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McKinney resigns from Sun-Times: “I’m convinced this newspaper no longer has the backs of reporters like me”

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014

* The media blackout on the Dave McKinney story has got to end. Right now. Dave just resigned his position as the Sun-Times Statehouse Bureau Chief and posted his resignation letter online

Faced with the Rauner campaign’s ugly attack, Sun-Times Publisher and Editor Jim Kirk immediately told the Rauner campaign that this “assault” on my integrity “border[ed] on defamation” and represented “a low point in the campaign.” In other statements, Kirk called the campaign’s tactic “spurious” and “sexist.”

Yet despite such strong rebukes, two days later, I was yanked from my beat as I reported on a legislative hearing focusing on Gov. Pat Quinn’s botched Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. My reporting for that day was then removed inexplicably from the Sun-Times website.

I was told to go on leave, a kind of house arrest that lasted almost a week. It was pure hell. Kirk told me that his bosses were considering taking me away permanently from the political and Springfield beats. He offered up other potential jobs at the paper, all of which I considered demotions. Because of my unexplained absence from my beat, colleagues started calling, asking if I had been suspended. Or fired.

Through all this, I simply wanted to get back to my beat, but the paper wouldn’t let me. And, Carol [Marin] and I were instructed not to contact you [Michael Ferro, Sun-Times Chairman] or [CEO] Tim Knight about the Rauner campaign’s defamatory allegations.

For guidance, I called Patrick Collins, a former federal prosecutor whose name is synonymous with ethics in Illinois. His involvement brought about an abrupt shift in the company’s tone from penalizing me to reinstating me. Ultimately, the company pledged I could return to the job with “no restrictions.”

Yet, on the first day back, I was advised I shouldn’t have a byline on a LeapSource-related story “right out of the gate” even though it was a legitimate follow-up to our initial story. While later relenting and offering me a contributing byline after I protested, the newspaper had failed an important test: It was not permitting me to do my job the way I had been doing it for almost two decades.

Was all this retaliation for breaking an important news story that had the blessing of the paper’s editor and publisher, the company’s lawyer and our NBC5 partners?

Does part of the answer lie in what Kirk told me – that you couldn’t understand why the LeapSource story was even in the paper?

Days later, the newspaper reversed its three-year, no-endorsement policy and unequivocally embraced the very campaign that had unleashed what Sun-Times management had declared a defamatory attack on me.

Readers of the Sun-Times need to be able to trust the paper. They need to know a wall exists between owners and the newsroom to preserve the integrity of what is published. A breach in that wall exists at the Sun-Times.

It’s had a chilling effect in the newsroom. While I don’t speak for my colleagues, I’m aware that many share my concern. I’m convinced this newspaper no longer has the backs of reporters like me.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

147 Comments
  1. - Jake From Elwood - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:02 pm:

    Another nail in the coffin of the now-mythical independent local newspaper.


  2. - Percival - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:02 pm:

    =The media blackout on the Dave McKinney story has got to end.=

    This reminds me of the height of the Richard M. Daley era, when many reporters were flat out scared to cross him, for fear of retaliation.


  3. - How Ironic - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:02 pm:

    If Brucie wins, we’ll all be getting our news from only ‘officially sanctioned and paid for stations’.

    For Brucie though, this is a win. The ST is just down one more full time worker, think of the savings on bennies alone!


  4. - Frenchie Mendoza - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:03 pm:

    Wish Royko could’ve seen this.


  5. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:03 pm:

    I am still waiting for a satisfactory explanation from Mr. McKinney’s colleagues in the editorial board.

    Heroic commitment to the ideals of his profession from McKinney.

    The revelation that the Chicago Tribune is involved in business negotiations with the Sun-Times is one possible and extremely disheartening explanation for why the paper of record of Chicago and patrons of the Medill School of Journalism have yet to expend a single drop of ink on this story.

    Hello, Chicago Tribune? Any journalists over there??


  6. - IrishPirate - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:04 pm:

    “Ladies and Gentlemen this is your pilot on Rauner Air 1. The smoking lamp is now on. We’re going down.”


  7. - circular firing squad - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:04 pm:

    Lets see if Mitt can muzzle everyone now…will Dave do media tour?


  8. - Lt. Guv - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:05 pm:

    Good for McKinney. It’s just sad he’s been put in this position.


  9. - admin - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:05 pm:

    McKinney is a real reporter. Thank God we still have some.


  10. - northshore cynic - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    Is this what he means by Shaking up Springfield??


  11. - Levi - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:07 pm:

    I don’t think there’s a paper left that isn’t in the tank. Who’s left to report on this?


  12. - From the 'Dale to HP - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:10 pm:

    @YDD, Agree. Would love to see the Trib and the ed board take this on.


  13. - Eugene - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:10 pm:

    McKinney has guts, Rauner is a thug, and to paraphrase Mike Royko, I wouldn’t wrap a decent fish in the Sun-Times at this point. Now will the rest of the media show some guts and report this story?


