him of being a liar.
"Questioned as to why Jackson didn't explain his illness earlier, Rush said, 'He did not have time to respond."
Apparently he still doesn't have time. And I suppose Sandi has been super busy being an alderman! They'll get around to it.
"He went to the emergency room and then they decided to take him out of state for a while. He didn't have a chance to figure out what he was going to say to the media and what he was going to say to the political establishment," Rush said.
How about just telling the truth? The advantage is that it doesn't take any time at all to figure out.
"Rush said that after their meeting Monday, Jackson planned to drive to the Mayo Clinic to avoid the media spotlight in Washington.
"'His home is under attack,' Rush said. 'He's afraid to stick his head out the door without because he's afraid there's going to be some camera there that's going to snatch a photograph.'"
First, if that were true, we'd already have photos. Second, so what? A photo of him walking to a doctor's appointment might actually be to his benefit.
And he and Sandi have created that kind of situation. Secrecy and obfuscation are the flames that attract media moths.
"Rush said the controversial lawmaker was like 'the Derrick Rose of the Illinois delegation' - a star sidelined by injury," the Tribune reports.
"'No one is clamoring for Derrick Rose to come back before he should,' Rush said of the Bulls star."
What's wrong with this comparison is so obvious that it's painful to recite, but let's just start with the fact that Rose didn't send out press releases pretending he was still attending practice for two weeks before admitting that he had a medical issue. Next, Rose has been so public about his rehab that he's made an Adidas commercial about his comeback. There's also the pesky fact that Rose isn't up for re-election, nor is he awaiting indictment. Shall I continue?
It would be different if Jackson, too, appeared regularly on TV during this phase. Paging Dr. Drew!
"Rush criticized news coverage of Jackson's illness, urging reporters to 'take a deep breath and step back.'"
We've been taking deep breaths for four months. If we take any more steps back we'll be in New Mexico soon.
Thought exercise: How would Team Jackson's behavior differ if Junior faced a serious candidate? Says a lot, doesn't it?
Taste Truth Test
Much like Mitt Romney's tax-cut/deficit-reduction plan, the numbers didn't add up to us. See the item A Taste of Taste.
What a surprise that we were right.
"The shrunken and revamped Taste of Chicago still didn't come close to breaking even and may never return to profitability, a top mayoral aide said Monday," the Sun-Times now reports - on the city's schedule.
And let me emphasize: Didn't even come close to breaking even.
Nonetheless, the Sun-Times is committed to reporting that vendors had their highest profit margins ever, despite our item debunking that silly notion. Hey, Sun-Times, if you get the reporting right the first time, you don't have to play tricks for the sake of your ego.
I also noted in August that the mayor was flat-out lying about attendance. See item No. 5.
Here's another lie the Sun-Times doesn't bother correcting:
But, what about Mayor Rahm Emanuel's mandate to stop the bleeding?
No mandate for profitability? From Rahm?
"[T]he mayor said he has developed a blueprint for how to reverse $1 million in 2011 losses and stage a popular summer event without breaking the bank," the Sun-Times reported in July, after months of reporting that the mayor had shortened the festival and made other changes in order to get it out of the red.
In fact, Boone herself told the Sun-Times in January that "[W]e have to figure out the right financial model that makes sense, so we're not losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in trying to deliver this," Boone said,
Last April, the Tribune reported that "Mayor Rahm Emanuel's plan to charge Taste of Chicago attendees for premium seating to see musical acts in Grant Park and for the chance to eat special meals prepared by prominent Chicago chefs cleared a City Council committee Wednesday.
"Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Commissioner Michelle Boone told aldermen the hope is that the revenue will help Taste break even after three years in the red."
And in March, the Tribune reported that "I told you during the campaign we were going to reform, rethink, the Taste of Chicago, because year in and year out it has lost money that the taxpayers paid."
Why not just admit that this season's recipe (no pun intended) for Taste didn't work? (Idea: Turkey legs only.)
"Fourteen weeks after it ended, city officials still can't say exactly how much money the reconfigured Taste of Chicago lost in 2012," Jim DeRogatis reports on his Pop N Stuff blog.
"Why is this important? For one thing, Mayor Rahm Emmanuel has declared that the new Taste must not cost the city money, though Boone yesterday downplayed that mandate."
If only the rest of the media didn't forget so easily.
Finally, DeRogatis notes that the administration is pretending it's "still reconciling" its figures. That's likely to mean the bath Taste took this year is embarrassingly large. Look for a Friday afternoon holiday weekend release of the final numbers
The Beachwood Tip Line: Defenestration.
Posted on October 23, 2012
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