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The [Tuesday] Papers

"Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday dismissed suggestions that his staff had been secretly recording reporters, calling the reports 'much ado about nothing,'" NBC5 reports.

He also admitted he had not read the reports. No joke.

He was also a huge prick when asked about the reports. No joke.

See, unlike reporters, he's too busy caring about our children to worry about City Hall staffers committing Class 4 felonies. No joke. That's what he said.

Now, I don't much like two-party consent "eavesdropping" laws. If I do an interview over the phone, for example, what's the difference if I write down everything someone says or record everything someone says? If it's on the record, it's on the record.

There are other arguments to be made both pro and con, and with more nuance, but that's not really the point. We've just gone through a few high-profile prosecutions over alleged violations of the state eavesdropping law and it's beyond depressing to have to point out that City Hall staffers - working on behalf of the mayor and almost certainly on his orders - should be bound to the law just like the rest of us.

Surely Rahm knows this, and surely he's doing his best to play the whole thing off by portraying inquiring reporters as childish for even asking about it. In other words, to also defer to Shakespeare with a twist, methinks he doth protest too little.


"[Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez] has certainly prosecuted vigorously these kinds of violations," ACLU Illinois legal director Harvey Grossman said in a Chicago Tonight report. "There really is no significant disticntion between the cases that Anita Alvarez has been prosecuting and the conduct of the city."

City spokesman Roderick Drew said there is no reason to believe more recordings exist beyond those identified by the Tribune, but on the contrary, there is every reason to believe more recordings exist.

"The city acknowledges that one of the mayor's press aides said, "I record conversations with journalists all the time," Paris Schutz reports in the Chicago Tonight account.

Drew later said the aide - who for some strange reason was not named - was being sarcastic.

"I talked with that aide," Schutz reports, "who would not elaborate on how prevalent this practice was."



"[L]awyer Robert Johnson, who filed a lawsuit on behalf of a woman who was acquitted of recording a conversation with Chicago police, said it was 'shocking' that city officials were doing something that's 'still against the law,'" the Sun-Times reports.

"His client was 'facing 15 years for recording public officials in the course of their duties,' he said. 'But this is a lot more serious - it's taping private individuals. Why aren't they being fired and prosecuted?'"


Watch Rahm cut off NBC5's Phil Rogers - certainly by design, he was briefed after all - and get away with mocking the whole thing.


Dear WTTW: Your embed code sucks. And not just today.


Rahm's General
"One action does not define a lifetime of service."

How about a lifetime of bullshit?


See also: David Petraeus Affair Causes Media Soul-Searching.

They never learn.


Once Petraeus gave his word to Rahm that he wouldn't run against Obama, Rahm found Petraeus a useful prop. Otherwise, the demonization of Petraeus would have begun - and you can bet it would have been Rahm placing shadowy phone calls to reporters, all off the record and unrecorded.

Dylan In Chicago
Sort of.

Cutler Should Consider Retiring
Or make reservations for Jim McMahon's world.

Farming Chicago
Turns out food deserts have land.

Circus Trip
Ringling Bros. meets the inspector general.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Drop some eaves.


Posted on November 13, 2012

MUSIC - Who's Next In Chicago Rap.
TV - Tribune-Nexstar Deal Is Bad News.
POLITICS - Charter Schools Should Talk More About Racism.
SPORTS - The Ex-Cub Factor.

BOOKS - Wright Brothers, Wrong Story!

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Hologram Arcade Machines.

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