  14. - Eugene - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:10 pm:

    McKinney has guts, Rauner is a thug, and to paraphrase Mike Royko, I wouldn’t wrap a decent fish in the Sun-Times at this point. Now will the rest of the media show some guts and report this story?


  15. - Midstate Indy - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:13 pm:

    McKinney’s actions make me want to consider a career change to journalism - If I could learn from the likes of him. Win = McKinney.


  16. - Frenchie Mendoza - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:14 pm:

    No one will touch this because you can’t endorse a candidate one day and the next day wonder if he might be a thug.

    The two positions can’t be reconciled. So silence is better — at least until the election. Then whatever.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:16 pm:

    The hypocrisy of people knows no bounds…

    @StatehouseChick: What happens when hotdogs buy newspapers. Awful news. MT @davemckinney123: After 19 years, today marked my final day.

    Um, @statehousechick, tell your story walking.

    Your Editorial Board endorsed Rauner, you said in the Primary it was “Simple”

    I know you are a nice person and all, but you are on a Board that endorsed the guy who forced the hand of a reporter.

    Read your paper’s endorsement while wishing Dave McKinney well.

    Tell it walking.


  18. - Jeepster - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:16 pm:

    It’s the ethical thing to do. How can a Sun Times reporter cover a campaign fairly when the Sun Times management has been completely bought and silenced by Rauner?


  19. - Walter Mitty - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:18 pm:

    I am sorry a good man feels he had to quit. He has options… I know I am a minority here, but this public take this job and shove it…. Injects him as the story as much. Papers are dying everywhere.No disrespect, do you think even by his own statements this is not the first time? Or is the first time with him? Courage and guts are for soldiers. Not somebody who is financial stable to do something else…or nothing at all…


  20. - Try-4-Truth - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:19 pm:

    All the while Rauner runs around the state calling Quinn “corrupt”.

    Hey Gatehouse, this is your opportunity to prove you are not an eyelash away from nothing more than a Daily Shopper. Bernie, Sweeney, someone, take this and run with it.

    I doubt it though. This is why I don’t have a subscription to any paper. Pathetic.


  21. - jake - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:20 pm:

    Wow! I don’t know which is more shocking–that Rauner did it, that the Sun-Times caved in to it, or that other media are not reporting on it. Ironic that this is happening at just the same time we are remembering Ben Bradlee, who backed up his reporters in the face of bullying from the President and the Attorney General of the United States.


  22. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:22 pm:

    Now there’s a real Chicago reporter. Mucho cojones. Mazeltov.

    And congratulations to the cheez-whiz kids.

    After spending millions trying to concoct a positive public image of your boss, you’ve now indelibly portrayed him as a thin-skinned, thick-headed, crybaby bully without spending a dime!

    Plus, you’ve stepped on your own message from now until election day!

    Stunning work. What were your career plans after politics? And by that, I mean Nov. 5?


  23. - Jeepster - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:22 pm:

    If Rauner wins, I suspect he’ll be financing a Pravda in Illinois to report on his successes as Governor.


  24. - William j Kelly - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:23 pm:

    I know that reporters and liberals (forgive me for repeating myself) believe that this should be front page news but if your real goal is to defeat rauner I recommend sticking with, shady offshore bank accounts and outsourcing of jobs, those are the issues that resonate with REAL people.


  25. - Voice of Reason - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:24 pm:

    Where is the national media at on this? I have lost complete faith in the Suntimes. Subscription cancelled. There are plenty of other places to get my news. Shameful.


  26. - Down Here - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:25 pm:

    And so continues a rough few days for McKinney, Rauner, politics in Illinois, and journalistic ethics, courage, and independence. Why do I have a feeling that the next couple of weeks before Election Day will just be worse? The race to the bottom is almost over and we are all losing.


  27. - ILPundit - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:27 pm:

    Forget about the Illinois media. They missed the boat. My guess is the next stage of this story will be national coverage. This is blowing up the DC Media twitter feeds.


  28. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:29 pm:

    - William j Kelly - all in can say is you put your name on it.

    Ignorant to the politics.


  29. - DuPage - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:30 pm:

    They have his back alright, with a target painted on it.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:30 pm:

    @FakeBruceRauner - that’ll show em! #FalloutBegins


  31. - Jeepster - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:31 pm:

    Jake: “Ironic that this is happening at just the same time we are remembering Ben Bradlee, who backed up his reporters in the face of bullying from the President and the Attorney General of the United States.”

    Ben Bradlee did not have Michael Ferro as his boss. I suspect Ferro is calculating that he’ll make a lot more money if Rauner is Governor (hint, outsourcing)- even if he completely destroys the Sun Times. And if Rauner loses, Ferro still has Rauner as friend and investor for the next bustout scheme to make up his losses for imploding the newspaper on behalf of a friend. Either way - Ferro wins and the employees, the City and the State all lose.


