by Michael Dymmoch
Friday, March 21, 2008
A week ago, members of The Outfit participated in Mayor Daley’s program to announce the latest One Book One Chicago selection. Library Board members were present; three of us from the outfit; the Budlong Woods Branch manager and his staff; as well as cameras from all the local commercial media—2, 5, 7, 9 and Fox.
The Mayor spoke briefly and from the heart about the importance of reading and of libraries before announcing The Book--Raymond’s Chandler’s The Long Goodbye. Sean Chercover then gave a brief explanation of why Chandler’s novel was a brilliant choice, combining literary skill with (still!) relevant social issues. (Reprinted in its entirety in Libby’s Blog for March 15, 2008) The program lasted about half an hour and was followed by a brief photo session.
In spite of the importance of literacy to solving our national and local issues, the media devoted more time hourly to advertising its upcoming coverage of the Obama-Rezco connection (pretty much a made up story, since—apparently—no laws were broken) than it did all night to the city’s brilliant initiative.
Channel 7 spent 20 seconds on One Book One Chicago during the 6 o’clock news; Channel 5, 15 seconds on the 10 o’clock news. If the other stations mentioned the announcement at all, I missed it.
All of which seems emblematic of the irrelevance of commercial “news” media—shills for the crap hucksters are pushing disguised as information.