Saturday, August 20, 2005

News Flash: WTTW locates Cook County GOP Chairman Skoien— puts him on TV this Sunday

Two weeks ago, I complained [See here] that Chicago Tonight ["CT"] has had numerous City of Chicago mopes, uh- I mean alderman-- on the show during the preceeding days and weeks, saying the same boring stuff—“Don’t give up our aldermanic patronage—even though we don’t have it, we’d like it.” The City of Chicago mopes, uh- I mean alderman—were about as interesting and predictable as watching the paint dry. Corruption all around the Mayor and the mopes, uh- I mean adlerman had hardly a word to say about it. Of course, the Mayor has appointed 40% of the mopes, uh- I mean Chicago adlerman, so that could have something to do with their docile, forgiving attitude when it comes to City Hall corruption.

The Cook County Republicans, who are often criticized by the mainstream media pundits for being non-entities when it comes to standing up to Democratic corruption, elected, as its Chairman, not a mope, but somebody, "Gary Skoien," who is good “copy,” and who spoke out about the Chicago public corruption. And, Chicago’s Public TV station did what? Well, this was my complaint:

This is really amazing. Gary Skoien makes the now famous statement about offering $10,000 for information [note no mention of a “bounty,”] about corruption leading to the conviction of the Mayor and then “is fired,” from one of his two executive level jobs, as a result of making that statement. And, Chicago Tonight, as of 9:00 pm Wednesday night, still had not called Skoien to appear on CT.

But, the power of the pen is mighty and the power of the blog even mightier. Earlier this week, no doubt as a result of my rant, Cook County GOP Chairman Skoien was invited to be on Chicago Sunday [“CS”], Ch. 11’s [WTTW, Public TV] new effort which, appropriately enough, airs every Sunday at 12:30 pm, Ch. 11 in the Metropolitan Chicago area.

Hosted by Phil Ponce, CS is a half hour three segment Sunday quickie, patterned somewhat after Antonio Mora’s [CBS-2] Sunday evening Eye on Chicago, which was patterned after Ch. 11’s new [in 2002] Chicago Tonight-- which was patterned after a somewhat high brow or high tone version of the 5:00 pm local news shows. In short, the Local news shows led to CS, which either demonstrates Intelligent Design or evolution or both—because clearly CS is preferred to any local news show—Ch. 2, 5, 7, 9, 32 or whatever.

In any case, CS usually leads with a political/public policy segment, followed by two artsy/craftsy segments, as we used to call them in the olden days. So, I imagine the lead segment is where you will find Skoien questioned by Ponce. Will they be softballs? Or curves, sinkers and spitters. Who knows? But, take a [look at the end of this blog post] for some of my suggested questions and let’s see how Phil does. Let me know what you think or write Phil Ponce, if you prefer.

A small criticism. If CS tapes the interview on a different day than it airs [as it did with Skoien], shouldn’t it let the viewer know that. It is easy to do with a graphic at the beginning, end or throughout the show [as C-Span does]. On, “Public Affairs,” I start the show by stating when the show is being taped and then it is noted in a closing graphic. To omit such a disclosure is both deceptive to the viewer and unfair to the guest—and I would think is contrary to good journalism. Moreover, CT has started to air re-runs of CS segments without telling the viewers—more deception? And, of course, the interview date deception is even more so when they do that, don’t you agree? Please let me know.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at