Jesse Jackson, Jr.: Sympathy for the devil

The Chicago media are tripping over themselves in syrupy sympathy for Jesse Jackson, Jr. Photo: Associated Press

“…Just call me Lucifer Cause I’m in need of some restraint

So if you meet me Have some courtesy Have some sympathy, and some taste Use all your well-learned politesse Or I’ll lay your soul to waste, um yeah

Pleased to meet you Hope you guessed my name…” (Sympathy for the Devil/Rolling Stones) 

CHICAGO, November 24, 2012 — The Chicago media are in a full court press declaring love, kisses and sympathy for former Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. Such an outpouring of affection has not been seen since Al Capone was convicted. 

The way the Chicago media are acting, people could rightfully wonder if they will throw a going away gala, replete with a celebrity-studded red carpet, for the criminal politician. 

How could anyone be sympathetic to a typical, corrupt Chicago politician? Instead of pounding the nails in Junior’s coffin, the media are covering him with sympathy and praise. Fearless reporting and courageous journalism are dead in Chicago. They have been replaced with the cowardice of cut-and-paste press releases. 

Jesse Jackson, Jr., is a member of the Chicago Machine, the Chicago Democratic Crime Family. Another member of that august organization will replace him. The corruption will go on, the constituents will suffer, and nothing will change. That’s the Chicago Way. 

Jesse Jackson, Jr., deserves no sympathy. He’s corrupt, deserves to be called “corrupt,” and deserves to be publicly pilloried for it. He deserves the harshest vilification. He’s a sleazy criminal who deserves a very long prison sentence and impossibly high fines as a warning to others.

That will not happen. Because of who he is, Jackson will be allowed to cut a very generous deal with prosecutors. He will be out of prison just in time to resurrect his political career. 

As they did with another congressional thief, former Illinois Congressman Dan Rostenkowski, the media will throw a coming home party for Jackson. He will be praised and lauded. He will land a gig as a media political consultant, and all will be forgiven. 

Here is one question no one is asking. Is it possible that Jackson’s so-called mental illness is a scam? He decided to get “sick” and disappear right around the time federal law enforcement was going to drop a ton of bricks on his head. If he successfully pleads diminished mental capacity, he may not be fit to stand trial, a perfect method to get a generous plea deal. 

Some in the Chicago media are just as corrupt as the politicians. Leading up to the sentencing hearing of William F. Cellini, a long time major Illinois political fixer, Chicago so-called journalists and other media types wrote letters to the federal judge pleading for leniency. In their fearful cowardice, they demanded the leniency letters be sealed to hide their identities. Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass was the only one to report on the perfidy of these people. 

None of these fawning journalists ever suffer the effects of corrupt politics. They do not go to the impoverished areas of the city; they never walk the streets and take in the misery. They endorse the same people again and again for election and reelection. Jackson is not alone. Danny Davis, Bobby Rush, various career state politicians, and of course Chicago aldermen all ignore their impoverished constituents. Then-Senator Obama ignored his poverty-stricken constituents and ignores them still as president. 

Chicago reporters, with stars in their eyes, heap praise upon these treacherous politicians. 

During the 1960s, race riots produced mayhem and havoc, arson and murder. Racism, poverty, and White politicians were blamed. Five decades later, after Blacks have forged political careers, voting blocs, and even political dynasties, nothing has changed in the impoverished ghettos. In some areas things have gone from bad to worse and worse to worst. None of this is reported. Instead, the politicians are put on pedestals and praised as heroes of the people. 

There are parts of Chicago that are worse than third-world nations. The only difference is that Chicago has indoor plumbing. Nothing is being done to improve the lives of people living in poverty. They get welfare and food stamps to barely survive on, and because there are no jobs for them, they are grateful. For almost fifty years that has been the only solution to poverty: Keep people unemployed and poor. 

It is time for the media in Chicago to tell the truth. No politician deserves sympathy if he or she commits crimes. No politician should be put on a pedestal. No politician deserves reelection who does not improve the lives of the most vulnerable amongst us. They work for us; they are our servants, not our masters. They aren’t Roman emperors, semi-divinities who deserve praise for deigning to live among us, but men and women who serve at our pleasure and should always be held accountable for their performance. 

Skepticism should rule political journalism, not political career boosterism. 

The Democratic Machine is meeting to look for Jesse Jackson Jr.’s replacement. It will be another political hack. They hope the replacement is smarter than Jackson. They hope he or she is more sophisticated and will not get caught. The corruption will roll on. The poor will remain poor. The power structure will be happy. 

Chicago politicians do not serve the people. Their loyalty is to the Machine and their big bucks contributors, in that order. The people come last. There is an old adage in Chicago politics, “Never underestimate the stupidity of the Chicago voter.” It is proven true every election cycle. 

If the media did their jobs instead of playing paddy cake with politicians, citizens would learn and be enlightened. Until then, Chicagoans will continue to live in the Dark Ages of political corruption and criminality. Nothing will change except the names of the crooks, thieves, looters, and pillagers of the public trust. 

Peter V. Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance journalist and photojournalist, cook, and raconteur.  He likes to be the irreverent sharp stick that pokes, prods, and annoys.  His opinions are his and his alone. Mr. Bella is a member of the National Press Photographers Association, Online News Association, Chicago Headline Club, and the Society for Professional Journalists. 

pvbella@gmail.com 

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Peter Bella

Peter Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance photographer, freelance writer, budding videographer, and passionate cook.  He aims to be the sharp stick that pokes and annoys.  The Middle Class Guy is a political column written from a center-right point of view.  While concentrating mainly on politics he will stray into culture, entertainment, sports, cooking, and humor from time to time, along with Memories of things Pabst.  All from a middle class perspective.

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