Collapse of Mainstream News Media Continues

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Collapse of Mainstream News Media Continues
Southwest News-Herald Newspaper Friday, March 15, 2013

Carol Marin is no Mike Royko. But she does make a bundle of cash, far more than you or I, working for a poverty-stricken media company.

Marin represents the cancer that has plagued the news media for decades, a reporter who picks and chooses when ethics is applicable and when it is not.

She uses her column in the Chicago Sun-Times, her commentaries on the ratings-poor WMAQ TV (Channel 5) and the even more obscure WTTW-TV (Channel 11) to help her political friends and sources.

She’ll promote a convicted felon now and then, like one of the county’s worst crooks, Betty Loren-Maltese, because in Marin’s book, ethics and morality are all relative.

If Royko were alive, he’d be pummeling a crook like Loren-Maltese, not protecting her and fighting her enemies as a favor.

Marin turned her back on so many ethical lapses in Cook County politics because she is “friends” with several of the county’s officials, including David Orr, the former reformer — maybe we can call him a “be-former” — who used his office to help his political friends seek office in the Town of Cicero and elsewhere.

Unlike Marin, I disclose my alliances and conflicts openly. I have owned Urban Strategies Group since the 1990s. I manage media for government officials, including clients like the Town of Cicero.

Marin, on the other hand, hides her conflicts in order to promote their interests and gains.

If Royko were alive, he’d be pummeling Carol Marin, and calling her out as a phony.

How is it that Orr can donate money to candidates who he then supports in election campaigns as the head of the elections agency for Cook County? Isn’t it a conflict of interest for the elections chief to be supporting candidates and then offering rulings criticizing their enemies?

The County Clerk’s office should be shut down and Orr’s elective office should be eliminated. Instead, it should operate like the Chicago Election Board, which is appointed by the judicial system.

Someone needs to revamp the election system that allows people to lie and perjure themselves so easily, such as claiming they qualify as candidates by merely renting an apartment, and then just as quickly return to their real homes in other communities outside the jurisdiction of the offices they sought and lost?

Marin and others like her complain about nepotism — the hiring of relatives — but they are silent about nepotism abuses in the media itself, and in communities where they live. If nepotism is wrong, shouldn’t the state legislature ban it?

Believe me if that happened, the outcry wouldn’t come from the communities targeted by Marin, but by the communities she and others protect.

Carol Marin has attacked me personally many times. But I won’t be bullied by a hypocrite who hides behind her media empire in order to engage in hypocritical politics.

Fortunately, the media where she works is a dying industry. Her newspaper is a decrepit venture, so different from what it was when I worked there and actually covered City Hall – unlike Marin, a TV talking head who based her reports on what she read in my daily stories.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist and media consultant. Follow him on Twitter at @rayhanania.) — City & Suburban News-Herald

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and at, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

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Ray Hanania