Collapse of Mainstream News Media Continues

Collapse of Mainstream News Media Continues
By RAY HANANIA
Southwest News-Herald Newspaper Friday, March 15, 2013

Carol Marin is no Mike Royko. But she does make a bundle of cash, far more than you or I, working for a poverty-stricken media company.

Marin represents the cancer that has plagued the news media for decades, a reporter who picks and chooses when ethics is applicable and when it is not.

She uses her column in the Chicago Sun-Times, her commentaries on the ratings-poor WMAQ TV (Channel 5) and the even more obscure WTTW-TV (Channel 11) to help her political friends and sources.

She’ll promote a convicted felon now and then, like one of the county’s worst crooks, Betty Loren-Maltese, because in Marin’s book, ethics and morality are all relative.

If Royko were alive, he’d be pummeling a crook like Loren-Maltese, not protecting her and fighting her enemies as a favor.

Marin turned her back on so many ethical lapses in Cook County politics because she is “friends” with several of the county’s officials, including David Orr, the former reformer — maybe we can call him a “be-former” — who used his office to help his political friends seek office in the Town of Cicero and elsewhere.

Unlike Marin, I disclose my alliances and conflicts openly. I have owned Urban Strategies Group since the 1990s. I manage media for government officials, including clients like the Town of Cicero.

Marin, on the other hand, hides her conflicts in order to promote their interests and gains.

If Royko were alive, he’d be pummeling Carol Marin, and calling her out as a phony.

How is it that Orr can donate money to candidates who he then supports in election campaigns as the head of the elections agency for Cook County? Isn’t it a conflict of interest for the elections chief to be supporting candidates and then offering rulings criticizing their enemies?

The County Clerk’s office should be shut down and Orr’s elective office should be eliminated. Instead, it should operate like the Chicago Election Board, which is appointed by the judicial system.

Someone needs to revamp the election system that allows people to lie and perjure themselves so easily, such as claiming they qualify as candidates by merely renting an apartment, and then just as quickly return to their real homes in other communities outside the jurisdiction of the offices they sought and lost?

Marin and others like her complain about nepotism — the hiring of relatives — but they are silent about nepotism abuses in the media itself, and in communities where they live. If nepotism is wrong, shouldn’t the state legislature ban it?

Believe me if that happened, the outcry wouldn’t come from the communities targeted by Marin, but by the communities she and others protect.

Carol Marin has attacked me personally many times. But I won’t be bullied by a hypocrite who hides behind her media empire in order to engage in hypocritical politics.

Fortunately, the media where she works is a dying industry. Her newspaper is a decrepit venture, so different from what it was when I worked there and actually covered City Hall – unlike Marin, a TV talking head who based her reports on what she read in my daily stories.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist and media consultant. Follow him on Twitter at @rayhanania.) — City & Suburban News-Herald



Categories: Chicagoland Topics, journalism

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