-By John Dillon who blogs at Pension Vocabulary.
Usually it takes at least a couple of days before the Chicago Tribune’s Editorial Board follows an emotional diatribe by Illinois Policy Institute’s opinion writer Diana Sroka Rickert with an echoing piece re-mastered to smooth some of the hysteria and to borrow some of the arguments.
Perhaps with Bruce Dold now charge of the daily, McCormick (the novice Editor) couldn’t wait to follow up. It was quick, but in keeping with Dold’s models, he and his team elevated Rickert’s rants, cleaned up the innuendos, and thieved her arguments in a more, well, tastefully manner.
But, it’s always wise to remember that the Illinois Policy Institute enjoys a special relationship with the Chicago Tribune, one in which the far-right leaning group gets expansive opportunity to promote their tea-party, state’s rights, free markets, and no taxation policies. And that relationship is symbiotic, as the Trib can later (usually more than one day) edit and refine the I.P.I.’s latest tirade into something more palatable for their avid readers and corporate elite.
According to Rickert’s argument, General Assembly legislators – Democrats – are playing at computer games like Candy Crush, while the state budget goes undone. While this is not a new phenomena – legislators of both parties have been caught before doing emails, seeking purchases on E-Bay, even playing Battleship with each other – but this affront by Rep. Cloonen and Rep. Smiddy took place while the debate over the budget took place and was caught on WCIA television. Heavens!
WCIA has always been receptive to the I.P.I.’s offers to put their own spin on what is happening in Springfield, and as a centrally located television studio in Champaign area, they both have continued to curry this relationship. You’ll find the I.P.I. is often part of their coverage.
The WCIA helps I.P.I.; and the I.P.I. helps the Chicago Tribune. Symbiotic.