Thursday, December 29, 2011
Fran Eaton calls me a "character," but I wonder what she would call herself if her writing wasn't so far up the butts of the Tea Party conservatives and the extreme wing of the Chicagoland Republican party.
Eaton writes a PR puff piece for the Illinois Review, a conservative Republican publication that gives her a platform to promote her extreme rightwing pals. I should say it's not about her hiding behind the Republican Party coats that bothers me; there are a lot of great Republicans out there. But Eaton is a phony. She wants people to think she can analyze politics objectively but she can't. Her writing is stilted and her naalysis is handed to her usually by her political buddies who feed her the inside "scoops" she passes off as news.
This week, I wrote about how State Rep. Kevin McCarthy has decided not to run for re-election, and speculated based on my 35 years of covering Chicagoland politics, that he was stepping down on a high note rather than facing off with Republican Renee Kosel. Kosel is a powerhouse in Republican circles and not one of the nutjobs that Eaton usually pals around with. Eaton has taken shots at me before. I covered Chicago politics for 35 years including 16 years covering Chicago City Hall (from Daley to Daley 1976 through 1992). So although my family is Republican (and so is my wife) I lean towards the Democrats since there is no real Republican presence in Chicago at all.
And Eaton took off on me again, this week attacking me in her usual wet blanket and pacifier in mouth style.
What angered Eaton this time? Well, in analyzing the McCarthy decision not to run, I wrote critically of Jeff Junkas who ran against McCarthy in 2010. Junkas is a rightwing Tea Party activist and is a personal friend of Fran Eaton. During that battle against McCarthy, Eaton played an active role in trying to diss the other Republican in the race, Molly McAvoy Flynn and also Cook County CommissionerElizabeth "Liz" Doody Gorman.
Well, Eaton decided to use her political column in Illinois Review to defend Junkas' honor.
Her biggest points:
1 - I am a media consultant
2 - I also write for several newspapers (several in Chicago and several in the Middle East)
3 - I am "friends" with Liz Gorman
4 - I criticized Junkas' junky campaign
Guilty on all counts. But I am upfront about my relationships, unlike Eaton who hides hers to pass herself off as "objective." She's not objective at all. But she is transparent.
Eaton basically argues that I mix politics and journalism. Wow. Being accused mixing politics and journalism by Fran Eaton is like being called ugly by a pig. If anyone uses her column to pimp for her political pals it is Fran Eaton. (Here's a profile the Chicago Reader wrote about the openness of my journalism-consulting balancing act.)
At least I am up front about my work. Yes, I am president and CEO of Urban Strategies Group. I have seven political and government clients. When I write my columns I openly identify myself as being a media consultant or a political consultant. When I write about someone that is a client, I point it out. When I write about someone who is a political "friend," I point it out.
One of those clients is the high profile Town of Cicero and Town President Larry Dominick, who I not only work for as spokesman but admire. (Eaton, remember, writes also for the Southtown/Star which is owned by the Chicago Sun-Times. I worked at both newspapers years ago and loved the Southtown and loved the old Sun-Times. But today's Sun-Times is nothing near what it used to be two decades ago. And people like Eaton only help bring it down even more.)
It's called "ethics," Fran. Something you clearly lack besides being a horrendous political writer. (Who learned you politics anyway? LOL).
It is true that I am "friends" with Liz Gorman. I admire her and I think she is the best political force in Cook County that the Republican Party has. That came AFTER I spent three years criticizing her and questioning her actions. And that makes me far more objective than the politically partisan Fran Eaton could ever be.
The truth is that Fran Eaton was and basically is Junkas' campaign manager. How did I find that out? When Eaton asked to interview Gorman, Gorman called me and asked me to attend as a writer I did. Eaton mentions this meeting but turns it upside down pretending that she was there to write an "objective" story. Baloney. Eaton was there as an activist for Jeff Junkas. During the entire interview, Eaton kept trying to push Gorman into supporting Junkas. She kept slandering Flynn (who I met several times but Eaton apparently can't locate) in the hopes of undermining Flynn's candidacy against Junkas. Junkas eventually won the Republican primary and went on to get his ass kicked by the weak McCarthy.
Ironically, Eaton questions Gorman's support of Junkas. But the truth is that had Gorman gone south on Junkas and helped McCarthy, the unknown Junkas and Tea Party activist would never have come within 117 votes in Orland Township where Gorman is the Republican Committeeman. In fact, the vote shows that Gorman came out strong for Junkas.
Eaton goes as far as to attack House Speaker Michael J. Madiganwho is one of the most brilliant politicians in Illinois history and in the Midwest. I've known Madigan for 35 years, since the very day I started working at the Southtown in the 1970s. We've had our ups and downs. Like Gorman, I've criticized him and I have praised him, too. Eaton? Well, she hates Democrats, hates moderate Republicans and is a groupie for the Tea Party nutjobs who have, in my opinion, undermined the Republican party's honor.
Fran Eaton is no journalist. She's a political hack doing hack jobs for her pals. And the Illinois Review does't care as long as those hack jobs align with their political bend.
I'll put my credentials up against the smarmy Eaton any time. I have four Peter Lisagor Awards for column writing from the Chicago Headline Club. A sigma Delta Chi Award from the SPJ. Best Ethnic Columnist in America (2007). And two Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, among many more.
