Incumbent Media Asleep at The Wheel During Primary Coverage
I think we Chicagoans were witnesses to the beginning of the end of the credibility of local Main Stream Media in Chicago last night. Since when does the news media get to choose who is going to be the states elected officials? This whole election cycle the Chicago media seemed to have singled out their favorites by who they chose to cover. They kept calling Jim Ryan, Kirk Dillard and Andy McKenna the big three. Why? Because they were so far ahead of the others in the race? Did recent polling show that these three were uncatchable? No there was no recent polling, the poll all of the media referred to last night for the Republicans was over 2 weeks old. 5 points separated the top 5 candidates on the GOP side.
How about this, at the end of the election night they went to a candidate who was in third place and out of the running and let him declare he would continue the race until tomorrow so he could go home, What is that? Because that’s where their cameras were?
Not once did the Chicago media cover the Republican winners camp! They kept going to where they had a camera and asking that candidate there to claim victory. First it was Jim Ryan then Andy McKenna, even though the camps were thousands of votes behind! The Chicago media was caught with their pants down. They had no idea who was going to win, they kept referring to polling from 2 weeks before that had nothing to do with the outcome. As it turned out this was a race to the end. It was so close that no winner was declared before all of the networks finished coverage well after midnight. The final results might not be known for weeks! I think one of the reasons Senator Dillard is slow to concede is the encouragement the media gave him.
On the GOP side if the media would have given coverage to all of the candidates instead of anointing the ones they knew, people might have taken more of an interest. This was a historic race because of the low turnout. Could that be because the media showed no interest and were parroting what some campaign told them was happening instead of investigating and doing their work. How can the media in this day and age be caught so unprepared? None of the networks sent a camera to any of the other campaigns but the “big three”. Bill Brady ended up the night with the most votes and Adam Andrzejewski, was in this race yet nobody would hear their speeches. Instead the public had to hear that
Dillard was going to maybe come from behind or should come from behind.
The Democratic side of the Governors race was covered at every campaign stop in the last few weeks because it was going to be close. Quinn won by over 5000 votes Brady by 500 yet the other GOP candidates were not important enough or apparently close enough to get more than a mention in the last few weeks. Even when Brady was surging and had taken the lead, the news teams were trying to shape their stories to fit their template by allowing the losers to tell the people of Illinois that the race wasn’t over. This election has shown without a doubt that the Chicago media is a tool of the Democratic party and is one of the reasons this is a one party city and now state.
Adam Andrzejewski brought in a true historical figure who had never endorsed anyone before in Lech Walesa and yet not a mention not that Lech was in town or as to why he was in town. Yet there was the media following the Democrats in churches documenting the reaction to a commercial that featured Harold Washington from 20 years ago. Chicago is supposedly a world class city; the people who live here deserve better from the media than what they have been exposed too this election cycle. It was an embarrassment.
Jim Leahy is regular contributor to the Chicago Daily Observer. He was a field organizer for the Adam Andrzejewski campaign.