Wednesday, March 08, 2006

WTTW fumbles Again: Mangling the State Treasurer's Debate

Slightly revised at 11:00 am on Wednesday.

WTTW's Chicago Tonight [airing on Ch. 11 in the Chicago Metro Area] reached a new low tonight in its ability to handle politics and public policy well and fairly. Whoever sent Eddie Arruza out to handle a discussion with the two Democratic candidates for State Treasurer probably should be hanged. Arruza had little idea what he was doing and neither did whoever gave him the questions and research. Somebody at WTTW [one of two Chicago Public TV stations in the Chicago Metro area] ought to know this is going to happen before it happens and not do that to Eddie.

Second, the left bias was obvious and painful to watch. Think about it, when you show up at WTTW and you are either to the right of the other panelist-candidate or are perceived by WTTW as to the right of the other panelist-candidate, you should be given a card that says “Beware: being on this program is likely to be dangerous to your political health.” This is true even if you have two Democrats on the panel, as you did tonight. Treasurer candidate Alexander [his friends, but not the ballot, call him Alexi] Giannoulias, apparently to the left of Treasurer candidate Paul Mangieri [but probably by not as much as is perceived by Team WTTW], was the beneficiary of tonight's Chicago Tonight left bias.

I will provide some supporting evidence for tonight's bias at WTTW over the next few days. To give you a hint, note how Giannoulias and the viewers are asked to watch Senator Barack Obama's ad endorsing Giannoulias. Giannoulias is probably still saying-- Gee, Eddie, can you ask that one again and again and again and.... And, also, note the Arruza treatment of the abortion/social conservatism issue.

As I indicated, more evidence supporting my assertions of WTTW's left bias on tonight's Chicago Tonight show will follow. However, I wanted to alert readers to their chance chance to see the bias for themselves.
Due to pledge week, the time at which Chicago Tonight is re-run is different from its usual 1:30 am and 4:30 am airing slots: watch it early Wednesday morning [on Ch. 11] at approximately 1:20 am or approximately 5:00 am, or so the WTTW schedule [with my modifications from watching the station] says.

To watch our "Public Affairs," show with Mangieri on your computer, [Go here] and to read a partial transcript of our show with Mangieri and to learn more about the Democratic Treasurer's primary, go here.

Although Mangieri appeared on our show by himself, he was also quite willing to debate his opponent, Giannoulias. Giannoulias, on the other hand, declined several opportunities to debate Mangieri, and then canceled his scheduled solo appearance on "Public Affairs." Giannoulias' confidence in his ability to discuss and debate the issues does not seem to match his bravado, nor the confidence that Senator Obama seems to have in Giannoulias' asset management and fiscal and financial public policy qualifications.
Jeff Berkowitz, Show Host/Producer of "Public Affairs," and Executive Legal Recruiter doing legal search can be reached at