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Pritzker to Jacobson: “You come in here with a political agenda and you spread misinformation”

Wednesday, Aug 25, 2021

* Far-right radio talk show host Amy Jacobson was at Gov. JB Pritzker’s press conference today

Jacobson: I wanted to ask you about that menu of options of mitigations you mentioned yesterday. There are school closings a part of that? Is schools closing down on that list of options? Because if so, then we can talk about mental health issues that parents want to hear.

Pritzker: Right.

Jacobson: So, is that on the list?

Pritzker: Well, as you know, if all of a sudden we started to see that there was a widespread, delta, or something that was overcoming, for example, the vaccines that people have already taken, and sending people to the hospital who are already vaccinated, then we would have to look at a whole new set at the bottom of the list of things that we left far in the distance last year. Then we might have to revisit those things, but that’s not something that I would say is currently highlighted on that menu of options.

Jordan Abudayyeh: We’ll do one more.

Jacobson: You had, there was a protest out there this morning and parents were crying, screaming ‘Oh my God.’ As governor, you should try and calm people’s nerves maybe or can you because there are low risk groups…

Abudayyeh: Amy, as a supposed reporter, you should probably stop the misinformation, we are done here. Thank you.

Pritzker: Thank you.

Abudayyeh: You know how you prevent schools being from being closed? You stop complaining about mask wearing.

[People start to leave, and I’m told that Jacobson asked Abudayyeh off-mic for the studies that face masks work. That’s when the governor returned to the podium. The mic was still off when he started speaking, but the following is what was recorded on audio.]

Pritzker: [I would like to] respond to that. Let me just say this: You are spreading misinformation. I wish you would stop spreading this information. You come in here with a political agenda [cross talk] and you spread misinformation. And I just think you should stop. We now need to protect our children, we need to protect the people in our communities, parents, grandparents, teachers. You are working against that [cross talk], and it is extremely upsetting for all of us who are trying to keep the rest of the state safe.

Please pardon all transcription errors.

Thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

56 Comments
  1. - SWIL_Voter - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:13 pm:

    That’s a nice way of putting it. These people have blood on their hands and they’re knowingly making money endangering innocent lives including those of children. One of the more shameful chapters in American history pushing us even closer to full collapse


  2. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:13 pm:

    Finally. Jacobson is a pathetic excuse for a “reporter” but her audition for OANN continues to sink to new lows.

    But now she can pretend to be a victim so I guess this is a victory for her.


  3. - Roadrager - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:17 pm:

    Get ‘er.


  4. - Give Me A Break - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:17 pm:

    Too bad Amy will play the martyr and victim turning the smack down into another round of JB is picking on people.


  5. - The Real Downstate - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:17 pm:

    Good for him.


  6. - King Louis XVI - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:18 pm:

    Finally. Good for JB.


  7. - Sir Reel - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:18 pm:

    Jacobson pressed Pritzker’s button. It’s hard to be a public figure nowadays. A lot of the “media” are simply trying for a reaction.


  8. - filmmaker prof - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:19 pm:

    Glad to see her finally get called out. Her so called “questions” are generally just her spewing right wing talking points and giving a lecture.


  9. - Ste_with_a_v_en - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:25 pm:

    In my mind, Amy lost all credibility after her 2007 stunt.


  10. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:28 pm:

    I wish the governor hadn’t punched down, Jordan made the point, Amy is playing to her audience.

    This is isolated, the strain of things brought this out, not Amy and Amy will say it was her pressing and the governor not liking “her facts”

    The elevation of a profile is predicated on high profile people deciding to engage in a way that’s outside a norm, be it a Q and A, or other media interactions. The elevation occurs when singling out and that singling out only helps a narrative one might not want continued.

    I’m completely sure it felt good in the immediate, my own wish is that this isolated interaction is not replicated any time soon.

    I respect the governor, the press crew, comms folks, et al.. I can’t imagine the strain these months and months have been on that crew. Can’t fathom. It’s tough… when someone who doesn’t deserve any elevation… gets a chance to be seen as credible.


  11. - Meow - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:29 pm:

    What was her 2007 stunt?


  12. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:30 pm:

    ===What was her 2007 stunt?===

    Google is your friend.


  13. - Amalia - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:39 pm:

    LOL what was her 2007 stunt. she’s not a reporter, she’s a public fountain of right wing conspiracy.


  14. - Chicago Blue - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:45 pm:

    @ OW

    People in power shouldn’t stoop to with those already in the mud. Everyone ends up dirty and it gives them exactly what they want.


  15. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:46 pm:

    I had to perform an internet search on her name because I’d forgotten all about her.


  16. - Pinhead - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:51 pm:

    Amy Jacobson is now a Chicago Public Schools employee. Amundsen High hired her as the *boys* volleyball coach. Good idea??


