* Bernie wrote about that new Illinois Policy Institute “documentary” about House Speaker Michael Madigan…
The [Illinois Policy Institute press release] promises “an impressive lineup of interviews,” and on the list is Rich Miller, publisher of the Capitol Fax newsletter and blog. But Miller says he was never told, when he sat for an interview last week, that Illinois Policy was involved, and he would not have participated had he known.
“I … wouldn’t have consented if the project was backed by the Illinois AFL-CIO, either,” Miller told me. […]
Miller later told me the questions he was asked were fine, but he felt he had been “duped into participating in an Illinois Policy Institute project.”
He added that he has “no idea if the producer and director knew who was funding them. I asked them numerous times on Tuesday who was providing the money, and they kept saying it was Emergent.”
I brought someone with me to the interview, so he can attest to the fact that I repeatedly asked about who was behind the project.
* And a day after I did a post about the flick, Chicago Tribune editorial cartoonist Scott Stantis revealed in an e-mail to me that he was also duped into doing the doc…
Thanks for posting about the IPI “documentary”. I have the same story. When I asked who was doing the documentary they said they were. That Madigan was an interesting subject unknown to the rest of the country. I didn’t press them. Live and learn, I guess.
* Considering my witness and Stantis’ e-mail, perhaps the Illinois Policy Institute’s Diana Rickert might want to reconsider this quote…
“Rich’s comments are strange. The film crew is top notch, and was very forthcoming about the scope of the documentary and our involvement when asked who was funding the project. We’ve been critical of Speaker Madigan and his political machine for many years, so we’re certainly not shy about our work on this issue. It’s not like Rich was stopped on the sidewalk in Springfield and caught off-guard with a random guy filming with his iPhone; the interview was scheduled in advance, he signed a release form and he even went out for drinks with the film crew after they were done. Our research was used as the premise of many questions. Some of the other interviews for our documentary were even filmed in our Chicago office.”
I didn’t just go out to drinks with the director and producer, I took them both out to dinner. They seemed like fine sorts and they did ask reasonable questions, and, yes, a couple/three were based on stuff I’ve read at the Illinois Policy Institute’s website.
My beef is with this dishonest secrecy. And the Illinois Policy Institute is compounding their dishonesty by not telling the truth now. Some interview subjects may very well have been told about the group’s participation. I was not, and Stantis says he wasn’t, either.