The Chicago Way: Ald. Ray Lopez, the Mayor’s Race and CWB Chicago Busts WLS and a Top Downtown Cop for Lying About Crime

By John Kass

December 3, 2022

Jeff Carlin and I asked Ald. Ray Lopez, 15th to be a guest on The Chicago Way podcast as the mayor’s race heats up. It’s a mayor’s race he’s no longer a part of.

What did he want to talk about?

Lying politicians and cops accused of lying about miraculous reductions in street crime. Mayor Lori Ligthfoot’s head is all about dreaming of reducing crime, but reality isn’t dreams.

“I’m happy to be back in any capacity,” Lopez said in reference to the fact that he dropped out of the mayoral campaign but is still running for alderman.

“Clearly, with crime down 92 percent, there’s no reason for me to run! (for mayor)” Lopez said.

That got a laugh out of us. He was referencing something that should be a story across Chicago media with Chicago and the mayor being devoured by crime, but isn’t:

Chicago Police Department 1st District Commander David Harris bragged on WLS-AM 890’s Steve Cochran Show that he’s reduced crime in his downtown district by some 40 percent.

But CWB Chicago—the respected crime watchdog media site—called Harris out on it, and WLS radio and Cochran—and did a story on the embarrassing episode. CWB Chicago busted Harris. Downtown crime isn’t down 44 percent. Actually, crime is up 30 percent, according to CWB.

And WLS, the big 89, a place I used to admire, and where I was a host, shamed itself by helping the top downtown cop soothe Lori Lightfoot’s politics and get away with “pure fantasy.”

I did my monologue on it. I was motivated. I thought of how City Hall feels it can lie to the people through the media, and the contempt Chicago’s political class feels for news consumers.

How can the people of Chicago make decisions about their future at a most critical time, when they can’t rely on basic and credible information about the number one issue in the mayor’s race—violent crime?

Chicago media? Do your damn job.

We all can see the corporate legacy media is broken on a national scale with political coverage, but the people can’t get the straight answer by a credulous local media that is too afraid to anger the mayor?

WWDWD? What Would Don Wade Do?

Remember Don Wade? I do. We met after he began reading my newspaper column on the air. That led me to WLS and to Jeff Carlin. Jeff was my producer, too.

Jeff Carlin was the producer for the late Don Wade and Roma show. Jeff knows that Wade wouldn’t have been happy the way Cmdr. Harris treated WLS listeners. And we talk about it on this podcast.

“I’m sure this will come as a shock to you and Jeff,” Ald. Lopez said, “but  modern media is not what it used to be. Oftentimes we see a regurgitation of the press release. This is a perfect example. This is narrative driven politics that we see in Chicago, where if you just keep repeating the lie, people are going to eventually believe it. It comes from the mayor on down, and now we have the police department on the command level doing it.”

Another example of Chicago’s broken media: We also talked of Lori Lightoot showing up in photographs with a guy I know. Gator Bradley, long known around town as the mouthpiece for Disciples Street gang King Larry Hoover, who is in prison for life.

Violent crime is the main issue in the mayor’s race. And she’s seen hanging with Gator? Lightfoot’s downtown cop commander gets lit up for lying about crime stats by CWB Chicago, and Lightfoot’s administration does nothing? That’s pathetic.

The Chicago press corps has ignored the Cmdr. Harris-Steve Cochran-WLS issue. Media says nothing. What does that tell you? That media is broken. Because media says nothing, and ignores it, as if WLS was Hunter Biden who must be protected. It is a problem if you’d like the city to survive.

And it doesn’t speak to competent leadership.

Jeff Carlin and I have been in the news business for decades. We tried with Lori.  I gave her a chance. Betty and I even moved back into the city. But violence pushed us out.

It’s obvious that Lightfoot does not know what she’s doing. And she has no seasoned staff to keep people like Bradley out of the picture frame. Rich Daley had people to take care of these things. The late Tim Degnan was one of these. He’d have hustled a wiseguy out of the picture with a promise to meet him later in Chinatown.

Lightfoot does not have such competent staff. Her staff is a joke. She’s got several severe Karens and woke children as angry as she. A few social justice warriors, and race baiters talking about “equity,”  hustlers, dreamers and fools. But they’re oblivious to public safety, efficient public education and the public good. And all are of the left.

There is little if any judgement among them. And that has already hurt the people.

Wake up, Chicago. You’re running out of time.

Jeff Carlin and I hope you like this edition of The Chicago Way podcast. You can get the podcast free, wherever you subscribe to podcasts. And my readers who subscribe to get these bonus columns, with links to the podcasts, in their email inboxes.


(Copyright 2022 John Kass)

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