  17. - A-Man - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:53 pm:

    I for one would have used more colorful language but good for him…we need to push back against these fools and call them out on their misinformation tactics.


  18. - Bruce( no not him) - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:54 pm:

    Good for him. About time. Long over due. She deserved it. Etc. Etc. Etc.


  19. - Metro East Transplant - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:59 pm:

    Well…I used The Google and now wishing I hadn’t. My thought on JB’s comments: About Time. A person can only take so much, the response wasn’t a personal attack on her but him putting his foot down saying enough is enough.


  20. - Fixer - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:05 pm:

    Part of me wishes he hadn’t punched down to her level, part of me is proud of him for calling out this kind of nonsense because someone needs to do it that is in a position of power.


  21. - Former Merit Comp - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:07 pm:

    More like this please, Governor


  22. - B Team - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:07 pm:

    Well handled by the Governor and his staff. Call these people out and restore the sanity here in Illinois.


  23. - Seats - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:07 pm:

    I like the response. I don’t view it as punching down. He made his statement and left, he didnt get dragged into an ugly back and forth.


  24. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:08 pm:

    When you’re not a serious reporter then you shouldn’t be treated as a serious reporter. He treated her as she should have been treated.


  25. - OneMan - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:08 pm:

    Amy got what she wanted.

    That being said, I understand where the parents are coming from, but come one, any rational adult has to realize if things get bad more mitigations are coming if for no other reason you are going to have so may teachers/students sick and or isolated you might have to.


  26. - Jibba - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:08 pm:

    Months ago, JB should have learned to answer her questions with a yes or no. That’s how you deal with troublesome reporters who are looking for a reaction.


  27. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:09 pm:

    === he didnt get dragged into an ugly back and forth.===

    The governor purposely came back to the podium, microphone off, to get into a back and forth.


  28. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:10 pm:

    === justifying their right to negotiate.===

    If you’re negotiating a “mandate” you’re against the mandate.


  29. - Northsider - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:11 pm:

    As a recovering journalist, I can say Amy Jacobson is no journalist.


  30. - ;) - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:19 pm:

    This entire thing was just more of the same old theatre from the usual suspects, including the Governor and his staffers.


  31. - uialum - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:19 pm:

    “When they go low, we go high” doesn’t always work and seems like politicians around the country are figuring that out. Especially when battling misinformation that quite literally kills people.


  32. - Pundent - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:31 pm:

    The misinformation coming from Amy Jacobsen is putting public health at risk. She is not a reporter she’s a provocateur. We need to push back on this behavior. I’m glad that Pritzker did.

    I don’t see it as punching down. Pritzker’s speaking on behalf of the majority of us that see how reckless this rhetoric is. Frankly I think he has an obligation to do so.


  33. - Moe Berg - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:33 pm:

    It’s the new article of faith on the right “masks don’t work.”

    The Sun-Times just ran an article from the editor of a publication that amusingly calls itself “Reason” magazine, that purports to debunk the guidance from public health officials that masks, even if not 100% effective in the real world, do significantly slow the spread of covid.

    All you get from the grifting right is bad faith and gaslighting.

    The governor’s and Jordan’s frustration is understandable and Jacobson should be called out because what she’s saying is hurting people.


  34. - Jocko - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:41 pm:

    ==I wish the governor hadn’t punched down==

    I agree, but would love to see the Gov/Lt. Gov ask her, “Are you vaccinated?” followed up by, “I thought a reporters job was to inform, not entertain.”


  35. - NIU Grad - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:47 pm:

    While I hate to see her elevated more, I’m happy to see the Governor expressing real emotion here (something he has struggled with a bit). Amy has blood on her hands and I don’t blame him for finally calling her out.


  36. - SLoop - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 5:07 pm:

    My thoughts? JB’s greatest gift, apart from the billions of dollars he was born with, has always been his enemies.


  37. - jackmac - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 5:10 pm:

    Good on Pritzker for bluntly pushing back on Jacobson: “You come in here with a political agenda [cross talk] and you spread misinformation,” he said. “And I just think you should stop.”


  38. - Manchester - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 5:11 pm:

    Thank you Governor. People like Amy Jacobson make my blood boil. It’s high time that we knocked the people spreading misinformation down.


  39. - Shytown - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 5:27 pm:

    Gov/Jordan: 1
    Jacobson: 0


  40. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 5:45 pm:

    Maybe somebody can ask Amy Jacobsen why her/Morning Answer’s apparently favorite COVID science advisor is an educational psychologist?


  41. - Proud Papa Bear - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 6:01 pm:

    Love this governor.


  42. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 6:08 pm:

    Misinformation and outright lies should be pointed out at every press conference. These people are endangering the lives of children.


  43. - Lt Guv - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 6:20 pm:

    Truth.


