Quick Hits – July 28, 2017

Joe McMahon isn’t disappointed?

Then our Kane County States Attorney is the only one. Because anyone who paid any attention to the Daniel Rak murder trial is beyond disappointed in the State’s Attorney’s Office’s performance. They know:

·         First-degree murder charges should never have been filed

·         The prosecution completely botched this case from start to finish

·         The jury deliberated for less than three hours

·         The prosecution shoulda cut a reasonable deal over a year ago

·         A man needlessly sat in jail for a year-and-a-half

McMahon recently said he had no explanation for why felonies were up in Kane County, but I do. You see, it’s the KCSAO that makes the finally felony charge determination, and with an absentee boss, Joe Cullen’s theory has always been throw to the book at ‘em and let the judge and jury sort it out.


Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon

They’re so busy covering their assess at Peck and Rt. 38 that no one has the courage to do the right thing anymore. And McMahon, who’s generally a good guy but incredibly politically naïve, spends most of his time trying to advance his career at the expense of the Kane County taxpayer.

He wasted months trying to land that Northern Illinois Federal Prosecutor position and now, after telling the county board he needs a number of new hires to do the job, McMahon is devoting all sorts of Kane County resources to prosecuting the LaQuan McDonald case in Cook County.

Perhaps if he actually paid attention to the people who elected him, a man wouldn’t have needlessly spent more than a year in jail.

How do I know McMahon isn’t “disappointed” with the Rak verdict? The Daily Herald’s Harry Hitzeman wrote yet another horrific article in which he gave the State’s Attorney free rein to rehabilitate his shattered image. Hitzeman, who’s widely regarded as a shill for McMahon, didn’t even bother talking to the defense or Daniel Rak.

And I know they would’ve returned his calls.

So, not only does he ignore a gross miscarriage of justice, but Heitzman suddenly decides he’s an opinion columnist, not a reporter who’s required to get all sides of the story. That’s journalism at its best folks!

So, once again, I’m calling on Joe McMahon to resign. He clearly has no interest in serving the people of Kane County.


Death by inches

Considering I wrote for those newspapers for eight long years, there’s a soft sport in my heart for the former Sun-Times suburban newspapers. When the Chicago Tribune bought the Aurora Beacon-News, the Elgin Courier-News, the Naperville Sun and others, Rob Feder and I had a brief email conversation about the Trib actually putting money into those ventures.

But Tronc, as they’re now called (please tell me somebody was drunk that night), has done no such thing.

The result is, there are just four pages of “news” in today’s Beacon-News with the headline consisting of an Aurora Harry Potter festival. Then there’s a mere three pages of local news in the Courier-News.

The Beacon didn’t even bother to cover the Rak acquittal and the Courier-News carried a scant 250 word piece that ran a day late.

So why bother publishing these papers?

I truly feel sorry for the remaining old-school journalists who are being forced to endure this kind of embarrassment. The Tribune needs to either put some cash and effort into these papers or shut them down.


Though the end might be near for the Trib too

If you still get the Sunday Chicago Tribune you’ve probably noticed the same phenomenon I have. No more Sunday ad inserts. Among the missing flyers are:

·         Best Buy

·         Home Depot

·         Lowes

·         Office Depot (they occasionally run one)

·         Sports Authority (out of business)

·         Meijer

·         Carson’s

·         J. C. Penney

·         Kohls (they occasionally run one)

I’m sure there are more that don’t immediately come to mind.

Those ad inserts cost big bucks, so no newspaper can suffer those kinds of losses and somehow survive. And Net ads bring in just 8 to 10 percent of their print counterparts.

So while the major newspapers are trying to put a good face on their accelerating demise, there’s a reason the Sun-Times is hemorrhaging $4.5 million a year. In the end, the survival of print media may well depend on a sponsorship model much like organized labor keeping the Sun-Times afloat.

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