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Don’t believe everything you read

Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021

* Hey, SJ-R, the court threw out a prior remap law from May, not the new one passed in August

Gov. JB Pritzker and Democrats who control the Illinois General Assembly suffered a major legal setback Tuesday when a federal court threw out the new state legislative district map favoring Democrats.

*Sigh*

As we discussed yesterday, we knew it was a given that the May remap plan wouldn’t pass legal muster because it clearly violated longstanding judicial precedent on population deviation. It’s the main reason why they had to draw a new map. Click here for more info on that.

* More SJ-R

The fact that Democratic lawmakers later tweaked the map based on 2020 data in August and Pritzker signed that amended map into law the following month didn’t negate the legal issues that led to Tuesday’s ruling, the judges said. The amended map had legal “defects,” according to the judges.

The judges said no such thing about the amended map. The only mention of the word “defects” in the opinion is when the court invited plaintiffs to explain what they believe the defects are.

…Adding… The SJ-R has now posted a revised version of the story without explaining what it got wrong to begin with and how that was so important.

…Adding… The revised SJ-R headline is still wrong: “Federal court throws out Democrats’ initial legislative district remap, orders revisions.” The court has not ordered any revisions.

…Adding… Third headline try is a charm: “Federal court throws out Democrats’ initial legislative district remap, will consider revisions”

* On to Politico

A federal court has intervened in the state’s legislative redistricting process and ordered new changes to a map lawmakers unveiled (and scrapped) months ago, creating new procedural hurdles for the 2022 election.

Not true. The court did not “order” changes to the revised redistricting plan. It allowed plaintiffs to submit their proposed changes.

* Politico

A three-judge federal panel ruled Tuesday that the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund and Illinois Republicans should be able to offer up their own map — and that Democrats need to do more tweaking.

Nope. The court invited the plaintiffs to offer up their own map along with explanations for how they correct any alleged deficiencies in the revised remap passed in August. And the Democrats can respond, but they haven’t yet been ordered to make any changes to their remap plan.

* Politico

The case now poses an issue for the 2022 election. Remap proposals must be submitted by Nov. 5, and the court said the current map that state lawmakers approved can’t be used for the upcoming election until the case is resolved.

That means candidates can’t circulate their petitions — a process that starts in January — until they know what district they’re running in.

No. Plaintiffs have until November 8 to file their proposed revisions and explanations. The revised map hasn’t yet been stricken. And January is a long ways off.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

42 Comments
  1. - MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 9:40 am:

    But you gotta admit that other than the map actually stricken, the orders issued as a result and the time-table for revisions, they nailed it.

    – MrJM


  2. - Pundent - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 9:44 am:

    Well there was a map and a judge involved so the SJR and Politico at least got that part right. Might be the only thing they got right but at least it’s something.

    Getting these details right is kind of important.
    Would it be too much to expect a correction(s) from either organization?


  3. - H-W - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 9:44 am:

    Yeah, I realized this when I actually read the stories yesterday (as opposed to the multimedia reports). The same could be said regarding Pritzker mentioning it would be ideal if we could drop the mask mandate by the holidays. His unstated, but clear inference was, “assuming infection and hospitalization rates continue a downward path.” He did not infer “I am going to do this, regardless.

    Is it possible that the media portrayals are intentionally laden with political biases (e.g., Sinclair Broadcasting now owns half of the TV market)? This is a serious question. I have to believe newscasters and news writers are being duped, rather than participating in the misleading coverage of politics.


  4. - Anon - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 9:45 am:

    Terrible article


  5. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 9:45 am:

    === these details===

    Small details wrong I can forgive. Messing up entire concepts is quite something else.


  6. - Norseman - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 9:50 am:

    Prime example of why we’re so well served by the gruff journalist with a beard.


  7. - MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 9:55 am:

    “Is it possible that the media portrayals are intentionally laden with political biases?”

    Because conflict and controversy generate clicks, and clicks generate income, much of the media is biased towards conflict and controversy.

