Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Do we really care what Garry McCarthy thinks about anything these days?

During the nearly three decades I have worked in the news business, I have done my share of interviews with people whose legitimacy to talk on a certain issue was questionable.
McCARTHY: He doesn't wear uniform any more

Usually, it was because they were “there,” as in available to talk and their comments could result in copy that filled newspaper space in between the ads – not because there was some great solemn truth that needed to be recorded for posterity.

MY POINT BEING that sometimes the stories we read or hear are merely being done to fill space. We shouldn’t presume the “great value to society” of any of it.

Such as one story I read Tuesday morning about the “evolution” of sorts of Tila Tequila – whom I have to confess to not having a clue who she is or why I’m supposed to care about this evolution – to a Donald Trump political supporter.

Or all the many stories I have read or heard about in recent days by which Garry McCarthy talks about the homicide rate in Chicago – which did a significant jump during 2016 to a two-decade high level (although not a record high as Trump implied earlier this week).

McCarthy has been gone from the post of Chicago police superintendent for more than a full year. He’s not employed here any longer. In fact, the last I had heard of him was talk that he was being considered for some sort of law enforcement post in London – potentially involving Scotland Yard.

YET HE’S BEING treated as some sort of authority on Chicago and our city – even though it could be argued that if the man really had any special knowledge or understanding of Chicago, he’d still be employed here.

For what it’s worth, the general theme of many of these stories (including an interview for CBS’ allegedly-prestige program “60 Minutes”) is that it is the fault of the “Black Lives Matter” movement that the crime rate is on the rise.

The premise being that the activists who have been so eager to draw attention to the perception that police are the REAL criminals who single out black people for their targets have created conditions by which police are not as aggressively policing the neighborhoods.
EMANUEL: Still having his own hide

Thereby making it more likely that violence is on the rise. Black people who are concerned about the number of black men being killed are actually to blame, or so McCarthy says.

ALTHOUGH TO TELL you the truth, reading the McCarthy comments makes me think initially that they were coming from the crackpot types who oft wear their hoods or other costumes while spouting white supremacist language.

I’m not calling McCarthy a Klansman or anything like that. I’m just saying that I’m not sure McCarthy is saying anything that really adds to the public understanding about the rising violent crime rate in Chicago.

Particularly when added to the fact that McCarthy is our city’s past – the guy who wound up being sacrificed politically so that Rahm Emanuel could keep his mayoral post in the wake of the public revelation of just how Laquan McDonald actually died. Even though to the activist-types most upset about this issue, nothing short of Rahm’s resignation will appease them!

McCarthy has moved on professionally. It would be nice if he’d move on personally as well. Because these kinds of reports aren’t telling us anything that truly adds to the public comprehension of the issue.

IF ANYTHING, I wonder if it’s because we in the news business are still in holiday season mode. Within a week, we ought to be up to speed and thinking about serious news.
Many reasons for why homicide on the rise

But we’re still feeding off the results of the past few weeks by which many people were on their holiday breaks. It may well be that during this time period, McCarthy made himself available to talk about an issue that truly IS in the news these days.

But that doesn’t really mean McCarthy has much to say. If anything, we ought to regard his comments as nothing more than space filler – about as intellectually worthy as the reports about the most ecologically-efficient way to dispose of your now-dead Christmas tree.

Certainly not by dumping its carcass out on the curb; similar to the way Emanuel dumped on McCarthy just before Christmas of 2015.


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