What does Eaton have? Well, she has her political chums who spoon feed her most of her worthless drivel. if the word "creepy" applies to anyone, it applies to the hypocrite Fran Eaton and her unethical writing and her efforts to disguise her political activism. Eaton loves to dish it out but she has a skin so thin her screaming rants are notorious. Eaton is pals with right-wing Republican Dan Patlak who is running for another term on the Board of Tax Review. He's only taken $300,000 in donations from the lawyers who appear before the board. You won't see Eaton writing about that, but she will be attacking Patlak's challenger Sean Morrison who Gorman supports.
Click HERE to read Eaton's political consulting analysis for the Illinois Review.
Click HERE to read my analysis of McCarthy's decision to step down.
The truth is Junkas is a horrible public candidate, Gorman is the best thing that has ever happened to Southwest suburban Republican politics, and Eaton is a flaming hypocrite.
By the way Fran, I host a Sunday morning radio show on WSBC AM 1240 from 8 until 11 am (www.RadioChicagoland.com). And I'm happy to expose your hypocrisy there this Sunday, too!
-- Ray Hanania
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Normally, I love to cook for the holidays. But this Christmas, we decided to take it easy and instead of slaving over the oven, we wanted to go out an enjoy a great meal. There are a lot of restaurants where you can enjoy a great meal, but there is only one in the Southwest suburbs where you can really enjoy a fabulous meal worthy of Christmas or even New Years. That's 94 West Steak and Seafood, 15410 94th Avenue in Orland Park.
94 West is the absolute finest restaurant where you can get one of the best meals not only for quality but even for price. We ordered the Prime Rib. Now, my son ordered the 18 ounce Mary Prime Rib and I ordered the 18 ounce Johnny's Cut. I thought, for some reason, that the cuts would be pretty normal. But the Prime Rib I got was huge. I mean huge! It melted in my mouth it was so good.
Alison got the Sea Bass which was phenomenal. And We had the buffalo shrimp and the buffalo calamari as starters. Wow!
I figured this was one of the best Christmases we have had in a long time. The weather was beautiful -- one of the first Christmases I can remember where we didn't have any snow. Not a snow flake. It felt like a slightly chilled California with a clear blue night sky and bright stars.
What a perfect Christmas. Thanks to owners Brian and Maria Sjord. What wonderful hosts and phenomenal food. Try it.
Don't forget that they have a Special New Year's Eve dining evening planned from 11 pm until 3 am only $25 a person including a while roasted Filet Mignon carving station. Lobster Newberg saute station, Scottish Salmon, Tilapia, snow crab and more. Reservations for open menu available from 3 pm to 5 pm.
Visit www.94westrestaurant.com for more details.
-- Ray Hanania
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Full Radio Chicagoland broadcast 12-18-11. 3 hours. Hour 8 am discussion of the bias of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Town of Cicero and its Christmas and food programs for the poor. Hour 9 am Washington DC Columnist and al-Arabiya contributor Ali Younes discusses the withdrawal of American combat forces from Iraq and the strategic failure of the U.S. Policy in Iraq. Iraq is predominantly Shi'ite and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein not only empowered al-Qaeda but also strengthened the power of Iran and also the power triangle of Iraq, Syria and Iran. We also discuss the protest against Lowes and the controversy surrounding the TLC Reality TV show All-American Muslim. Hour 10 am. Christina Tobin of Taxpayers Unites for America discusses the lawsuit against the Illinois Tollway Authority and the proposed increases in tolls; Hour 10:30 am we talk with Gregory Tejeda, the award winning columnist for Chicago Argus http://ChicagoArgus.blogspot.com about the Republican Presidential contenders from Mitt Romney to John Huntsman, Ron Paul as a possible 3rd party candidate, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich, plus potential other options besides President Barack Obama including Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin. Hosted by Ray Hanania. Associate producer Kheir Feakhreldin. Broadcast Every Sunday in Chicago on WSBC 1240 AM Radio from 8 to 11 am. www.RadioChicagoland.com.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Saturday, December 10, 2011
We'll be talking about these Topics Sunday Dec. 11 (8-11 AM Chicago) WSBC AM 1240 Radio www.RadioChicagoland.com:
- Was the sentence fo 14 years for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich appropriate? We'll discuss that with listeners.
- 8 am We'll be talking with Columnist Gregory Tejeda and also listeners about the stiff conviction. Was Blagojevich the victim of system bias? Was Judge James Zagel fair or was Zagel just a tool of the Chicagoland political system, influenced more by the media than justice?
- 8:30/9 am Monroe Anderson shares his thoughts on Blagojevich and on the Republican Debate last night (Saturday night)
- 9:30 the mess at the Chicago Public School
- 10 am Jim Hickey on filing bankruptcy and his fight against Millionaire Bill Foster
10:30 am Beth Stier of Ungagged.net discusses Enron and what many argue was the unfair way in which Enron was targeted.
From the Unagged.net writers: Above is the link to Ungagged.net's FAQ page. The FAQs will give you some background information about Ungagged.net and what the real story is (prosecutorial abuse) that was not addressed by mainstream media. I was an Enron vendor for 12 years. My company produced the majority of Enron's corporate videos. When Enron went bankrupt, I learned that by default I had become the "custodian of record" for the Enron videotape library. As the custodian of record, it was my responsibility to work with both the prosecution and the various defense teams. It was through this work that I witnessed and personally experienced prosecutorial overreach, misconduct and abuse. After this experience, I learned that the Enron prosecutions are an example of what happens every day in the United States. Prosecutorial abuse is rampant. So I produced Ungagged.net not only to set the record straight about the Enron prosecutions and tell the other side of the Enron story, but also to (as corny as it sounds) alert my fellow Americans to the problem of prosecutorial abuse. We need to discuss it and we need to make a stink about it, because only Congress can limit the power of the Federal prosecutors.