I’ve enjoyed Mark Giangreco’s sports reports for years. First at WMAQ and now on WLS. He never took sports news all that seriously, as illustrated by the graphic of underwear that went up on the screen when he did his sports
shorts briefs segment.
I had no idea what his politics were and I don’t follow his tweets.
So I missed the one where he called Donald Trump a cartoon lunatic.
That sounds about right, although I’m not sure about the cartoon part.
In any case, it was a tweet. His tweet didn’t contain the C word. He didn’t support child sexual abuse. He didn’t call immigrants rapists and murderers.
Giangreco didn’t turn his sports
shorts briefs into a political commentary.
Giangreco’s tweet got him in trouble with the bosses at ABC because of a morning drive radio talk show host -a failed Republican gubernatorial candidate – named Dan Proft.
Giangreco later deleted the post, but not before it was picked up by Chicago City Wire, a website associated with conservative talk show host Dan Proft, morning personality on Salem Media news/talk WIND AM 560. (The headline: “ABC 7 Chicago Sports Anchor Giangreco derides America as ‘country full of simpletons,’ questions legitimacy of presidential election.”) The industry website TVSpy also reported on it.
Giangreco will be okay. He is popular and will be back on the air after a couple of weeks.
But ABC caved to a right-wing creep, Dan Proft.
Proft isn’t just a Rush Limbaugh wannabe radio talker. He is a major tool for Bruce Rauner and the Illinois Policy Institute.
The local ABC corporate owned WLS carries Rush Limbaugh, by the way.
So who is the one-time gubernatorial primary candidate and conservative radio show host, and why is he behind an influential super PAC that receives millions from big-name donors like shipping magnate Richard Uihlein and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner?
Proft’s Liberty Principles super PAC has become a chief conduit for allies of Rauner to influence legislative races across the state without any restrictions.
Besides running Liberty Principles, Proft, 44, is a senior fellow for the Illinois Policy Institute, a conservative think-tank and run by Rauner ally John Tillman, whom Proft calls his “philosophical soulmate.” Like Proft, Tillman is viewed by political insiders as an outside political consultant to Rauner.
Uihlein — by far Liberty Principles’ largest contributor – is also involved in the Illinois Policy Institute, which just released a documentary criticizing Rauner’s nemesis, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago. Rauner has given money to the Illinois Policy Institute as well.
Rauner, Uihlein and Ken Griffin are key contributors to state Republicans, with large sums of their money being donated to Liberty Principles and another super PAC, Turnaround Illinois, which in turn help fund key races.
Uihlein is Liberty Principles’ biggest donor, at $6.575 million. Rauner contributed $2.5 million and Griffin $1.1 million, records show.
Proft and Uihlein met during Proft’s unsuccessful Republican primary bid for governor in 2010. Uihlein donated $585,000, with $500,000 of that coming on Dec. 28, 2010, months after Proft lost the March primary.
Proft’s super PAC was also active in legislative races in the 2013-2014 election cycle — in that case, siding with conservatives over Republican moderates.
This is all aside (or maybe not) from Proft’s association with the President of Cicero, Larry Dominick.
This is all a little personal since the IPI spends tons of money and bullies their way into the media for the main purpose of advocating against state employee pensions.
So, can a veteran sports reporter on a local television station, who never talks politics on the air, be permitted to tweet a negative comment about our dear leader?
Not in Dan Proft’s world.
Or in the world of those he fronts for.