Tell the Truth and Let People Get Pissed

This just in: Chickenshit language is for chickenshits: 

“The Park District declined to make CEO Michael Kelly available for an interview.”

The park district didn’t “decline” to “make Kelly available.” Kelly refused to answer questions about the involvement of the public, taxpayer-funded agency which he leads and from which he makes a comfortable living on the taxpayer dime. Let’s be clear.

[snip]

“Officials have previously said they honored so-called basic requests such as covering the cost for the NFL to rent the Auditorium Theatre, which is owned by Roosevelt University. Choose Chicago CEO Don Welsh said sponsors and donations will cover the cost, estimating that Choose Chicago needs to raise about $3 million to $4 million. Welsh was not made available for comment.”

Nobody was “made available” for comment! Everybody is in hiding!

That should be part of the lead:

“City and tourism officials refused Wednesday to answer questions about why the Chicago Park District, which just had its credit rating downgraded to junk, waived its $937,500 rental fee when it turned over a portion of Grant Park to the NFL, a $12 billion concern, for its draft last month.”

We do not say these things clearly anymore. We are afraid of being called biased, of being accused of taking a stand, and so we stand for nothing. We have no point of view, we have no stake in anything, we are passive observers of the status quo and to avoid being called on THAT, we will use this weasel language and nobody will know what anybody did.

Nobody will be mad, and nobody will do anything.

And if I read one more time that an unnamed spokesperson e-mailed a goddamn statement to somebody — GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE OFFICE! What is wrong with your stupid ass? Is it glued to the chair? If so, can an intern bring you some Goo Gone or something? And the fucking phone so that you can call a person and ask a question?

It’s fucking BULLSHIT. What are you doing here? What is the point? Did you get into journalism because you love listening to politicians lie to you and then reporting their lies in the most gentle way possible? Did you dream of the day when you, too, could soften your wording so as not to upset anybody? Was that your childhood ambition? And if not, exactly when are you planning on being brave?

We have a limited amount of time on this planet, and it’s too short to spend your life writing around calling somebody on their crap because … well … it just feels so confrontational and mean, doesn’t it? Shouldn’t we all just be lovely friends together? Maybe readers will draw their conclusions just by goddamn magic!

Fucking hell, I don’t know what is happening anymore.

A.

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