Tribune, Meisner Hit New Low
That the Chicago Tribune would run the story by reporter Jason Meisner about Commander Paul Bauer being part of a chase of offenders who struck and killed a pregnant woman more than a decade earlier may be a mystery to some members of the community, but not to police and prosecutors.
The reason is that police and prosecutors are accustomed to the intense antipathy the Tribune bears toward them.
But the question remains: The point of publishing this event, long settled, in connection with Commander Bauer’s tragic murder is exactly what?
Another event took place on Wednesday that further illuminates the intensity of bias against police at the Tribune. It was in the courtroom of Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Flood at 26th and California, where the sentencing hearing of Bernard Williams, who murdered Chicago Police Officer David Blake in 2010 in an off-duty premeditated shooting, was taking place.
David Blake’s first cousin read a victim impact statement, citing the fact that the death penalty is no longer an option for Williams.
Now here is something worthy of the Tribune bringing up from the past for a current story.
The death penalty is no longer on the table in Illinois in large part because of the Tribune. The newspaper embraced the narrative of a false exoneration in 1999 based on allegations of police misconduct. It was this exoneration that played a pivotal role in compelling Governor Ryan to place a moratorium on executions in 2003.
The evidence is now overwhelming that the Tribune got this story, at the very least, completely wrong. The paper refused to face this evidence and account for it. It refused to investigate the conduct of the Tribune writers in this period, instead relentlessly beating the drum of police misconduct in numerous other cases that now appear as suspicious as this 1999 case.
The death penalty in Illinois ended not through a reasoned debate on the floor of the Illinois Congress, nor in some referendum voted on by citizens. It ended because the Tribune championed a ludicrous narrative that can no longer withstand the evidence.
One of the Tribune’s reporters, Megan Crepeau, attended the sentencing hearing of Williams. Too bad Crepeau or any other reporter at the Tribune didn’t want to bring up these past events in their stories.
The Trib’s anti-police bias is a kind of mania, revealed over the last three decades, all the way up to this story about Commander Bauer published even before his family has attended the funeral.
The heroic sense of duty that permeated Commander Bauer’s entire career, including his death, is something altogether lacking in the newsroom at the Tribune.
Nevertheless, it would be a rare act of decency for the reporters there to hold off returning to their daily attacks on the police until the funeral of this courageous police officer takes place.