    – MrJM


  8. - Kyle’s mom - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 10:00 am:

    The article calls it a setback, but not a “major” setback. Did Rich misquote it? Or did they change the article after it was quoted? Hmmmm…

    Honest question: if the Dems decides to withdraw and redraw the original map, why did a court still rule on its sufficiency? Wouldn’t it be moot? I’m not criticizing anyone; just trying to figure out why it happened that way. :-)


  9. - Pundent - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 10:01 am:

    =“Is it possible that the media portrayals are intentionally laden with political biases?”=

    That’s undoubtedly happening in many instances. But at some point it becomes farcical when your conclusions are completely separated from reality. Why should we believe anything we read from the SJR or Politico when they can’t get the basic fundamental facts right? And if the only goal is to get people agitated for the sake of clicks, there are plenty of other places to go for that and they’ve at least dropped the pretense of being news organizations.


  10. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 10:03 am:

    Poor journalism, even poorer or dearth of editors, corporate-owned media.

    The Fourth Estate has such a bright future.


  11. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 10:03 am:

    At some point mistakes in larger factual things aren’t mistakes.

    The feature-bug relationship seems like a large shadow here too?


  12. - Asteroid of Caution - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 10:06 am:

    Kyle’s mom, the original story called it a “major legal setback”

    It was updated/changed this morning at 9:49 a.m.
    It now includes this at the end:

    Editor’s note: The current version story reflects changes made in the original published story to clarify and correct descriptions of several issues discussed in the federal court ruling.


  13. - Joe Bidenopolous - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 10:07 am:

    So…if you ever become unhire-able due to incompetence, there’s apparently a spot at Politico for you


  14. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 10:15 am:

    The SJ-R is the Channel 20 of printed journalism. No wonder they’re losing subscribers like flies.


  15. - walker - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 10:16 am:

    Reporters: Don’t be embarrassed when your editor has to go the “CapFax-Check” route.


  16. - Kyle’s mom - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 10:21 am:

    Thanks Asteroid; I was skeptical that Rich would have misquoted it.


  17. - Rabid - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 10:22 am:

    forgot the part where GOP called heads


  18. - Roman - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 10:25 am:

    This is not a small thing. A free press is vital to democracy and it is under attack in ways it never has been. Horrible reporting does not help.

    Seems like we have reporters who never went to J-school covering politics, so here’s a tip. Don’t just cut and paste partisan press releases. Call the communications office at big university and ask them if they have a law professor who follows these kind of cases. Ask him or her to read the opinion and share their thoughts. Most of those professor-types like to see their name in the paper. They’d leap at the chance to help.


  19. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 10:25 am:

    ===Ask him or her to read the opinion===

    Start with reading the opinion yourself. There was no trickery here. It was all straight-forward.


  20. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 10:29 am:

    …Also, multiple people have been privately telling the SJ-R about these problems since it was posted yesterday. They only changed it when called out publicly. That is no way to run a newspaper.


  21. - CommonSense - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 10:30 am:

    One crappy article doesn’t mean the whole news organization is in ruins. Did the SJR mess up? Yes. But some of these comments are being waaayyyy to harsh when it comes to the newspaper as a whole. For people who claim to support journalism y’all seem to be waiting with bated breath for local journalists to do something wrong so you can bash the paper for completely unrelated things. Journalists are not bought by corporations at the local level, not every mistake is a conspiracy, and the journalists at the SJR still do good work even with all the crap thrown at them.


  22. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 10:32 am:

    CommonSense-

    If you’re in need of a safe space, this ain’t it.


  23. - thisjustinagain - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 10:36 am:

    It is reporting like this that demonstrates precisely why American journalism is in such a terrible state nationwide: not getting the facts straight. The headline is bad enough, the article and the alleged correction that still didn’t get it right are even more appalling. The political slant (read as belonging on the editorial page, not in news articles or headlines) makes reporting like this even worse.


  24. - sal-says - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 10:37 am:

    2021: the era where truth doesn’t matter; ‘journalism turned sloppy & lazy; real editors disappeared. Swell.


  25. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 10:39 am:

    === doesn’t mean the whole news organization is in ruins===

    This ain’t the first time.


  26. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 10:44 am:

    “local journalists” For one thing, it’s not a given that the journalists are local. Or even on the continent. Or even human.


  27. - L'mar - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 10:53 am:

    Overworked reporter, no copy editor and an editor who is either just disinterested or not up to snuff.


