Anatomy of a manufactured hit piece
Monday, Dec 19, 2011
* A Wall Street Journal editor named Allysia Finley manufactured a nasty little hit piece about Illinois over the weekend…
* Why do I use the word “manufactured”? Because this was a setup from the beginning. I’m told that the WSJ editor called one of the resolution’s sponsors last week and asked if he could help her find somebody to quote.
You’d think that if this resolution was as popular as Rep. Mitchell claims it is, he could’ve found dozens of people to spill their guts about why they hate Cook County.
Instead, Ms. Finley was apparently sent somebody who could be relied upon to supply the sort of quotes that she wanted. And they came up with a politically active state employee whose wife works for Rep. Mitchell. I kid you not.
* Curtis E. Wooters works for the Illinois Department of Corrections as a stationary engineer at an annual salary of $112,000. I think that might answer his question about why anyone would want to live here. Also, I would assume that if Chicago and Cook County were to split off into a separate state, they’d want to build their own prisons, which would mean lots of highly-paid Downstate Corrections’ employees would be out of jobs. But he was never asked about those holes in his arguments because that wouldn’t suit the WSJ’s Finley.
There’s also a Melissa Wooters of Findlay, IL listed who works for the Illinois House of Representatives. She makes $32,440.16 a year working for Rep. Bill Mitchell, the resolution’s main sponsor. Ms. Wooters is, I’m told, married to Curtis Wooters.
And a Curtis E. Wooters of Findlay filed an objection to the petitions submitted by Rep. Adam Brown’s opponent. Rep. Brown is a co-sponsor of the secession legislation. Curtis E. Wooters, it turns out, is a Republican precinct committeeman…
So, the couple has a combined household income of over $144,000 a year, supplied by the taxpayers of all Illinois counties, including Cook, but the husband wants Cook gone and wants everybody to leave Illinois if he doesn’t get what he wants. Hey, that’s his right. I have no problem with his beliefs, no matter how contradictory. It’s Finley I have a problem with.
* Come to think of it, this is almost comical. It’s lazy quote shopping run amok. But, of course, it’s the bad ol’ bloggers we have to worry about because bloggers have no editors. Finley is an editor at the Wall Street Journal, and this is the crud we get. Garbage in, garbage out as they say.
Ms. Finley kinda sorta tried to redeem herself at the end of her column by saying that the Republicans ought to focus on winning the suburbs. But what she doesn’t say is that resolutions like this aimed directly at Cook County will only reinforce the suburban notion that Downstaters can be more than a little odd.
* Also, speaking of that resolution, Reps. Mitchell and Brown have just two co-sponsors for their legislation, even though it was introduced about a month ago. The two House members are getting lots of state and national media coverage for what is obviously little more than a stunt. And James Krohe makes a good point at the end of his most recent column…