  32. - Because I say so... - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:32 pm:

    And the Tribune web site reports ” Federal judge deals Quinn ethics blow on IDOT patronage hiring
    Clout Street”

    Let’s have an ethics conversation with the Sun Times and Bruce Rauner!


  33. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:32 pm:

    In other news…

    The Chicago Sun-Times officially changed it’s name to “The Chicago Rauner”, and de-facto Publisher Bruce Rauner is excited to tell you what is news.


  34. - augustar - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:33 pm:

    This is so unfortunate. Best to Mr. McKinney. Sad that the Sun-Times is fading away. Have been wondering when other “news” organizations would start covering this matter; didn’t understand the dearth of integrity in the Chicago media.


  35. - Been There - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:33 pm:

    Does Rauner or GTCR own NBC yet? Otherwise I expect at least Ch 5 and Carol will lead with this. But I also agree with WJK above. The other stories will sway more voters.


  36. - Chilaborguy - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:33 pm:

    Time to boycott the ST and call on Ferro to give back our newspaper. He was market a steward for a brief moment in the 150 year life of this Chicago institution. I will not buy another edition of the Chicago Sun Times until it has been returned to the people of Chicago. Watch for breaking news this afternoon detailing firth financial ties between Bruce Rauner and the David Ferro family.


  37. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:34 pm:

    ===Wa Wa Wa cry me a river. How can you be impartial when your wife ’s company is making ads for one of the candidates in the race you are covering.===

    There was no conflict, McKinney’s own boss said so.

    Please learn.


  38. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:34 pm:

    It says a lot about the Tribune if their reporters ignore this chain of events. A sad day for journalism in Chicago.


  39. - IrishPirate - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:38 pm:

    To paraphrase Bull Halsey “When this campaign is over the name Rauner will only be spoken in hell.”

    This is a version of the Peoria mayor sending his police force against the twitter user who was mocking him. Just picture Rauner with all his money and the power of the state to back him.

    This was all so unnecessary. I feel bad for McKinney, but it’s good that we know this about Rauner prior to the election. I don’t know who is worse Rauner or Ferro in this Fiasco. Aren’t there any adults around to tell them this would backfire?

    Masters of the Universe………..yeah.


  40. - William j Kelly - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:39 pm:

    Oswego, I am not sure what that means but I do know the average working man doesn’t care that a reporter got his feelings hurt. Btw, any ‘reporter’ that needs lessons in asking questions without fear of retaliation I’ll be happy to help. http://youtu.be/fecbm1qqF50


  41. - Northsider - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:40 pm:

    I’ll be canceling my Sun-Times subscription over this, too. Utterly disgusting.


  42. - Concerned - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:40 pm:

    Any lingering doubts that Rauner is a bully and cares not one whit about transparency, democracy or the truth? Didn’t think so. It is all about what he wants. And he doesn’t care how he gets it or who gets hurt in the process. That’s some leadership for ya!


  43. - Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:41 pm:

    Michael Ferro — the Ebola of journalism.


  44. - SlapshotII - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:41 pm:

    Shake and Hammer Baby ! Nothin’ gonna stop this train- it is rollin’ NON STOP right into the Governors Mansion. Mckinney is like a penny squashed on the track.


  45. - Walter Mitty - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:42 pm:

    Irish… Rauner’s camp did what ALL camps do… Ferro chose to do this… Just making my point, the villain is clear here… Sorry, but it ain’t Bruce… I can’t believe I am left to defend this!! I couldn’t vote for either of these clowns!!


  46. - Obamas Puppy - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:42 pm:

    Get a camera in front of this guy NOW!!!


  47. - NewWestSuburbanGOP'er - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:43 pm:

    This should be covered by the national media. But, alas, there are no more good reporters in Chicago, print or media. How about the BGA doing a story on this? Hmmmm…. where are you Andy Shaw?


  48. - Peoria Guy - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:43 pm:

    Sad


  49. - Howdy - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:46 pm:

    At the same time that we are extolling the virtue of Ben Bradley on Watergate, the Suntimes shows what the opposite looks like. The publisher should be ashamed of himself. Mr. McKinney was one of the last of a breed of true journalists.


  50. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:47 pm:

    ===Rauner’s camp did what ALL camps do===

    No.

    They are more fierce than the usual campaign.

    However, you are right, this is on the Sun-Times. Nobody got into this business because it was supposed to be easy. You’re supposed to be able to take the heat, whatever heat that may be.


  51. - Ann - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:48 pm:

    Jake wins the thread, “Wow! I don’t know which is more shocking–that Rauner did it, that the Sun-Times caved in to it, or that other media are not reporting on it. Ironic that this is happening at just the same time we are remembering Ben Bradlee, who backed up his reporters in the face of bullying from the President and the Attorney General of the United States. “


  52. - Steelerfan - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:49 pm:

    I just called Kirk’s office and spoke to someone. Very politely identified myself and informed her that because of this matter I would no longer read the Sun Times on line or otherwise.

