One of the biggest battles raging in the country is the nature and integrity of the American media.
Can the media be trusted? Are the reporters and editors honest?
There is probably no better place to address this question than in Chicago. The reason is that the press in Chicago has enjoyed an almost absolute freedom in the last few decades to publish an anti-police ideology as if it is news, ignoring any facts and evidence that contradict this platform.
Their conduct has caused immeasurable damage.
Examples of the media’s absolute power in Chicago, and their potential dishonesty, emerge on an almost daily basis. A February 21 column by Sun Times writer Mark Brown about police accountability is a prime example.
In his column, Brown dusts off the tired clichés about police corruption and uses them to justify and explain the bizarre attempts by a coalition in the city to lean on Mayor Emanuel in the next contract with the Fraternal Order of Police:
A coalition of groups concerned with police accountability are teaming with the City Council’s Black Caucus to pressure Mayor Rahm Emanuel to publicly endorse specific changes in police union contracts to make it easier to investigate officers.
The Coalition for Accountability in Police Contracts — which includes ACLU of Illinois and the Better Government Association among others — has drawn up a list of 14 recommendations it wants to see recognized in new police contracts.
These include everything from removing the requirement that citizens sign sworn affidavits when making complaints against police officers to removing restrictions on the use of past disciplinary records in the investigation of current complaints.
Blue Voice Candidate For President Kevin Graham
So the coalition Brown touts in his column as “concerned with police accountability” wants anyone in the public to have the same freedom that the media in Chicago now enjoys: to make any accusation against the police without fear of accountability, and then be able to use these complaints as a basis for further investigation of current complaints.
In other words, Brown gives uncontested column space to a coalition that promotes a system whereby any police officer can be falsely accused at any time and there will be no legal recourse to stymie such false accusations.
Only in Chicago could such ludicrous, patently unfair policies be disseminated, unquestioned, by a newspaper columnist. But this is nothing new for Brown and his Sun Times. Their publication of an anti-police narrative stands as an icon of activist journalism, of journalists betraying their obligation to pursue the truth in favor of selling an ideology.
How can these “police accountability” policies help the citizens in the Chicago neighborhoods most in need of ending the vicious gang violence that has exploded in the last few years?
There is one crucial reason Brown and other Chicago journalists can so easily control the narrative about police in Chicago: The union that represents the police, the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) under current president Dean Angelo, has refused to take the media on and confront them for their bias and deception.
While Brown and his media cohorts have effectively intimidated every city institution with their incessant anti-police hysteria, and when Brown now gives more space to policies by which any citizen can manufacture lies in an effort to attack the police, scores of police officers have been falsely accused. Many have been stripped of their police powers and some have even been falsely charged with crimes.
In his column, Brown ignores the fact that complaints against the police decreased by two thirds after signing an affidavit became state law. This massive decrease is a clear indication that many of the complaints were false.
Now Brown writes a column about ending this policy. Does Brown miss the good old days that required accountability from those filing complaints against the police?
What is really happening in Chicago is that the anti-police media has made policing almost impossible, as evidenced by the shocking rise in violent crime, and all the while Brown promotes agencies like the Better Government Association who prattle on about police accountability.
What about accountability in the media and in the anti-police movement within the city?
Has Brown, for example, written anything about what’s happening in the criminal case against Chicago Police Commander Glenn Evans, charged two years ago with nine felony counts after arresting a gang member? The judge in the case acquitted Evans, saying the allegations against him by the gang member were ludicrous. A chilling defense theory by Evans’ lawyer pointed to a frame-up job against Evans by the agency that investigates police misconduct, IPRA. Now Evans has filed a massive lawsuit against IPRA and the media.
Commander Glenn Evans
You won’t find Brown devoting any space in his column to this story, nor will you find him or his fellow journalists digging through the mountains of evidence from an Inspector General investigation that could support Evans’ claim. Nor will you find Brown demanding an investigation into the IPRA investigators accused of misconduct in building their case against Evans.
No, for Brown and many journalists in Chicago, when a cop is accused, it’s a green light to start digging into the officer’s past. But when some individual, even a career criminal, or some agency is accused of misconduct against the police, even against a commander who enjoyed widespread support in the community, Brown has nothing to say.
You see, in Chicago, if evidence arises that contradicts the media’s anti-police narrative, the media merely ignores it.
And what about Northwestern University, accused in a lawsuit of framing an innocent man in an effort to spring a guilty man from prison? It’s the infamous Anthony Porter saga, which seems to reveal more evidence every month of corruption in the wrongful conviction movement, going back decades and spanning several cases.
The coverage of the Anthony Porter case that resulted in Porter being exonerated in 1999 stands as some of the greatest corruption in the history of American journalism. Without the cheerleading of Chicago’s anti-police media, Anthony Porter could likely never have been exonerated, and an innocent man could not have been accused of his murder. And as the evidence unfolds of just how bad the conduct of the media was in this case, “journalists” like Brown remain silent.
Isn’t that what you call a “code of silence”?
And then what about the release of Howard Morgan from prison?
Morgan was charged with four counts of Attempted Murder of four police officers, three of whom were shot. After eight years and two trials, Morgan was finally convicted and sentenced to forty years in prison. Then, moments before Governor Pat Quinn left office, he commuted the sentence of Morgan and let him out of prison.
A man convicted of trying to murder four police officers during a traffic stop in 2005, three of the officers wounded, just walked out of prison.
Brown and other Chicago media looked into it, right? They checked out why Quinn would make such a decision?
<Insert crickets chirping here>
Is it any wonder public trust in the national media sunk to its lowest ever last year, as recorded in a Gallup poll, published at www.gallup.com:
Americans' trust and confidence in the mass media "to report the news fully, accurately and fairly" has dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history, with 32% saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media. This is down eight percentage points from last year. Is there any doubt that Chicago’s media reputation would be much lower?
How much lower is confidence in the media in Chicago, a place where the media is clearly out of control?
It’s time for the FOP to take on Chicago’s media machine. It’s time there was a new voice for the police and for the citizens suffering under the exploding gang violence in the city.
It’s time for a Blue Voice.
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