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CHICAGO, April 30, 2014 — Chicago reporters grilled Rahm Emanuel Wednesday in his first press conference since a political firestorm ignited last week over released emails showing collusion between “Chicagoland” producers and the Mayor’s senior advisers.
From the beginning, CNN’s “Chicagoland” series was billed as “unscripted,” but many critics questioned the network’s rosy portrayal of Emanuel. Their concerns were well-founded.
The 700 emails reveal that CNN producers and Emanuel’s staff developed special story-lines and arranged camera angles. One of the emails assured Emanuel’s aides that CNN would make “Rahm look good.” Another CNN email gushed that the producers planned to showcase Emanuel as the “star he really is.”
Despite his best efforts, Emanuel could not sidestep all of the media’s questions about the CNN scandal, including mine:
See the fireworks at .58 in the video here.
KELLY: “Will CNN be reporting the cost of the production as an in-kind contribution to your campaign for reelection?”
EMANUEL: “Don’t you think that’s a question for them [CNN] to answer?”
No, Mayor Emanuel that is a question for you to answer.
CNN’s TV and advertising budgets for “Chicagoland” account for millions of dollars in free advertising and production work for Emanuel — arguably an extended infomercial for his political campaigns. WME agent Ari Emanuel’s close ties to the CNN producers now raise even more questions in light of the emails.
All of these revelations have raised questions about Rahm Emanuel’s veracity. Chicagoans are beginning to wonder: can they trust their mayor? What else is he deceiving the public about?
In the year leading up to his 2015 re-election campaign, was the “Chicagoland” documentary just an effort to manipulate the public and improve Emanuel’s poor approval ratings pre-election?
In the days to come, Emanuel will have to answer all of these questions and more.
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