AP Treats Jesse Jackson's Endorsement of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Runoff Opponent as a Local Story

A review of the "Big Story" archive at the Associated Press's national site on Jesse Jackson's name returns quite a few instances where the wire service has treated the "Reverend's" self-injection into stories considered nationally important as noteworthy.

In addition to the predictable plethora of stories relating to Ferguson, Missouri and "police-communities tension," Jackson's name has recently appeared in two stories about a Chicago area Little League team stripped of its national title over "falsified boundaries," tech jobs for minorities, an Ebola patient and several relating to the National Football League. But somehow, Jackson's endorsement of  Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, who is challenging incumbent Chicago Democratic Mayor and former Barack Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel in its April 7 runoff election, is not a "Big Story" or present anywhere else on AP's national site, indicating that the wire service considers it a mere local item.

Here is the AP's brief unbylined report (presented in full for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes):


That's a significant watering down of the tone and tenor of what happened yesterday, as the Chicago Tribune's coverage makes quite clear:

Jesse Jackson backs Garcia over Emanuel for Chicago mayor

Mayoral candidate Jesus "Chuy" Garcia got the endorsement of the Rev. Jesse Jackson on Monday as both the challenger and Mayor Rahm Emanuel compete for the crucial African-American vote ahead of next month's runoff election.

... "This is not about President Obama and me, it's about Chuy and Rahm Emanuel. It's about whether there's a plan for reconstruction," said Jackson, who did not directly criticize Emanuel during his remarks.

"We've been blessed to know Chuy over the years," said Jackson, who added that Garcia would "assume the burden of responsibility to work with us to reconstruct where we live."

Garcia and Jackson appeared at a trash-strewn Englewood lot as the challenger promised to revitalize city neighborhoods he argues Emanuel has neglected at the expense of downtown.

... "Neighborhoods have been left behind by this administration," Garcia said Monday during a news conference near Halsted Street and Marquette Road.

"The vacant lot behind us is indicative, it underscores that failed policy," the Cook County commissioner said. "People in Chicago neighborhoods want the attention of a mayor and a City Council who understand what it will take to ensure neighborhood revitalization all over Chicago."

Jackson may claim that his endorsement isn't about President Obama, but it definitely relates to someone Obama has enthusiastically endorsed. Additionally, the venue chosen is only 4-1/2 miles from the Obamas' house in the Windy City's Hyde Park neighborhood, where the well-to-do live.

Perhaps more important, the site of yesterday's rally is also a mere 1.5 miles from 6100 South Princeton Avenue, the site of what was to be the Englewood area's $1.1 million "botanical garden," a project originally and visibly championed in 2000 by State Senator Barack Obama. Except for a worthless gazebo, the project went nowhere. As I noted in 2008, the Chicago Sun-Times wrote that Obama "vowed to 'work tirelessly' to build an oasis for Englewood," but "It never happened." Instead, there are lots of "vacant lots." Don't tell me that there aren't some hard feelings on Chicago's South Side towards our nation's current commander-in-chief, or that they won't negatively impact Emanuel.

The AP's clearly light and non-national treatment of habitual media darling Jackson's endorsement of Emanuel's opponent in a very rare mayoral runoff election in the nation's third-largest city makes it appear that it is trying to tamp down any negative repercussions an Emanuel loss might have on President Obama's perceived political clout.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Campaigns & Elections Media Bias Debate Bias by Omission Double Standards Political Groups Liberals & Democrats Wire Services/Media Companies Associated Press Major Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times Chicago Tribune Barack Obama Rahm Emanuel Jesse Jackson

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