April 25, 2014
Bill Ruthhart, a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, reviewed hundreds of emails about CNN’s “Chicagoland” and discovered that the “documentary” was an infomercial for controversial Mayor Rahm Emanuel. CNN honored him at the very time that he took the historically unprecedented step of closing 50 public schools. CNN has no shame.
“If it seemed as though some scenes of CNN’s documentary series “Chicagoland” were coordinated by Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s City Hall and the show’s producers, that’s because they were.
“More than 700 emails reviewed by the Tribune reveal that the production team worked hand in hand with the mayor’s advisers to develop storylines, arrange specific camera shots and review news releases officially announcing the show.
“Producers asked the mayor’s office to help them set up key interactions in what the cable network has billed as a nonscripted eight-part series, including Emanuel’s visits with the school principal who emerged as a star of the show, emails show.
“City Hall’s frequent correspondence with the producers illustrates how senior aides to a mayor known for shaping his media image managed how their boss would be portrayed on CNN to a prime time national audience.
“The production team for the series, whose final episode aired Thursday night, told Emanuel’s staff that particular scenes would present the mayor in a positive light, with one of the producers expressing a desire to showcase the mayor “as the star that he really is.”
“Creator and executive producer Marc Levin made a pitch to the mayor’s office last May as Emanuel’s hand-picked school board was two days away from a vote to close nearly 50 schools.”