Thursday, February 19, 2009

Senator Burris’ Magical Mystery Tour visits the City Club of Chicago

A Day in the Life of Roland

Senator Roland Burris (D- IL) spoke at the City Club of Chicago yesterday, concluding the session with what can only be described as yet another bizarre Day in the Life of the Magical Mystery Tour of Senator (Tombstone) Burris.

A media ringer in the audience

Burris was introduced by Chicago Ald. Ed Burke (powerful Chairman of the Finance Committee) with some very kind words. Senator Burris’ remarks included some commentary about life as a Senator, as well as a general defense of his conduct in the time period leading up to Burris’ appointment by former Governor Rod Blagojevich to the U. S. Senate. After his remarks, Senator Burris answered questions from those in attendance, exclusive of media, except for Berkowitz, who sneaked one in. The questions were all submitted in writing and read out loud by the moderator, Paul Green, an urbane, amiable Roosevelt University Professor who holds a Ph. D. in political science from the University of Chicago. [For more details of Burris' City Club of Chicago remarks and the context of the current Burris controversy, go here]. [For some sharp insights as to where Burris went wrong, go here].
Moderator Paul Green: This question to close comes from no one other than the famous Jeff Berkowitz [who asks], “Was it wrong of you to solicit funds for Rod Blagojevitch at the same time he was considering you for the Senate.”

Earth to Burris-- Call your office

Senator Roland Burris [D-IL]: I was, I was, I was never considered for the Senate. I was never considered by the Senate. [Ed. Note: Whoa, what could this possibly mean? Does this response raise a competency issue [or defense] for Burris, as some have suggested.]

Jeff Berkowitz: At the time [Blago] was thinking about appointing you to the U. S. Senate, you said you tried to solicit funds [for him]—you may not have been successful—

Senator Burris: No, no, no. As I said, in my statement, we will not make any responses to those type of questions. I said it in my statement and we are not making any responses to that question, thank you.

Moderator Paul Green: With that, we are done. Thank you all very much.

Who said what?

Oddly, when CBS-2 News and Chicago Tonight [WTTW] (and perhaps others) aired the above segment, they did so without the Paul Green opening line, without, that is, indicating that the question came from Berkowitz, not Green. Why would they do it that way? Who knows-- The MSM seem to have a penchant for being inaccurate and not transparent? Yup, that would seem to be the explanation. Alternatively, as in Paul’s oft-used line on Mad About You to explain the trials and tribulations of Paul, “They are bastards, they hate me and they are out to get me.” Yup, that works, too.

The odd couple: Kass-Berkowitz

However, Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass doesn’t seem to mind getting attributions right. See here. That must be because Kass knows that if you are going to make a career out of going after the Combine, you've got something in common with Berkowitz. Or, vice-versa. Clearly, they both have Senator Burris' number.
Recently posted shows on the Public Affairs YouTube page include shows with 5th Cong. Dist. Democratic Primary candidate Tom Geoghegan, 5th Cong. Dist. Democratic Primary Candidate and State Rep. John Fritchey (D-Chicago), 5th Cong. Dist. Democratic Primary Candidate Charles Wheelan, State Senator Kwame Raoul on impeachment(D-Chicago), Democratic political campaign consultant Pete Giangreco on Blago's impeachment and the way in which the Obama Administration will operate, a recent Bill O'Reilly segment w/Berkowitz on Obama and many additional shows.