Archive for the ‘Chicago Politics’ Category

John Andrews interviewed by Fox News in Chicago.

John Andrews interviewed by Fox News in Chicago.


CHICAGO / Besides getting walloped in news articles published in local and national media outlets, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley is now getting it from his own team. A Chicago police officer fed up with the manpower shortage on the force complained about it on his personal blog and for breaking ranks he’s now under investigation by Internal Affairs. 

The story about the IA investigation of this office is front-page news in the Chicago. 

“While Chicago has been under attack with its people fearful and hiding, its police department was twisted into paralysis by organizational decimation, incompetent leadership, self-serving politics and corruption,” writes Chicago police Lt. John Andrews on his blog.  “We are sickened that our world-class police department has deteriorated into ruin in only a few short years. We are tired of a leaderless department. We are angry at an unsupportive mayor.” 

(Visit Chicago police officer’s blog

Andrews has become a hero of sorts to many of his fellow police officers because they share his feelings yet have remained quiet.  

Top brass at Chicago P.D. are speaking out, however, critical of Andrews.   

“I think leaders in today’s times should look to inspire, motivate and look for solutions to challenges,” Jody Weiss, superintendent of Chicago Police told Fox Chicago News. “I don’t think leaders should throw rocks at their respective agencies, at those who are actually trying to address the challenges.” 

Now that Andrews has taken a stand, he refuses to back down.  He has talked to the local news media about his gripes and the entry he wrote remains front and center on his website. 

“Homicides, shootings and gang related crimes are sucking the life out of this city. Daily, people are shot and killed on our streets over conflicts with gangs and drugs. Our children are not immune from the victimization as they too are targets or suffer as collateral damage from stray gunfire,” writes Andrews. 

Ironically, say media experts, had Mayor Daley and the police department ignored the blog, the story would likely have never gotten attention. 

“It’s an obscure blog that no one had ever heard of until Mayor Daley and his administration reacted by launching and internal affairs investigation,” says Stephan Lipinsky, a former news editor who’s now a consultant.  “It’s Daley’s reaction that made this a news story.  Had they ignored it, the public might never know about the blog or what the police officer ever said.”  

Political consultants say Daley’s reaction may be a sign of his growing frustration over the crime rate and the political fallout it is causing.


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WASHINGTON / The Fox News mantra is ‘fair and balanced.’  On some days, critics would argue that the network barely lives up.  But they apparently don’t even try on ‘Fox News Sunday’ say media analysts who watched the fledgling program today as the Sunday show welcomed Rod Blagojevich, the guest the program has  heavily promoted for several days.

“From the get-go Chris Wallace hammered Blagojevich as if Chris wanted to get him to incriminate himself,” says Seth Stein, a retired TV news analyst now living in Wisconsin.  “Wallace questioned the former governor as if he had the role of a prosecutor–not a journalist.”

The interview with Blagojevich was a big ‘get’ for the Sunday morning news program which is among the lowest rated of the Sunday morning news programs.  In advance of the interview, Wallace appeared on numerous other Fox News programs promoting the upcoming interview promising it would be good.

Last week, jurors refused to convict Blagojevich on any corruption charge he faced and there were 23 of them–including the much publicized allegations that he tried to sell the U.S. Senate seat that Barack Obama vacated when he was elected president.  Blagojevich was convicted on only one charge: lying to the federal government  five years ago.  Blagojevich says it is not true and he would appeal.

Blagojevich and his PR reps granted interviews to only a handful of media outlets–‘Fox News Sunday’ was one of them.

“It’s sad when a news outlet and a news anchor are more interested in making news than covering news that their judgment becomes clouded,” says Sam Black, a retired media critic who watched the program from Phoenix.  “Chris Wallace completely missed the story and it reflected poorly on him–not the governor.  He approached the interview as if Blagojevich was guilty.  That’s so wrong.”

On the networks own site, FoxNews.com, Mardan’51 writes: “I think Wallace went beyond the call of duty when He tried to Play Prosecuter on Sundays show! There is so much more to this story and they are trying to silence Rod in the worst way!  So to make it Short, I won’t be watching Wallace, anymore !!!”

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CHICAGO / As the newspaper with the nation’s largest combined online and print copy circulation, an editorial in the ‘Wall Street Journal’ gets a lot of reads and carries a lot of weight.

Many eyeballs must have bugged out, including those in the head of Patrick Fitzgerald, when the venerable newspaper called for his resignation.  Fitzgerald is the federal prosecutor who was delivered a stunning loss in court in the case his team brought against the former governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich.

Yesterday, Blagojevich was convicted on just a single count stemming from a question and answer session with the feds five years ago and completely unrelated to those much publicized corruption charges he smeared the governor with a super-sensational news conference nearly two years ago.

Fitzgerald announcing that his office will re-try Blagojevich, prompted  this harsh reaction from the  ‘Wall Street Journal’ which called on Fitzgerald to resign or be fired.

:If Mr. Fitzgerald doesn’t resign of his own accord, the Justice Department should remove him,” the paper writes.

(Read the entire ‘Wall Street Journal’ editorial)

Here’s a sample of the editorial:

A more triumphant outcome might have been expected judging by Mr. Fitzgerald’s bravura press conference two years ago, which he held following a pre-dawn arrest at the Blagojevich home. Then, the U.S. Attorney spoke of “what we can only describe as a political corruption crime spree” and accused Blagojevich of “the most appalling conduct” that would have “Lincoln roll over in his grave.” It was “a truly new low,” Mr. Fitzgerald told the world.

A truly new low would truly be something in Chicago politics, where money and power seem to be especially fungible. But even Chicago politicians deserve the full and fair protection of the law, while the Fitzgerald method is to abuse the legal process to poison media and public opinion against high-profile, unsympathetic political targets.

As the former Justice Department lawyer Victoria Toensing noted in these pages at the time, Mr. Fitzgerald violated prosecutorial ethics by speaking “beyond the four corners of the complaint,” to use the criminal law vernacular for the facts at issue, thus possibly tainting the jury pool.

But then, this was merely one of Mr. Fitzgerald’s extrajudicial public declarations. Another notable episode occurred during his pursuit (as special prosecutor) of former Vice Presidential chief of staff Scooter Libby in the Valerie Plame affair. At a 2005 press conference, Mr. Fitzgerald implied that Mr. Libby had obstructed his investigation into who leaked the former CIA analysts’s name, even though he knew from the start that the real “leaker” was Richard Armitage.

Then there was the railroading of Conrad Black, the conservative newspaper baron who was convicted in 2007 using the infinitely malleable “honest services” fraud law. The Supreme Court junked much of that law earlier this year, leading to Mr. Black’s release from prison. The jury had earlier dismissed nine of the 13 charges Mr. Fitzgerald filed.

This pattern points to a willful prosecutor who throws an exaggerated book at unpopular defendants and hopes at least one of the charges will stick, even as he flouts due process and the presumption of innocence when the political winds are high. If Mr. Fitzgerald doesn’t resign of his own accord, the Justice Department should remove him—especially after such other recent examples of prosecutorial bad faith or bad judgment involving Blackwater contractors in Iraq, the forgotten backdating accounting scandal and the late Senator Ted Stevens.

Prosecutors have vowed to retry Blagojevich this fall on the other 23 mistrial counts. But if he really is guilty, then incompetence alone is grounds for Mr. Fitzgerald’s removal.

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