Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Feds subpoena Rezko-Obama house records

That's the headline you'll never see in your Chicago newspapers—or any other for that matter. But that's exactly what was revealed in this Chicago Tribune Friday evening blog dump, a story that never graced the print edition.

There's no excuse for this blackout. It is inarguably a news story: Never before has the press revealed that the feds subpoenaed records related to the same day house and lot purchase in 2005 by Barack Obama and convicted felon Tony Rezko.

In my days as a reporter it was always news when a new subpoena was discovered in a high profile criminal investigation. And add in that the Chicago-based presidential candidate participated in the joint purchase, it is malpractice not to highly publicize this revelation.

I discussed the blackout this week with a top Chicago reporter. He offered feeble arguments against publishing the story—it's only two weeks until the election, there's no evidence that Obama is a target of the feds, etc. All are points that could be pointed out in the story to provide context.

But to not publish? This election has deeply eroded the news media's credibility. The scorn on the campaign trail for MSM outlets is richly deserved.

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