    Steelerfan


  53. - vise77 - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:49 pm:

    On a day like this you really miss the insight, wit and thunder Ebert would have no doubt brought to this issue.

    Such a sad turn of events.


  54. - IrishPirate - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:50 pm:

    Walter Mitty - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:42 pm:

    All camps don’t do that and those that do generally take a milder tact. Rauner went overboard in attacking McKinney. The Sun Times reacted badly. There need to be some more resignations in protest there, but that’s easy enough for me to say. Some of those folks undoubtedly can’t afford to quit.

    When the only tool you have in your campaign/personality tool box is a sledgehammer everything starts to looks like it needs a good hammering.

    Thin skinned oligarchs have no business running for office.

    This is beyond amateurish. Didn’t Rauner learn anything from Chris Christie and his “bridge gate” experience?


  55. - Walter Mitty - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:50 pm:

    Rich..Thanks.. This is Illinois.. I would be surprised if this is as bad as it has ever been… I just think someone pulled an end of Slapshot…And started to strip over it… We have conformation that politics are tough….For reporters too…


  56. - Concerned - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:51 pm:

    –However, you are right, this is on the Sun-Times

    Yes, and Ferro is Rauner’s guy. Ferro is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rauner, so Rauner owns this, too.


  57. - Just Thinking - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:51 pm:

    This will get little play compared to that IDOT ruling today. That little bit of news will hurt PQ more than this will BR.


  58. - Ghost - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:52 pm:

    First they came for the public employees and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Public employee.

    Then they came for the Unions, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not in Union.

    Then they came for the Reporters, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Reporter.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.


  59. - orzo - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:52 pm:

    OW, I give half-credit to #statehousechick for speaking on this. The interesting thing will be the reaction of her colleagues. I predict Kass, e.g., will prove to be more of a shill for the GOP than a defender of a journalist.


  60. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:52 pm:

    “I do know the average working man doesn’t care that a reporter got his feelings hurt.” Yet when Blago went after the Tribbie board it made front-page news. How is that different?


  61. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:52 pm:

    The media’s attention span is so short that even if they do report it, the story will fade in view of Indiana mass killers, terrorism in Canada, ebola, etc. The Bears are playing Brady and the Pats on Sunday after all.

    No, it’s up to the Quinn campaign, and it’ll take smarter folks than the ones who came up with “Winnetka the Wolf” to get this in the public’s head.


  62. - admin - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:53 pm:

    There is truth to the statement that voters do not care about reporters. People care about their own welfare - not someone else’s. Human nature people. The larger story is who Rauner is and the lengths of what he will do for power. We’ve seen that type before.


  63. - Walter Mitty - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:54 pm:

    Christie was cleared… Right? Again, my last one because I hate trying to defend Rauner here.. But I take Rich’s word to my key point..It’s not on Rauner..It’s on the SunTimes… As much as you hate Rauner.. This reporter just became the story.. Let’s see the credibility of the journalists and papers that have been so lambasted if they stay on the REAL story..Let’s see indeed.


  64. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:55 pm:

    Statehouse Chick is an embarrassment to hacks everywhere.


  65. - corvax - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:55 pm:

    Willy,

    You’re wrong, i just called Sun Times CEO Tim Knight’s office and they have not changed the name to the Chicago Rauner (or the Rauner Sun Times or any other variation thereof). But they did have strained high squeaky voices as if someone had a tight grip on their…


  66. - Try-4-Truth - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:58 pm:

    Walter, oh Walter,

    Christie was not cleared. Please stop. Rauner is dangerous. Take off your partisan glasses.


  67. - Ann - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:58 pm:

    John Dodge picked it up for Channel 2. http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/10/22/sun-times-reporter-quits-blasts-papers-boss-rauner-campaign-tactics/


  68. - admin - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:59 pm:

    One more point on this - to all of you “reporters” who can’t believe the injustice of this and are wondering why there is no reporting of this story - take a moment and think of all the times you perpetrated this on someone else due to their beliefs. All the stories that should have been reported but weren’t. Do you understand now?


  69. - MrJM - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:59 pm:

    “Christie was cleared… Right?”

    No. http://www.onthemedia.org/story/bad-reporting-about-chris-christie/

    – MrJM


  70. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 2:59 pm:

    - curvax -, well done

    - orzo -, with respect.

    @statehousechick twice tweeted how that Editorial Board endorsed them some Bruce.

    Now she tweets supporting McKinney.

    Give. Me. A. Break!

    She can’t have it both ways, which makes her a bigger Dope than just “Simply” being giddy about endorsing Bruce.

    That is pathetic.


  71. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:01 pm:

    Bruce Rauner: can’t be bought, because he’s doing the buying, can’t be bullied, because he is the biggest bully around.


