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Rahm's Chicagoland Response Requires Suspension Of Disbelief

"Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday sought to pivot away from questions about how his top aides worked with producers to coordinate scenes for CNN's Chicagoland documentary," Bill Ruthhart reports for the Tribune.

Pivot is one word for it. Let's take a look.

*

"The mayor said he still hasn't watched the series."

Right. The most media-obsessed mayor in American history hasn't watched the series that he stars in and that his staff essentially co-produced that was arranged in part by his agent brother and broadcast to the world over the most internationally famous news channel that has ever existed. Not curious in the least as to how it all turned out.

And secondarily, not curious at all over how his city was presented even as he tries to sell its virtues the globe over. Just hasn't fit it in yet. Too busy with Game of Thrones.

*

"He praised a Fenger High School principal who emerged as a main character for 'doing incredible things.'"

None of which he's seen, but he's read the reviews.

*

"Beyond that, however, Emanuel said only that his spokeswoman already had answered numerous questions about the administration's involvement with Chicagoland."

Oh. Well, from now on we'll just direct all questions to your spokeswoman and never bother you again.

"Ms. Spokeswoman, how is your wife Amy?"

"Ms. Spokeswoman, did this remind you of that time when you were the president's chief of staff?"

"Ms. Spokeswoman, have you talked to your brother Ari lately?"

*

"On Friday, the Tribune reported that more than 700 city e-mails showed Emanuel's senior staff working hand in hand with Chicagoland producers to develop storylines, arrange specific camera shots and review drafts of a CNN news release officially announcing the show.

"On Wednesday, Emanuel took reporters' questions for the first time since the Tribune story was published. Asked whether his staff's work with the producers to set up key interactions for the eight-part TV series was appropriate, Emanuel said his communications director, Sarah Hamilton, already had covered the topic.

"Look, Sarah has answered that question tirelessly," Emanuel said. "I think if you look at that, there's a lot of different views, in which (the producers) expressed they didn't get all the cooperation they wanted."

So his defense is that he even screwed his broadcast partners.

Are journalists supposed to cheer that? "Yeah, good for you! Block those motherfuckers!"

*

"While Emanuel declined to say whether such conduct by his staff was appropriate, he did say he was glad the series drew attention to Dozier's work at the South Side high school with a history of violence and lagging test scores."

Let me tell you something: It's not about whether the conduct by his staff was appropriate. Of course it wasn't. But his staff doesn't conduct itself that way except at the behest of the mayor. The more pertinent question is about his involvement and what marching orders he gave to his aides.

The more pertinent question is whether he thinks that manipulating an international news agency to present a distorted picture that doesn't align with the facts is the sort of thing a public official should do in America, as opposed to, say, Russia or China or North Korea.

The larger blame (and shame) by far, of course, falls on CNN. But it would be interesting to know what Rahm thinks about his own efforts to damage the integrity of journalism - and if he thinks CNN is deserving of scorn. How would Rahm feel if CNN gave a political opponent of his the kind of treatment it just gave him?

There are many questions to ask Rahm that aren't satisfied by the "tireless" efforts of his press team.

Others:

  • Did you ever talk to your brother Ari about this?
  • Did you ever have personal conversations with any of the producers?
  • When were you first brought this idea, and how was it presented to you?
  • What instructions did you give your staff on how to proceed?
  • Were any of the scenes you were in not orchestrated?
  • What did you not allow CNN to see?
  • Are you disappointed in the ratings?

There's plenty left for us to know.

*

Also:

That response makes no sense; it's not CNN that would have to report it, it's Rahm's campaign committee.

*

Plus:

*

And:

-

Previously:
* Tweeting Chicagoland | Episode 1: Oh My Lord, I Hate It Already.

* Cracking The Chicagoland Code 1: Docu-Series Or Docu-Wank?

* Tweeting Chicagoland | Episode 2: Brought To You By Allstate, Billy Dec & The Central Office.

* Cracking The Chicagoland Code 2: Fixing The Facts.

* Tweeting Chicagoland | Episode 3: Get Me Rewrite.

* Cracking The Chicagoland Code 3: Our Fact-Challenged Heroes.

* Tweeting Chicagoland | Episode 4: Did We Mention That Rahm Loves (Black) Kids?

* Cracking The Chicagoland Code 4: LollapaRahmza.

* Tweeting Chicagoland | Episode 5: Back To Black.

* Cracking The Chicagoland Code 5: Yada Yada Yada.

* Tweeting Chicagoland | Episode 6: Building A New Rahm.

* Cracking The Chicagoland Code 6: Unwired.

* Tweeting Chicagoland | Episode 7: Tripling Down.

* Cracking The Chicagoland Code | Epsiode 7: We Don't Care How They Do It In New York.

* Exposing Chicagoland.

* Cracking The Chicagoland Code 8: Ending The Way It Started - In Deceit.

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on May 1, 2014


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