Chicago's Bloodthirsty Media
The Chicago media advocated the requirement that cops should wear body cameras. It will provide clarity on police use of brutal force, they said.
The media got the cameras, and last week those cameras captured a textbook legitimate shooting of a man trying to pull out his gun on police officers who were trying to stop him because they spotted the pistol at his side.
It didn’t matter how legitimate the shooting was. The media gave full voice to any claim, any suggestion, that the shooting was not justified. There was not a murmur about the officers on the scene, what it is like to take the life of anyone, including a man trying to pull a gun on them.
The response of the media illuminates a truth: an almost bloodthirsty desire by the Chicago media to attack the police and the criminal justice system. This frenzy against the police takes place almost every time officers use their weapons, every time they are accused.
Consider the two-year coverage of Officer Robert Rialmo’s 2015 shooting of a bat-wielding suspect that also tragically killed a bystander. Though detectives, the superintendent, and experts reviewed the shooting and ruled it justified, Dan Hinkel of the Tribune waged a relentless attack on Rialmo and the department. Hinkel ignored key developments in the case, like the fact that civilian investigators hired out-of-state third parties to investigate the case. He also ignored the evidence that these civilian investigators tried to hide these third parties from legal and public view.
Utterly absent from Hinkel’s coverage was any recognition that the shooting imposed a great personal toll upon the officer. Instead, everything in Hinkel’s coverage seemed intent on vilifying Rialmo, everything he wrote betrayed an intense malevolence against Rialmo.
Another powerful sign of Chicago’s bloodthirsty war on the police is their alliance with law firms and political groups with a long history of attacking the police. In this alliance, the local media has agreed to ignore massive evidence that offenders who have been exonerated at the behest of these attorneys and activists are in fact guilty of the rapes and murders for which they were originally charged.
A host of the most vicious crimes imaginable, from a 1987 arson that killed seven people to the 1994 rape and murder of a young woman in the basement of a South Side apartment building, all cry out for legitimate, independent journalism. But the local media refuses, obsessed with only the often bizarre and unsubstantiated claims of incriminatory police allegations that arise from these cases.
Another egregious sign of the media’s bloodthirsty antipathy to the police reveals itself in their willingness to ignore the clear malevolence and bias of the most prolific anti-police activists, even activists and attorneys with a history of supporting violent revolutionaries.
Consider Northwestern University’s decision to give Bernardine Dohrn a teaching position at the university’s law school. Dohrn is a founding member of the Weather Underground, a group formed in the 1970s that advocated violent revolution and set off bombs throughout the country.
Retired FBI agents who investigated Dohrn and her group insist that she was the likely offender in a bombing that took the life of a San Francisco police sergeant in 1970 and badly wounded three other officers. That bombing remains officially unsolved.
At that press conference March 12, directed by activist Cliff Kincaid of America’s Survival Inc., the leaders of the San Francisco Police Officers’ Association made public a letter pointing a finger at Ayers and Dohrn that demanded those responsible for the bombing be brought to justice.
“There are irrefutable and compelling reasons to believe that Bill Ayers and his wife Bernardine Dohrn are largely responsible for the bombing of Park Police Station,” the officers stated in the letter.
While the media is always willing to embrace three-decades-old claims of wrongful conviction by the police, try finding one local journalist who will explore the fantastical transformation of a once-radical bomb thrower accused of killing a police officer into a teacher of social justice at a prominent university.
The media outside Chicago is willing to do so.
From American Spectator:
In fact, Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, were radical Marxist revolutionaries in the Vietnam War era. They were founders of the Weather Underground, a violent terrorist arm of Students for a Democratic Society. Both were eventually indicted in federal court, and Dohrn by the State of Illinois. Rather than face a trial they jumped bail and disappeared into the underground in 1970. After they resurfaced 11 years later, both were admitted into the halls of academia. Ayers became a Distinguished Professor of Education and a Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois–Chicago. Incredibly, Dohrn became a law professor at Northwestern.
The American Spectator has developed information that demonstrates, without any doubt, that Ayers and Dohrn have spent a lifetime advocating and practicing the strategies and tactics of Marxism. That includes the violent overthrow of the United States government. It also involves treasonous cooperation with revolutionary Communist governments in China, North Vietnam, and Cuba during the 1960s and ’70s and, until the fall of the Eastern Bloc, governments in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. But unlike many of their compatriots from those days of violence and turmoil, Ayers and Dohrn are completely unrepentant about their past activities. To this day, they continue to support destruction of the American free enterprise system and its replacement with a Marxist utopia.