  72. - Norseman - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:02 pm:

    Hopefully, Collins will be able to get McKinney a nice little settlement or an financial award from a lawsuit. The only thing these folks understand is the pain of losing money. Ethics is not a characteristic that they possess.

    Regarding the media blackout, I’m not sure it will end. Journalists other than Rich will be cowed into not writing about it or the editors will kill the story.


  73. - Al Grosboll - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:04 pm:

    This is a shameful day for the Chicago Sun-Times. I have known Dave McKinney for more than two decades and respected him throughout his tenure as a news reporter. I may not have always liked what he wrote, but I have never doubted Dave’s integrity or his desire to report the news accurately. Everyone, Democrat, Republican or Independent, should be offended by the paper’s conduct. Thank you Dave McKinney for standing up for your profession and for defending journalistic independence.


  74. - Walter Mitty - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:05 pm:

    Try 4 Truth… And PQ isn’t… ? Ok… Got it the story is.. The well respected journalist is not married to a Democratic strategist.. He didn’t inject himself in the race publicly… It’s Rauners fault for asking… And NOT the boss of the Sun Times..? Do I have the “facts” now? And any partisan glasses are not worn by me.. Just watch the news make rauner the story… Hmmm… we seem to have one already.. Self imposed ban till November 5th… starting now…


  75. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:06 pm:

    @FakeStatehouseChick - I feel bad for Dave, but you should read our endorsement of Bruce! Yay us #TweetsOurMyOwn


  76. - Secret Square - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:06 pm:

    “How can you be impartial when your wife ’s company is making ads for one of the candidates in the race you are covering.”

    For what it’s worth, I used to be a newspaper reporter (on a much smaller scale) and my husband’s interests, opinions or connections NEVER had an influence on what I wrote. Hey, just because I’m married to the guy doesn’t mean I agree with every thing he says or does, or have any interest in protecting someone who knows somebody he knows at his job. Nor does it mean his friends or co-workers are also my friends, or even that I would know them if I met them on the street. We stay strictly OUT of each other’s work lives and always have — we don’t go to one another’s workplace Christmas parties, we don’t stop by one another’s offices (he’s never seen mine, even after almost 8 years) and we keep ALL interpersonal communication confined to our personal cell phones and e-mail accounts. I’m sure other journalists follow a similar policy with regard to their spouses’ business/employment interests.


  77. - Dirty Red - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:07 pm:

    = I do know the average working man doesn’t care that a reporter got his feelings hurt. =

    No, they probably do not. But that is not what happened.

    All of this praise for McKinney and his ethics on Facebook and Twitter doesn’t pay his bills, and it doesn’t phase the Sun-Times. If Dave is this ethical, then he needs to land somewhere or else Ferro wins. If the Sun-Times doesn’t feel a sting here, then he’s absolutely right and no reporter in the business is safe.


  78. - Medill Grad - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:07 pm:

    Tim Novak of the Chicago Suntimes is the best gossip columnist journalist in Chicago.


  79. - Amalia - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:07 pm:

    this should be a national story. ben bradlee is turning over even if he is not yet in the grave.


  80. - bmcchgo - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:09 pm:

    It’s 3:05 Chgo time. I expect this breaking news not to be on the Sun-Times or Trib web sites. But nothing on the ABC7 or NBC5. Kudos to CBS2 for breaking front page!

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/10/22/sun-times-reporter-quits-blasts-papers-boss-rauner-campaign-tactics/


  81. - Dirty Red - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:10 pm:

    = this should be a national story. =

    It should have been a national story days ago.


  82. - D.P.Gumby - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:11 pm:

    WBEZ Afternoon Shift just reported and Quoted McKinney’s letter.


  83. - Responsa - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:11 pm:

    ==I’ll be canceling my Sun-Times subscription over this, too. ==

    == I will not buy another edition of the Chicago Sun Times until it has been returned to the people of Chicago. ==

    Mr. McKinney is doing what he believes is the right thing for his profession, for his own reputation and for his family. We all respect that. He will land on his feet.

    Everybody go ahead and vent and speak your mind. It’s therapeutic. Although it may feel awfully good in the moment, the subscription cancelling, however, will not make it any easier to find new ownership for a fading paper in a fading industry– nor will it help pay the salaries of the remaining reporters at the S-T. and keep them employed. Many of these people are not on the political beat or affected by this at all. All I’m saying is, in the midst of your high dudgeon just make sure you are completely aware of who you are actually “punishing” here.


  84. - Try-4-Truth - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:11 pm:

    Walter,

    Just Stop. Please.


  85. - bmcchgo - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:13 pm:

    For what it’s worth, Talking Points Memo is as national as it gets for the moment:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/bruce-rauner-dave-mckinney-resignation-sun-times


  86. - Buster - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:16 pm:

    The Sun-Times is a disgrace and Rauner and his big-bucks thug friends are beyond contempt.
    Good luck to McKinney…good to see someone in this mess with ethics and guts.


