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The [Wednesday] Papers

"Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday vehemently denied that he sat on the Laquan McDonald shooting video until he was safely re-elected after the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. accused the mayor of a cover-up in his most blistering attack on the mayor to date," Fran Spielman reports for the Sun-Times.

"For months, Emanuel has emphatically denied political motives for keeping the incendiary video of a white Chicago Police officer shooting the black teenager under wraps for more than a year and releasing it, only after a judge ordered him to do so.

"But he has acknowledged that he 'added to the suspicion and distrust' of everyday Chicagoans by blindly following the city's long-standing practice of withholding shooting videos to avoid compromising ongoing criminal investigations."

Spielman constructs that last sentence presuming it's true that the city's "long-standing practice of withholding shooting videos" was indeed to "avoid compromising ongoing criminal investigations," when the record not only calls that motive into question but shows that criminal investigations on the whole would not have been compromised by the release of such videos. This is how the official line gets baked into reporters' stories. Rahm was just following eminently reasonable policy!

*

"On Tuesday, the mayor reiterated that denial but refused to engage in a back-and-forth with Jackson.

"'You yourself have seen all the e-mails and all of the documents. That's just not true,' the mayor said in a telephone interview with the Chicago Sun-Times."

Yes, we've seen the e-mails and documents - which make it hard to conclude anything other than that Rahm buried the Laquan McDonald video to protect his re-election. Check your own archives, Fran!

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By the way, perhaps nitpicky but it drives me crazy: Rahm did not give an interview to the Chicago Sun-Times. He talked to Spielman on the phone. You can just say "Rahm said," or "Rahm said in a telephone interview," or "Rahm told me." It's okay to acknowledge that you were the person on the phone, Fran!

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"The mayor's decision to remain above the fray left the job of defending Emanuel to his City Council allies, led by Rules Committee Chairman Michelle Harris (8th)."

How does denying Jackson's charge on the phone to Fran constitute remaining "above the fray?"

And what - or more likely (hint, hint), who - advised Fran to call Harris for a defense of Rahm?

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"What's the logic behind suppressing the tape? I mean - eventually, everybody is gonna see it," Harris said.

If Harris, in defending Rahm, can't see the logic behind suppressing the tape, she might want to ask herself why indeed it was suppressed.

"Asked point-blank whether she believes Emanuel sat on the tape until after the election, Harris said, 'That's what everybody thinks because it all happened around the election cycle. But I don't think so.'"

Was Harris asked "point-blank" if she saw all the e-mails and documents?

*

"Harris saved her strongest defense for the mayor's decision to close a record 50 public schools.

"Everybody wants to keep kicking the mayor on closing the schools. But the population doesn't exist to keep these buildings open. How do you justify buildings suited for 1,200 children when the population is somewhere around 300? In some cases, it's even 200. How do you justify paying the utility bills? If it was the private sector, we would have closed `em all," Harris said.

This argument might make sense if A) the city wasn't building more charter schools even as it was closing neighborhood schools, and B) if closing schools actually saved the district money.

"Where do we get kids? Do you make it up to keep the schools open for this imaginary number of kids because people think none of the schools should be closed? We lost population. Where does the city get all the money to keep schools open for children that don't exist?"

Why is Harris allowed to make these claims without a rebuttal that might point out, for example, that every time someone showed that closed schools weren't underperforming, the administration said they were closing schools for underutilization, and every time someone showed a school wasn't underutilized, the administration said they were closing schools for underperformance?

Also, the fact that schools with dwindling populations reflected neighborhoods with dwindling populations doesn't mean we should just close up those schools any more than it means we should just close up those neighborhoods. The answer is to invest in those neighborhoods to fill up those schools.

*

"As for Jackson's claim that the mayor has not done enough for the African-American community, Harris said, 'In a perfect world, the black community needs a lot more than other communities. It's just the way of life for African Americans that we just have a lot of social issues. But is it fair to say the mayor should be the savior of the black community?'"

Of course not, but is it safe to say the mayor should spend more time on the black community than a George Lucas ego trip?

You know, just because Michelle Harris says it doesn't mean you just publish it.

*

"Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th), chairman of the City Council's Black Caucus, agreed with Harris about the 50 school closings and said there are even more half-empty schools that 'probably need to be closed.'"

This strikes me as your story right here. I'd like to know if Rahm agrees.

*

"If Jackson wants more public participation before major decisions are made - like creating a new system of police accountability - the heat should be placed on aldermen not the mayor, Sawyer said."

Because the mayor's not the one running the show?

Roderick Sawyer, you have just edged out Michelle Harris as Today's Worst Person in Chicago.

*

"But Sawyer was at a loss to counter Jackson's claim that Emanuel suppressed the McDonald shooting video until after the election.

"I don't know whether politics was involved in that or not. I can only go by the man's word. Am I skeptical about it? Of course. We all look at it a little strangely," Sawyer said.

Okay, Michelle Harris is Today's Worst Person In Chicago.

*

"Instead of blaming Emanuel for how the video was handled, Sawyer blamed fired Police Supt. Garry McCarthy.

"I understand the former police superintendent did take a look at it . . . I would have put the pressure on him to have let the mayor know what was on the tape and how devastating it was going to be," the alderman said.

"If the superintendent would have told him what was on that tape, [Emanuel] would have done better letting people know about the tape in advance [of the election] and expressing outrage over what occurred on it."

McCarthy did tell Rahm what was on the tape. Rahm knew within 24 to 48 hours of McCarthy knowing.

Roderick Sawyer, you are once again Today's Worst Person in Chicago.

*

"Sawyer noted that, since the run-off scare, Emanuel has delivered on his campaign promise to be 'more collaborative, more willing to listen, open to discussion.'

"We have a much better relationship than we did during our first four years together. But it's still early," he said.

That may be true of the Black Caucus, but it's most certainly not true of the Progressive Caucus, of which Sawyer is somehow also a member.

-

Related:

Rahm Dodging Community Input On Police Reform.

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Ja'mal Greenwashing Pt. 2

"The Reader has obtained video footage of Saturday's Taste of Chicago protest that calls into question the official police version of events that led to the arrest of Ja'Mal Green, a 20-year-old activist accused of attacking an officer."

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How Wall Street Screws Denmark
"Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and other international banks have profited for years by arranging short-term loans of stock in Danish companies, a maneuver that has helped shareholders but deprived Denmark of substantial tax revenues."

The Inventor Of M*A*S*H
Baron Larrey.

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BeachBook

Records: Eric Holder Lied About Why He Didn't Prosecute Banks.

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After Dallas Shooting, Police Arresting People For Criticizing Cops On Social Media.

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In Africa, The U.S. Sees Enemies Everywhere.

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Amazon Finally Drops Deceptive List Price Comparisons.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: By the thousands.



Permalink

Posted on July 13, 2016


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