Northwestern has been accused in a federal lawsuit of trumping up misconduct allegations against the police to free convicted killers. The university settled that case.
Nor will the local journalists mention the fact that another wrongful conviction law firm, the People’s Law Office, has deep ties to Dohrn and her Weather Underground brethren. Witnesses have claimed that the PLO was working with Dohrn when she was on the run. Likewise, the journalists do not mention the other accused violent revolutionary groups the PLO has represented, like the Black Panthers or the FALN terrorists.
It goes on and on.
In 2010 prominent wrongful conviction attorney Kathleen Zellner was representing the family members of a man shot by a police officer. That officer was overwhelmed by the pressure of a lawsuit against him for the shooting.
From the Chicago Tribune:
But the . . . lawsuit would have fallout that no one—not the city, the attorney suing him and certainly not [the officer’s] family—could have predicted. On July 8, 2014, two weeks after giving a deposition in the case, the officer, 33, hanged himself in his Chicago apartment.
In extended interviews with the Tribune over the last month, the [family of the officer] offered a rare glimpse at the mental toll such lawsuits can take on police officers, explaining how [the officer’s] stress mounted and his worry deepened in the final two weeks of his life. After talking to city attorneys, it became clear to [the officer] that his life—not to mention his friends and family—would come under the microscope in ways he had not imagined, his family said.
That same attorney, Kathleen Zellner, is now arguing that a man, Nevest Coleman, convicted of raping and murdering a woman in 1994, is innocent, the victim of police coercion, though the victim was last seen with Coleman and was discovered dead in his basement. Zellner is an attorney in the federal lawsuit against the detectives who worked the case, detectives who still maintain Coleman was involved in the crime.
Sun-Times “investigative reporters” Tim Novak and Robert Herguth went to the home of Dina Markham two years after her husband had died in what investigators declared was a suicide. They had a bombshell announcement for Markham. They told her an FBI investigation was underway about her husband’s death.
From the Sun-Times:
On May 22, Sun-Times reporters went to Dina Markham’s house and asked whether she was aware the FBI and inspector general were looking into her husband’s death. She said she wasn’t aware.
So already dealing with her husband’s death, two reporters show up out of nowhere and tell Dina Markham that she is being investigated by the FBI.
A few days later, Markham was found dead in her bathtub in what was originally thought to be a suicide, but then was changed to an accidental death:
On the day she was found dead in the bathtub of her Northwest Side home, Chicago police Officer Dina Markham sent a desperate, predawn text message to a friend.
“Help. Please . . . no kidding,” read the message sent just after 4 a.m. on May 28, according to investigative reports made public Monday. . . .
Autopsy reports provided to the Tribune on Monday show the Cook County medical examiner's office has ruled Markham, 47, died of an accidental drowning after consuming a dangerous mix of alcohol and the powerful anti-anxiety drug alprazolam, commonly sold under the brand name Xanax.
With such a tragic outcome, there was nothing from the reporters or the Sun-Times that would question their decision to confront Markham in such a manner, no sign of regret about their tactics.
All of these cases illuminate a local media in Chicago that sees itself not as a key player in the checks and balances of a functioning republic, but instead as a destructive force against the status quo. The journalists in Chicago seem to see themselves as activists, and that is exactly what they are.
As part of this activism, the media not only ignore evidence contradicting their narratives manufactured before the facts are established, but engage in a campaign to discredit those who challenge it.
In Chicago, it’s always 1984.
Now the Chicago media is virtually salivating over the prospect of imposing a consent decree upon the police department to the cheering adulation of radical, anti-police groups like Black Lives Matter. This consent decree, rejected by President Trump’s Department of Justice only to be resurrected by state and city officials largely in the back pocket of the anti-police movement, would put control of the police department in the hands of a special monitor with deep ties to the anti-police movement. Certainly there will be more oversight policies emerging in a consent decree that will undermine policing. Certainly there will be more violence, more careers of good cops destroyed.
True to form, the local media recently pushed the consent decree as an inevitability in the city, ignoring the fact that the Fraternal Order of Police has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit that would give life to the consent decree. The FOP has solid footing to do so, one reason the media has ignored covering the motion and exploring the legal arguments behind it.
For three decades the Chicago media has built a claim of police conspiracies against accused criminals. Now it is time to consider what many cops have argued for just as long: there is a powerful media conspiracy in Chicago, a menacing, bloodthirsty one.
The rest of the country should pay attention, particularly the feds, for this movement is ambitious and shameless.