  87. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:18 pm:

    Let the guy know how you feel about him: jkirk@suntimes.com


  88. - Commander Norton - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:19 pm:

    Walter Mitty -

    Anyone who reads Dave McKinney’s classy, well-thought-out resignation letter and tosses it into the “public take-this-job-and-shove-it” genre does not understand journalistic integrity or its importance to sustaining a free society.


  89. - rusty nail - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:19 pm:

    Internet and blogs killed the newspaper star,the buggles.


  90. - WOW - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:20 pm:

    This is horrible what they are putting him through. He did what was right but the sad thing is that I am sure he will dearly miss this job which he had a passion for. He was wronged for doing the right thing! Shame on them and SHAME on RAUNER!


  91. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:20 pm:

    I have a feeling this story will get more play on the evening news than IDOT tonight.


  92. - Cheswick - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:21 pm:

    I don’t care whose name is on the title, Bruce Rauner owns the Sun-Times, now and forevermore.


  93. - Formerpol - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:21 pm:

    Oh come on! The media has always been incapable of objectively reporting on itself! The Rauner campaign’s complaint was nowhere near ‘defamatory’; and Pat Collins is hardly “a name synonymous with ethics”!!! Somebody is creating hyperdrama here. Sounds like McKinney does indeed have a conflict which ought to have been fully disclosed. He shows a pretty thin skin for a political reporter. Candidates and officials have to just put up with incorrect media stories all the time.


  94. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:23 pm:

    Hmmm.

    @StatehouseChick - Bruce Rauner, to revive Illinois. Our just-posted endorsement in the governor’s race.

    Who do you stand with now @StatehouseChick?

    “Simple” question.


  95. - John A Logan - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:23 pm:

    The Love of Money is the root of many evils.


  96. - LincolnLounger - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:24 pm:

    Dave had done such solid reporting on NRI that I just cannot understand how the Rauner camp believed that he was a viable target.

    I do believe — somewhat — in liberal media bias. Not from Dave McKinney, however.

    Ridiculous all around, and mostly to the S-T.


  97. - foster brooks - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:25 pm:

    Any newspaper that endorsed rauner will suppress anything negative about him from here on out. ..corruption just aint in government


  98. - MrJM - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:25 pm:

    “Well I think he should have resigned. It is obvious he was not at all objective in his reporting. He was a Quinn mouth-piece. Very biased. Same goes for other ‘journalists’. Like you-know-who.”

    An opinion supported by five assertions and zero facts is very, very compelling.

    Now be still — the adults are talking.

    – MrJM


  99. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:27 pm:

    Walter Mitty: Let’s say you’re an attorney, and you’re on a big case went against your boss’ friend. Boss’ friend tells you to back off, but you go ahead with the case and win. From what you’re saying, if you boss then puts you in the cooler for 2 weeks, that’s just fine and dandy? And your boss’ friend had NOTHING to do with it? And the fact that the opponent in the case trying to directly influence the case outside of the court room ISN’T a story?


  100. - Namaste - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:27 pm:

    Ghost @ 2:52, well said.


  101. - Billy Dennis - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:28 pm:

    “Tell the truth and don’t be afraid.”


  102. - whatsamattu - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:29 pm:

    Kill the Messenger. Everyone should go see this movie.

    What was the previous story about Rauner that got him in trouble with his bosses? Anyone have a link?


  103. - Kye Hillman - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:29 pm:

    Dave McKinney is always one of my must reads…huge hole in Springfield reporting after today.


  104. - Robert the Bruce - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:30 pm:

    In covering this story, I hope a reporter asks Ferro what exactly he did re: Rauner coverage and endorsement.


  105. - Frenchie Mendoza - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:31 pm:

    Rauner loves this. This is what he does.

    This is success.


  106. - East Central Illinois - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:32 pm:

    Ghost at 2:52 has the comment of the day so far.


  107. - admin - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:32 pm:

    Ferro must step down. Kirk should resign. NOW.


  108. - Norseman - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:33 pm:

    Skeptic, you forgot to mention in your scenario to WM that the lawyer’s boss wants to take him off of litigation cases to only write wills.


  109. - bmcchgo - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:34 pm:

    For what it is worth, if Pat Quinn had done this to a Chgo Trib reporter, it would be a blaring Red Light Alert on Drudge right now!

    Just sayin…


  110. - Perry Noya - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:35 pm:

    Nobody got into this business because it was supposed to be easy. You’re supposed to be able to take the heat, whatever heat that may be.

    Rich, with all respect, I don’t understand your post. Are you saying McKinney should have “taken the heat” and not resigned? Or your comment is meant for Rauner?

    To comments that voters don’t care about the “hurt feelings” of a reporter–they care about “offshore bank accounts,” an arcane issue, more than journalistic honesty in a hometown paper? Or do we all assume now that journalism is dishonest? And I thought I was cynical.


