It always happens! Just when I start thinkin’ the Chicago Tribune has finally gotten a handle on the whole journalism thing, they manage to disappoint me faster than an Arizona legislator doing his damndest to define the word “discrimination.”
If you manage to drink enough coffee, you may be able to slog through one of his pieces, but when was the last time John Kass actually wrote anything about the city of Chicago? Beard transplants? Really?
Either Chicago is no longer the nation’s murder capital or they’ve simply run out of serious things to write about because the Tribune has turned to attacking U.S. Senate candidate Jim Oberweis for speeding tickets! You heard me – speeding tickets.
And it took three separate reporters to come up with the patently absurd notion that our current State Senator personally hiked the Illinois interstate limit just so he would accrue fewer than one moving violation every 2.36 years.
Shades of Woodward and Bernstein!
First and foremost, picking on the plucky politician has already been done, and done, and done, and done, to the point of being overdone. I should know because I’ve probably done it more than anyone else, but at least I know where to draw the line.
And if anyone’s gonna have fun with Kane County’s perpetual candidate, it’s gonna be me because I actually do my homework. It’s kinda like the big brother who generally picks on his siblings but beats the crap out of anyone else who dares try it.
So yes! Amassing eleven speeding tickets since 1988, two for going 20 over the limit in a 40 mph zone in 2012, tends to give one the impression that Jim has lead foot. He also seems to have a slight problem with red lights and stop signs, but so bleepin’ what!
While I might not want to find myself within a four block radius of his vehicle, this mild imperfection hardly rises to the level of wasting ours and three reporters’ time. And what really frosts my cookies is, either these reporters knew the truth and ignored it, or worse, they didn’t know the truth and rendered themselves generally incompetent.
Because whenever a freshman legislator heads down to the state capitol for the first time, they’re typically handed a bill that’s been making the Springfield rounds, but hasn’t been able to gain any traction. It’s a reasonable method of providing the necessary “how a bill becomes law” experience.
To wit, the 70 mph highway speed limit that Mr. Oberweis sponsored has been bandied about and left languishing in the Illinois legislature for years. It’s certainly nothing new – 34 states have 70+ limits – and attempting to connect Jim’s driving record to its passage is contemptible journalism at best and something we can’t mention in a family blog at worst.
Not only that but, having performed my own research, I came up with about half as many Oberweis speeding tickets in that same time frame. So much for accuracy and journalistic integrity.
So now the Tribune’s sunk to running exposés on politicians’ traffic tickets? Holy crap! If the worst thing Mike Madigan ever did was 10 or 20 over the limit I’d be a hell of a lot happier. What’s next? Timmy took Mikey’s lunch money at Drummond Elementary School last Thursday?
That oughtta take three or four reporters.
Messrs. Kern and Dold; here’s a thought. Instead of going after an easy and often abused target, why isn’t the Tribune explaining how a guy, who just derailed a promising gubernatorial campaign with a same-sexual harassment charge, somehow landed a $107,000 a year job with the Cook County Recorder of Deeds.
Allow me to lend a hand. Hey Rahm! Nice job! Though Mr. Rutherford certainly helped the Mayor out by handling that accusation about as well as Paula Deen did hers.
The bottom line? With the exception of Steve Chapman, please stop reading the Chicago Tribune because it only encourages them. When you consider the “merit” of this “story,” that’s the last thing anyone should be doing.
At least there’s some solace in all this. The Tribune can’t sink much lower.