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Insult to Injury

  I've worked in the building at 190 North State Street for ABC-7 or ABC News since the late 1980's and known many of the people here for over two decades. 

  To make a point, let's say that one of my long-time colleagues suffered a sudden and violent death that attracted local media attention.  Then a reporter from some other outlet was allowed into to the building to interview grieving co-workers two days after the colleague's passing, asking how that death might affect the Neilsen ratings.  When the reporter got to me, I would pause for about three seconds, call the person an insensitive jerk and ask him/her to get out of my face and out of the building.

  Wednesday, for constitutional reasons, Mayor Daley could not tell such a questioner to get out of city hall.  But he did walk out of a news conference after the reporter for WFLD-TV (FOX) asked Daley for comment on an un-named theorist's opinion that the Mayor's political career might be harmed by the death of his long-time ally, School Board President Michael Scott.

  "What? Death? Its a personal thing.  It has nothing to do with my public career.  That's an insult to me," Daley said.

  The reporter, Tera Williams, was unborn or no more than a toddler when then-State's Attorney Richard M. Daley met west side community activist Michael Scott.  Scott was a deputy campaign manager for Daley's unsuccessful 1983 run for mayor and since Daley's election in1989 has been appointed by hizzoner to numerous boards and agencies including two different appointments as Chicago School Board President.   After nearly three decades, what may have begun as a political association, certainly evolved into a more personal relationship.  Only 24 hours earlier, the Mayor choked back tears as he described having a "family" relationship with Scott.

  "Because someone that you love dies, that changes your public career?  What a silly question to ask anybody," continued Daley Wednesday.

   "Don't you have any respect for people anymore.  I know you want to make a lot of money.  You want to be on TV.  But do you have any respect for anyone?  I guess you don't.  Its kind of a sad comment.  You owe me an apology."  Then Daley walked away staring angrily at Williams as the rest of the press corps watched in stunned silence.

  The FoxChicago website did not list an age for Williams but it did say she'd worked in Chicago since 2006.  The young woman apparently did not know much about Daley/Scott history.  I know that the more experienced reporters in the room would never have asked the Mayor a question like that.  Not Wednesday.  Never before Scott's funeral.

  But hey, I've made goofy mistakes in the nearly 30 years since I was 30 and she's got plenty of career left to get it right.

  She can begin by offerring Mayor Daley the apology he rightfully says he's owed.


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