Saturday, February 7, 2015

Just keeping the establishment going

I don’t think many people will read the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and Crain’s Chicago Business endorsements for Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s re-election that were published on the internet on Friday and rush right out to cast their ballots for “four more years.”

I have always viewed news media endorsements as being more significant in displaying what potential biases a news organization’s business end potentially exerts over the coverage.

WE GET A more blunt glimpse of what the priorities are for the publications in how they view the world and the issues. That can emphasize what they consider to be important when they put together news stories about the issues impacting us all.

So in reading the three endorsements for the Feb. 24 mayoral election (early voting starts Monday), it becomes clear that the major metro newspapers and the significant business-oriented publication are satisfied with the direction that Chicago has been taking.

Because the prominent angle emphasized by all three publications in their endorsements (that likely will be in those not-quite-so-fat-as-they-used-to-be Sunday editions) is that Emanuel is taking the city in the right direction.

And as for those people who are miffed for whatever reason about his actions – including the closing of some 50 schools in the Chicago Public Schools system – well they just need to get over themselves!

THEIR COMPLAINTS THAT Emanuel is too business-oriented to represent the peoples’ interests just aren’t all that significant.

It is an attitude I find amusing in a warped sort of way because of all the times we hear the rancid rhetoric from the conservative ideologues about the “liberal media” that is causing great harm to our society with all their distortions.

If we really had a “liberal” news media, there probably would have been someone willing to take on the Emanuel campaign and give backing to the campaigns either of Jesus “Chuy” Garcia or Robert Fioretti.

Instead, all the newspapers dismissed all the challengers’ complaints and proposals by calling them unrealistic or not all that well thought out.

NOT THAT IT means the editorial writers are all that enthused about what city government has done since Emanuel became mayor in 2011. Some of the incumbent aldermen had their challengers formally endorsed because of the perception that they were too closely aligned with Rahm’s rhetoric!

Now insofar as I’m concerned, I’m intrigued by the thought of Garcia’s mayoral campaign. I think he’d represent a segment of Chicago that has often been ignored in the past. Although watching his campaign, he comes across as an earnest public official – but also one who is just a little too soft-spoken to reach out to all of Chicago.

I can see where he dominates the vote in the wards where the Latino population is overwhelming, but becomes irrelevant to the rest of Chicago. Perhaps he’s not doing a good enough job of reaching out to all the electorate?

As for the other would-be candidates, I can’t say any of them comes across as somebody who should be in charge of city government. They come across as people who are too reliant on voters voting solely for Anybody But Rahm.

THEY DON’T REALLY give us reasons why we should specifically want them to be working in the old office haunted by the ghost of Richard J. Daley.

Which is why I have braced myself for the likely reality that Emanuel will get a second term in office; although there are times it feels like he will merely fill the office until the next generation of the Daley family feels he (or she) is ready to run for the post.

It makes it seem like an endorsement for Emanuel is the “safe” pick politically; one meant to avoid making enemies of the administration right off the bat, although I’m sure the newspapers will come up with stories that will offend Mayor Rahm in the future.

And we, the people of Chicago, will see what direction a business-oriented pairing of Emanuel and Rauner (as in Gov. Bruce) will take us for the next few years!


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