  28. - SandyC - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 10:58 am:

    === Small details wrong I can forgive. Messing up entire concepts is quite something else.===

    Preach it, Rich. It’s like “gotcha phrases” or “hot topics” of no validity are more important than the truth. Thank you for keeping it real. 🙌🏻


  29. - Steve Rogers - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 11:00 am:

    @common sense, also see the article the SJR published about the poor Southeast and Franklin teachers who have the support of the community and former students and will lose their jobs because of a horrible vaccine mandate meant to control lives and violate personal freedoms.


  30. - jimbo26 - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 11:04 am:

    Springfield people miss the reporting Bernie Schoenburg did.


  31. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 11:15 am:

    ===The SJ-R is the Channel 20 of printed journalism===

    Channel 20 has had its issues, for sure, but it covers far more state stuff than the SJ-R.


  32. - H-W - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 11:30 am:

    @ Roman

    =Most of those professor-types like to see their name in the paper.=

    No comment. Dr. H-W


  33. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 11:38 am:

    ==Channel 20 has had its issues, for sure, but it covers far more state stuff than the SJ-R.==

    However, 20 can’t hold a candle on state government coverage to 3 and 17.

    And yes, Channel 20 covers more state stuff all right–news from Champaign, Danville, and the Eastern Bloc and hardly anything worthwhile from Springfield.


  34. - Give Us Barabbas - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 11:43 am:

    Takes a minute to file the report to Peoria or Bangladesh or wherever the editors work this week.

    … but they are standing firm on calling it for Dewey, in a landslide. High confidence.


  35. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 12:04 pm:

    When I get a chance I need to recheck what day it originally aired (and listen to the podcast again), but a few weeks ago Bruce Rushton (who is moving from Springfield after being fired by Illinois Times) was on Sam Madonia’s show for a good chunk of the morning. At the end of the interview Rushton lambasted the SJ-R and other newspapers for being more interested in covering restaurant reviews instead of real news and hard, investigative journalism.


  36. - Anonish - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 12:11 pm:

    January isn’t that far when there is also all the county-level work that has to be done to integrate the map data in time for petitions.


  37. - JoanP - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 12:43 pm:

    I once had to explain to someone that jumping down to the last line of a judicial opinion was not the best way to learn its meaning. Particularly when you’ve skipped over the majority opinion and are looking at the dissent.

    Reading is fundamental.


  38. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 1:03 pm:

    This is laughable but true but yet sad. After 3 days the SJ-R finally gets around to reporting that their buddies at Channel 20 and Sinclair had been hit by the ransomware attack. A “breaking news story” about “prerecorded news” that’s 3 days old.

    https://www.sj-r.com/story/news/2021/10/20/sinclairs-wics-channel-20-operating-amid-ransomware-attack/8537170002/?utm_campaign=snd-autopilot


  39. - thechampaignlife - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 2:04 pm:

    ===That means candidates can’t circulate their petitions — a process that starts in January — until they know what district they’re running in.===

    Hey, there is always the bedsheet ballot option.


  40. - thechampaignlife - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 2:15 pm:

    ===county-level work that has to be done to integrate the map data===

    What work is that? Congressional and General Assembly petitions are filed at the State Board of Elections. Counties are not involved or dependent on the federal and state maps until the voting precincts are set for the primary election on June 28.


  41. - Unedited - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 6:45 pm:

    Common Sense — …the journalists at the SJR still do good work even with all the crap thrown at them.

    Name one example of “good work” covering state government from this reporter. I’ll wait.
    Also unconscionable if they were notified of errors and didn’t fix until publicly called out.
    And yes, the “coverage” of the freedom martyr teachers was a total abdication of good journalism.
    I’ve wanted to keep supporting them but it’s hard.


  42. - Hawkeye - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 10:29 pm:

    The remaining shell of the SJ-R deserves our pity.
    There are now just a handful of reporters left. Last count I heard was 4.

    4.

    There used to be 5-6 assigned just to the Capitol beat.
    Let that sink in.

    Earlier commenter got it right. Overworked reporter, no copy editor and a top editor that is either lazy / indifferent or just incompetent. The death of professional, impartial journalism is creating a void filled by agenda-driving organizations fomenting legions of social media “experts” who accept a witty meme as accurate news. How the F did we get here??


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