Monday, April 23, 2007

Tribune reporter whitewashes report

Today, a group of left-wing groups and lawyers will be releasing a report saying a special investigation into alleged torture by former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge was a whitewash.

But if you read the Tribune's story by virulently anti-prosecutor reporter Maurice Possley you were denied any information about the groups preparing the report. Here's how Possley characterized the parties behind the report.

More than 200 prominent lawyers, politicians, clergy and academics are preparing to call upon the Cook County Board, the United Nations and the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as Congress, to open new investigations of allegations that scores of suspects were tortured by Chicago police officers under former Lt. Jon Burge.

A petition, to be announced at a news conference Tuesday, will be accompanied by a report prepared by a team of lawyers, researchers and community activists that is critical of a report issued last year by a special prosecutor after a lengthy grand jury investigation into the torture allegations.
Possley is trying to make sure it looks like the new report was prepared by a generic group of folks interested only in justice.

Here's how Abdon Pallasch of the Sun-Times describes the people behind the report.

The report -- by a coalition that includes Northwestern University's Center On Wrongful Convictions, Amnesty International and lawyers representing the alleged torture victims in civil suits against the city -- recommends the Cook County Board hold a hearing into "questions concerning the special prosecutors."
Possley was doing what has been done for years by many in the MSM—playing games with labeling. If a coalition of conservative groups was issuing a report critical of defense lawyers, do you believe that Possley would have avoided plastering the conservative label all over the story. That is, of course, if the story was published.

As we noted here, the Tribune, in breathless anticipation of a blistering report on the Burge torture, profiled the two special prosecutors, calling them "legal giants." When the report turned out to be insufficiently critical, the Tribune allowed defense lawyer/gadfly Flint Taylor prominent play on its pages to hurl wild charges against the special prosecutors.

Look for a continuation of that trend.

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