  111. - Amalia - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:35 pm:

    @Dirty Red….agreed!!!! national press now. come on Chris Matthews/Rachel Maddow/George Stephanopoulos/Maureen Dowd


  112. - Aldyth - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:36 pm:

    More than Ben Bradlee died yesterday.


  113. - Western Camel - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:36 pm:

    S-T/Ferro actions shameful. Hope McKinney is offered a new gig soon. We need a strong free press, or we are not free.


  114. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:39 pm:

    What’s real?

    If you support Rauner, you are supporting Blago, 2014.

    That is real.


  115. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:41 pm:

    ===McKinney should have “taken the heat” and not resigned? Or your comment is meant for Rauner?===

    Neither. I’m talking about CS-T management. And AP management, for that matter.


  116. - Lady - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:42 pm:

    The Chicago Sun-Timesused to be a fair, responsible publication that fought for the truth. It now has become FOX news light. I’ve know Dave McKinney for years and have always respected his honest reporting. The Sun-Times just lost a “real journalist”, and there are so few of them left. Dave, in resigning, has again proven his high standards and integrity. Thanks Dave for years of great articles. Hope I’ll be reading you soon in a publication that honors fair reporting. Goodbye Sun-Times


  117. - IrishPirate - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:47 pm:

    Does the phrase “who will rid me of this troublesome priest” ring a bell with anyone?

    Rauner didn’t need to directly state he would like McKinney sidelined. All he had to do was set the ball in motion with a complaint and his “knights” would do the rest. Duke Ferro and Sir Kirk played their roles. I suspect that Sir Kirk wasn’t happy, but discretion and a paycheck being better than valor and all that…….


  118. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:49 pm:

    Ghost @ 2:52pm flirted with Godwin’s Law. The poem first appeared shortly after WW2 written by a pastor who was interned by the Nazis for many years. Just saying.

    Nonetheless, apropos in many respects. Perhaps the ST believes Rauner will save them after they sell off their suburban papers and he wins the election. Perhaps the new name will be iSvesTia.


  119. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:51 pm:

    - Meanderthal -,

    McKinney’s own boss said there was no conflict.

    So, do I believe your tin foil hat ruse, or McKinney’s boss?


  120. - Ginhouse Tommy - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:51 pm:

    I guess money talks. Some people can be bought, some can’t. It seems like the owners need to grow a backbone. Maybe too many of the people on the board of directors have rich friends at the Country Club. If Rauner can’t take the heat now, what is he going to do if he wins. Major wake up call. He can’t get rid of all the media except his friends. This could be trouble with a capitol T. It’s a shame to try to wreck a career of more than 2 decades because he doesn’t have the thick skin he needs to be an elected official.


  121. - State Worker - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:56 pm:

    Wow….. Shocking story. Rich Miller and now McKinney. Welcome to free enterprise boys. Don’t like it …. Don’t read the Sun Times.


  122. - Meanderthal - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 3:57 pm:

    1. McKinney’s boss also initally realized there was a problem of appearances or else there would not have been all the “firewall” business.
    2. The boss obviously felt the “firewall’ had been or was at risk of being breached in order to take him off the beat.
    3. The reporter with 20 years experience who needs a lawyer to give him “guidance” on his ethical duties and terms of employment has truly lost his way.


  123. - Rod - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 4:00 pm:

    McKinney is not losing much by giving up his position at the Sun Times, I mean they are even selling off all of their suburban papers. They are in their death throes. I have to wonder what Carol Marin is going to do, but we don’t need to have any tag days for her given all the income sources she has.

    McKinney is far more skilled in legislative reporting than most reporters. Like our friend Rich here at capital fax he does look up legislative rules and he does actually look at the legislation he writes about. He doesn’t reproduce press releases for us and call them articles.

    But given the decline of the Sun Times his articles relating to Springfield legislative issues have been really contracted in their size and detail over the last year or so. I wish him the best.


  124. - How Ironic - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 4:01 pm:

    @Meanderthal…I believe your name should start with an “N” for your simplistic thought process and lack of understanding of the situation.


  125. - Buzzie - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 4:04 pm:

    Don’t boycott the SunTimes, boycott the companies which advertise in the SunTimes.


  126. - Ruth@reelchicago - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 4:12 pm:

    This is so sad and unfair for Dave McKinney, a journalist in the finest sense. And so partisan, self-serving, arrogant and for good measure — completely dishonest–on the part of the Sun-Times.


  127. - Roscoe Tom - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 4:13 pm:

    At the least he doesn’t work for Capons anymore.


  128. - Loop Lady - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 4:13 pm:

    The Sun Times has been a McPaper for a long time…hope Dave can pick up an independent gig or two soon…there is no independent press in Chicago anymore…the Trib is going to eat the Sun Times for lunch sooner or later probably sooner…is it over yet?!!!!


