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Jeffries: “I prefer to speak with journalists who have journalistic integrity”

Monday, Mar 5, 2018

* The joint House and Senate hearing on the Quincy veterans’ home was an emotional event. From the Sun-Times

As [Illinois Veterans’ Affairs Director Erica Jeffries] and [Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health Nirav Shah] exited the meeting Monday, the two repeatedly deflected questions from the Sun-Times and WBEZ reporter Dave McKinney.

They both suggested inquiries be directed to a spokesperson, who stood inches away.

When asked why two heads of state agencies couldn’t speak for themselves, Jeffries responded bluntly.

“Generally I prefer to speak with journalists who have journalistic integrity,” she said.

“And to whom are you referring,” asked McKinney, who’s broken much of the news related to the outbreak.

Jeffries remained silent and walked away.

Yeah, that tactic always works. Right.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Linus - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 4:12 pm:

    “And I prefer to interview state officials who have integrity. But the job is what it is.”

  2. - Retired Educator - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 4:14 pm:

    I prefer my heads of State Agencies have integrity. I guess none of us can have what we want. Lady you have let people get sick and die while you did nothing. Where did this integrity come from? You have had none up till now.

  3. - Norseman - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 4:14 pm:

    Getting a little testy. Time to freshen the resume. Ask Rauner for friendly help on fudging the resume about that little problem with dead vets.

  4. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 4:15 pm:

    Isn’t Jefferies the one whose estimates on the costs of replacing the pipes at Quincy have ranged from $500 million, to $30 million, to $8 million?

    She’s big on integrity, huh?

  5. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 4:16 pm:

    Way to poke the bear, Director.

  6. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 4:28 pm:

    Wow. Just wow. She lets people die on her watch but it’s the reporters without any integrity.

  7. - former southerner - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 4:31 pm:

    Schoolyard taunts are easy but professionals left those behind in elementary school where they belong.

    The book covering the Rauner administration is just begging for the title, “Just when you thought it couldn’t get Worse…”

  8. - Swift - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 4:32 pm:

    Kind of hard to claim journalist integrity when all of WBEZ’s Quincy articles have “Supported by Pritzker Foundation” at the bottom of the page.

    Yes, I know, different Pritzker, and WBEZ has to pay the bills, but odd seeing that name on anti-Rauner pieces.

  9. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 4:35 pm:

    At least reporters have to print retractions when they are wrong. Still waiting for agency directors or governors…

  10. - Mama - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 4:36 pm:

    What a jerk. Jeffries needs to take a class in communications/ public speaking.

  11. - don the legend - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 4:40 pm:

    Governor Junk will probably give her a raise.

  12. - Cubs in '16 - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 4:46 pm:

    Jeffries is campaigning for the coveted ‘Princess of Snark’ title.

  13. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 4:53 pm:

    He sure can pick the agency directors. They are like Keystone Kip’s, bumbling and fumbling.

  14. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 4:54 pm:

    Ugh Kops autocorrect.

  15. - Kyle Hillman - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 5:02 pm:

    Dave McKinney = journalistic integrity. If he won’t speak to Dave…who will he speak to?

  16. - Sugar Corn - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 5:02 pm:

    Where was Mr Hoffman for today’s hearing? He’s the new QB right? Surely he can take the arrows.

  17. - Thomas Paine - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 5:10 pm:

    Politicians blaming reporters when they make news.

    Hey, Director, stop killing people and trying to deflect criticism from yourself and the governor. Everyone would love to write about something else.

  18. - Who else - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 5:12 pm:

    This is not the first time this administration has tried to shut McKinney up or tarnish his reputation. Don’t forget how it came to pass that he is now at WBEZ.
    Didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.

  19. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 5:24 pm:

    Why are the Rauner people being so mean to McKinney? His “how much does stuff cost” question at the Dem debate did more damage than anything their boss is slinging.

  20. - Michael Westen - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 5:35 pm:

    Wonder if Rauner will try to get McKinney fired again?

  21. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 5:44 pm:

    It looks too bad to fire Shah and Jeffries, who, between them, should have fixed this on the first pass, and have done nothing but fumble it since… Now they get to sit back and have Hoffman call their shots. I think I’d resign my directorship from just the embarrassment that “adults” have to take things over.


  22. - JS Mill - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 6:09 pm:

    =Yes, I know, different Pritzker, and WBEZ has to pay the bills, but odd seeing that name on anti-Rauner pieces.=

    Ever heard of Dan Proft or the IPI?

  23. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 7:46 pm:

    Hey Swift, it’s a SunTimes story and the name atop it is Mitch Dudek.

  24. - James - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 8:00 pm:

    That comment reflects very poorly on the Rauner administration.

  25. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 9:15 pm:

    With that response from jefferies does anyone wonder why cullerton has called for her termination?

  26. - Veteran watcher - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 2:59 am:

    It’s now crystal clear why CMS Director Hoffman is now responsible to deal with Quincy. It’s now also clear that Jeffries probably doesn’t like that very much.

  27. - lincolnsplitter - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 8:21 am:

    someone should ask Jefferies how the network breach at her agency started…

  28. - Osborne Smith III - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 8:41 am:

    To review, after being stymied in his pursuit of information via FOIA from IDPH and IDVA, Dave McKinney - being an intelligent individual - asked himself, “Hmmmm, who else might have been involved in these discussions and may be more willing to be forthcoming with information that the public has a right to know?”, and came up with the Adams County Health Department. He requested the emails and they complied.

    That doesn’t sound like any lack of “journalistic integrity” to me. That sounds like a reporter that was doing his job.

    Well done, Dave.

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