Chicago veteran media reporter Robert Feder has the goods on Chicago Fox 32 General Manager Dennis Welsh.
Welsh went on the air the other day with an editorial that featured ordinary folks complaining about public pensions and the need to raise revenue to pay them.
Except the ordinary folks were all Fox employees.
Who are these supposed ordinary citizens expressing their outrage over high taxes and government workers’ pensions? For a few seconds in small print at the bottom of the screen it says: “Illinois Taxpayer enactments performed by Fox 32 employees.” In other words, they’re all Fox 32 staffers being used as props for the boss.
That’s not all. Fox 32 is paying to promote Welsh’s rant in Facebook ads, according to Illinois Working Together, a coalition of unions including chairs of the Illinois AFL-CIO and Chicago Federation of Labor.
“@Fox32News is PAYING TO PROMOTE this video that blames all IL taxes on pensions + advocates constitution changes,” Illinois Working Together tweeted this week. “It’s one thing for a newscast to air its political views/advocate policy change. It’s a very different thing to *pay to promote* those views. Apparently the “views expressed” may or may not represent @Fox32News. So . . . who paid for the Facebook ads?”
Welsh did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
Fox 32 sources said the editorial was produced outside of the news department and did not involve news personnel. “We’re not happy about it,” one insider said..
It is more than the people in the ad that are phony. So is everything Welsh said, including “the” and “it.”
Channel 32 staffers, pretending to be random folks, recite their scripts complaining that their taxes are paying for “unsustainable public pension costs” instead of paying for roads and “educating our kids.”
Welsh knows better. He knows that seventy years of unpaid pension dollars were diverted to pay for roads and schools because Illinois revenue, taxes on the wealthy, were kept unsustainably low.
Welsh calls for a constitutional amendment to erase the pension protection clause from the Illinois Constitution knowing that this will do nothing to erase the $200 billion dollar (according to Bloomberg) pension liability.