  129. - Bored Chairman - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 4:21 pm:

    I’ve had politicians who have tried to get me fired. Fortunately I’ve had bosses who, like Ben Bradley, tell them to go f*#k themselves. Blame falls squarely on Ferro.


  130. - John Parnell - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 4:22 pm:

    Ghost: First they came for the public employees and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Public employee.

    Then they came for the Unions, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not in Union.

    Then they came for the Reporters, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Reporter.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me”. So this is like the Holocaust in your mind? Get a grip!


  131. - Jorge - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 4:27 pm:

    I knew Rauner was a dastardly creature when I found out he owned part of those darned BoSox. Now he shows he’s just a pathetic rich guy that will do whatever it takes including ruining people’s everyday life. Bruce take that sledgehammer and shove it.


  132. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 4:29 pm:

    Buzzie, problem with your boycott idea is that no one advertises in the Sun-Times anymore except funeral homes on the death notice pages.

    Oh, and happy-ending massage parlors back where they post the racing odds. Guess that explains where they got the current business model.


  133. - Steve - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 4:31 pm:

    It does say in the 2011 article : “Other investors not on the board”… “Bruce Rauner, 55, principal of private equity firm GTCR LLC.”

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/9586314-418/the-new-sun-times-media-owners.html#.VEghUhY3dZY


  134. - IrishPirate - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 4:37 pm:

    Look Rauner is running for Governor of Illinois in the same sense Putin ran for President and Prime Minister of Russia. Pesky reporters…… not a problemo.

    Now am I suggesting Rauner is going to annex Southern Wisconsin over the objections of NATO countries? No of course not. It will merely be a rejoining or a coming together of an entity that was wrong separated.

    Is that a bit over the top on my part? Yeah it is.

    So is going after a reporter who had written more and harder negative stories toward Pat Quinn than Rauner.

    To echo an earlier comment on one of these threads I’ve never seen such a complete slow motion self destruction come from a major campaign. Oh well………..


  135. - Health Care Justice - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 4:39 pm:

    In my 26 years at the Campaign for Better Health Care, you were one of the top 3 honest, fair, and objective reporters. No wonder the public has a negative very on the media on what they did to you. Greed, 1%, control - they are owning everything.


  136. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 5:14 pm:

    ====Now am I suggesting Rauner is going to annex Southern Wisconsin over the objections of NATO countries? No of course not. It will merely be a rejoining or a coming together of an entity that was wrong separated.

    No, Saint Louis. Like the Crimea the population would probably be happy to be taken over even if done in a horrible way.


  137. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 5:15 pm:

    ===If you support Rauner, you are supporting Blago, 2014.

    ohmygod that is beautiful. I’m so sorry I don’t have time to come around as often anymore.


  138. - my two cents - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 5:18 pm:

    John Parnell, it’s about small actions leading to larger consequences. There are a lot of proverbial messages like that. How about “For Want of a Nail”?


  139. - George Washington Plunket - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 5:43 pm:

    Long live the spirit of Peter Zenger!
    Bring back McKinney ! Let Carol Marin talk !

    Boycott the Sun-Times and Tribune !!


  140. - Ghost - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 5:45 pm:

    John I never said anything about the holocaust

    I made reference to a poem that was criticizing the intellectual elites of a time period of ignoring over reaching conduct because the series of small actions that did not apply to them were easy to dismiss…. pretty much as you have done :)


  141. - Redux - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 7:13 pm:

    Ghost never did say anything about the Holocaust and no one on this blog is stupid enough to compare ANYTHING to that suffering.
    The point you miss is that if Germany had had a healthy 4th Estate, there might not have been a Holocaust. Sunshine is the only weapon. Professionalism over paycheck. That takes courage. McKinney is a hero.


  142. - Kevin Fanning - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 7:58 pm:

    Kudos to Dave for this principled stand. It is truly respectable, and should serve as an example to up-and-coming journalists and professionals alike for taking a stand on what you belive in. Best of luck to Dave in whatever he choses to do in the future.


  143. - maggie cimba - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 8:27 pm:

    As usual the money bought the news papers off to shut the heck up I’ll see??? Every Big News paper has backed only one person WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU MONEY STILL BUYS PEOPLE SUPPORT IN IL .


  144. - anon - Wednesday, Oct 22, 14 @ 9:04 pm:

    Best of luck to you David. Glad you kept your honor and integrity intact. Readers are moving away from print anyway. You will land back on your feet soon. Rich, perhaps you should expand your coverage and hire David?


  145. - PublicServant - Friday, Oct 24, 14 @ 6:38 am:

    First we lost our democracy slowly, and then all at once…


  146. - PublicServant - Friday, Oct 24, 14 @ 6:49 am:

    The above thanks to Tim Egan of the NYTimes:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/24/opinion/the-disgust-election.html


  147. - offshore company formation - Thursday, Nov 6, 14 @ 7:38 am:

    Spend some time to verify who you are searching for
    in a offshore banking much better to address this at a time consuming and tiring work.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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