  44. - I’m A New Communications Graduate - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 6:30 pm:

    If I may ask a small question as my comment:
    As a graduate with a B.S. in Communications , I’m interested to know the opinions of those commenting; Do you believe iF JB had answered/rebutted Amy without Abudayyeh stepping in, that the point would have been more effective or if it would have spiraled like it did?

    For those who answer, I thank you in advance for your input.


  45. - low level - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 7:06 pm:

    == studies that face masks work==.

    Well Amy, pretty much all of them that have been done based on science. The only was that supposedly suggest they don’t work are based on nonsense and are driven by ideology.


  46. - Metro East - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 7:12 pm:

    I applaud the governor for his statememts to Ms. Jacobson. I do not think he was punching down at all. The man is the leader of our state and should be able to call out nonsense as he sees fit.


  47. - Just Me 2 - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 7:33 pm:

    Did she seriously ask for a study that shows masks work to prevent the spread of a respiratory virus?


  48. - Just Me 2 - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 7:39 pm:

    Hey Amy - perhaps do a google search? Here is a Mayo Clinic study for you: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0025619621004018?dgcid=author


  49. - Anon2 - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 7:56 pm:

    She asked Jordan and the Governor to provide studies re the effectiveness of masks in schools and got this reaction? Wow, she is really living rent free in their heads. Why not just provide the studies if they’re so obvious and support your arguments?

    You can tear into Amy all you want but the Governor and Jordan are the ones who look out of sorts here. They’re professionals and should act like it.


  50. - Pundent - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 8:25 pm:

    Understand that when Amy asks for a “study” what she’s really asking for is a reaction to an inane question. it’s not a fact based inquiry, it’s a way to reinforce the conspiracy theories and non-sensical beliefs of her audience. I have no doubt that neither she or Dan Profft believe the nonsense they’re spreading. But it pays the bills.


  51. - Pundent - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 8:34 pm:

    =Why not just provide the studies if they’re so obvious and support your arguments?=

    Is Amy so daft that she doesn’t know this? Of course not. She came in with a political agenda to spread disinformation. Which is exactly what Pritzker said. There’s no need for him and Jordan to pretend otherwise. If Amy was truly interested in the journalistic pursuit of an answer to this question I have a hunch she could find it. Heck she could just follow the links in this comment section.


  52. - MyTwoCents - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 8:53 pm:

    Anon2, last time I checked it’s not the job of the Governor nor the press secretary to have memorized the names or results or anything from studies supporting mask wearing. They have enough on their plate as is. Now if Jacobson was a real “journalist” it would be in her job description to do the research & assess the studies.


  53. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 10:17 pm:

    I read through the governor’s comments and thought for something that was obviously emotional, he was still far more measured than most. So long as this isn’t something he does all of the time I think it is fine for him to be human and out her in her place. I don’t think it elevated her and actually think she loses this one.


  54. - Jimbo2 - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 11:50 pm:

    While I really enjoyed the Governor’s response at a very visceral level. I think it was a mistake. The expression: Don’t feed the trolls comes to mind.


  55. - Suburban Mom - Thursday, Aug 26, 21 @ 9:58 am:

    ===Understand that when Amy asks for a “study” what she’s really asking for is a reaction to an inane question. it’s not a fact based inquiry, it’s a way to reinforce the conspiracy theories and non-sensical beliefs of her audience.===

    This exactly. I work in social media, and we actually a name for what Jacobson is doing (it’s slightly vulgar, be warned): We call it “JAQing off.” JAQ means “just asking questions.” Someone’s JAQing off when they wonder things like, “But if she didn’t want male attention, why was she wearing skinny jeans?” or the Fox News classic, “Is Obama actually a Muslim?” or Amy Jacobson’s “But where are your STUDIES about masks? Hey — what? I’m JUST ASKING QUESTIONS!”

    It’s closely related to sea lioning (though not exactly the same — sea lions only pop out of the water for particular topics; JAQ-offs are there all the time), and they’re both subcategories of what’s called “eristic” argument, where the eristic person’s goal is not to seek truth through debate, disputation, or asking questions, but to either win the argument by any means necessary or to keep the argument going.

    Jacobson is eristic to the core and is literally never asking questions or arguing in good faith. And basically every question I’ve ever seen her ask in a press conference is JAQing off.

    (At my workplace, we ban people for JAQing off; it’s toxic, it ruins online social spaces, and it’s frequently a “thin end of the wedge” strategy for people who turn out to be affiliated with domestic terrorism groups (and sometimes Russian disinformation campaigns too!). But we’re not a government entity bound by the First Amendment, so.)


  56. - Suburban Mom - Thursday, Aug 26, 21 @ 11:13 am:

    (apologies for the banned punctuation mark, and thanks for putting it through, Rich.)


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