MEDIA WATCH: OMG! They were Rude To Rahm! After four years of Rahm's staging hundreds of media events, DNA Info fulminates against the so-called 'staging' of the mental health advocates' confrontation with Rahm in Wicker Park....

For the past four years, Substance has been reporting, on a regular basis, about the media events carefully staged by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his enormous City Hall Press Office media team -- a team which only works to stage the mayor's events and has nothing to do with the rest of the city. When some new or Rahmized reporter fulminates against those who supposedly staged against Rahm, we're tempted to compare that person to the kid who's caught in the whore house without all the clothes but claims to be there for the piano music. Sigh.... We've watched and reported on these since Rahm came back to Chicago after his years in the White House in late 2014:

A sampling of the stagings we reported at

-- The Rent a Protest activities on behalf of Rahm's longer school day and school closing programs are some of our favorites, since they were finally exposed not only in Substance (we carried the first stories in September 2011), but by all of the rest of the reporters (by January 2012). One of our favorite moments came when all of the TV cameras caught the paid protesters supporting Rahm's attack on Dyett High School -- and discovered the protesters didn't even know what school they were protesting the failure of... Read the whole story by David Vance at

-- CRIME IN THE SCHOOLS. Rahm's "COMSTATCPS" (supposedly, monthly computer crime tracking of crimes in Chicago public schools, based on supposed cooperation between the Chicago Police Department and CPS) publicity stunt at Police Headquarters. That activity was supposedly going to be once a month, but actually it was taken off the stage after one showing...

-- THE LONGER SCHOOL DAY. Rahm's appearance at 'Disney II' elementary school (for the "longer school day") was staged with the help of about a dozen CPS and City Hall media manipulators, all paid for by our taxes, while CPS security threatened to arrest parents who wanted to enter the gym at the school and ask Rahm questions about how he was going to improve the school day, and not just lengthen it.

-- CORPORATE JOBS FOR CHICAGO FROM EVERYWEHRE EVERY DAY, EVERY WEEK, ETC., ETC. ETC.! Since 2011, Rahm's media teams have staged dozens (perhaps more than 100, we haven't counted them all) of corporate publicity stunts about how corporations were bringing MANY MANY JOBS to Chicago thanks to Rahm. And so, the press has been dragged into dozens of stunts where the mayor stands with corporate executives and announces that such-and-such a corporation is bringing so-and-so many jobs to Chicago. And Rahm is assured that nobody will go back and count to find out whether, say, Motorola Solutions or Groupon has actually increased -- or reduced -- City of Chicago jobs during the first and only term of Chicago's "Chicagoland" mayor.

And during those years, we've waited for our brothers and sisters in the city's press corps to report on the cynical and sometimes silly lengths Rahm and his "team" will go to staging all these events (which began at the "L" stops during the 2011 mayoral campaign when Rahm shook hands and kissed babies long enough to get some video in the can and then went downtown to hang out with his corporate funders...). And then of course there was "Chicagoland," the CNN special produced by Rahm's Hollywood buddies (including Robert Redford, long away from his role in "All the President's Men") in an attempt to depict Rahm as the sensitive guy with the young black buddy who was making the "hard choices" to make Chicago "better" for everybody (and not just for the one percent Rahm's so loyally a part of). Even though the predecessor of "Chicagoland" ("Bricktown," about Newark New Jersey mayor Cory Booker, who utilized the movie to help his election to the U.S. Senate) was a hit, "Chicagoland" was a joke, and is currently hard to find. Despite its claim to being a "documentary," "Chicagoland" was carefully staged propaganda for Rahm, as our friend Karen Lewis told the press back then.

And yet, in March 2015, Chicago finds a news organization (DNA Info) complaining that a confrontation between Rahm and some mental health activists was "staged" -- not by the Emanuel media manipulation team. but by the handful of activists who confronted Rahm in Wicker Park on March 4, 2015.


Mental Health Activists' Clash With Mayor Was 'Clearly Staged,' Group Says

By Alisa Hauser on March 6, 2015 4:10pm | Updated on March 6, 2015 4:32pm


(l.) Leah Root, Grant Drutchas, Debbie Delgado, Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle.View Full Caption

DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser

WICKER PARK Members of a community group that saw their time with Mayor Rahm Emanuel eclipsed by what they say was a "clearly staged" disruption by two mental health activists, issued a statement Friday saying they were "disappointed" by the incident.

"We wanted to get our side of the story out there," said Leah Root, president of the Wicker Park Committee, which had invited Emanuel and challenger Jesus "Chuy" Garcia to speak at their monthly meeting on Wednesday.

The meeting was interrupted by Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle and Debbie Delgado, who stood face-to-face with Emanuel and confronted him about the closure of the Northwest Mental Health Clinic, 2354 N. Milwaukee Ave., which was among several city-run clinics shuttered as part of 2012 budget cuts.

Root posted the following statement on the committee's Facebook page Friday: "The Wicker Park Committee very much appreciated having Mayor Emanuel come to our March meeting. Although Mr. Garcia was invited, his staff couldnt commit in time, and he is scheduled to come to our April meeting, on April 1st.

"As a committee, we were disappointed that two members of the audience Ms. Delgado and Mr. Ginsberg-Jaeckle, who are not members of the Wicker Park Committee imposed on the rest of the participants by interrupting Mr. Emanuels initial comments and launching into a ten minute, rambling discourse on Mr. Emanuels mental health stance.

"The disruption was clearly staged, including videotaping their entire confrontation. They also ignored several requests to wrap up their comments, sit down or leave by the Wicker Park Committee Board and by Park District security.

"Mayor Emanuel handled their confrontation very professionally and graciously, and agreed to meet separately with Ms. Delgado and Mr. Ginsberg-Jaeckle, in spite of their disruptive tactics."


March 8, 2015 at 6:47 PM

By: Jean Schwab

Mental Health Clinics

I'm glad the two activists asked Emanuel about why the clinics were closed. Emanuel has never given a good reason for closing those clinics and has not taken any responsibility for it.

March 8, 2015 at 11:45 PM

By: Edward F Hershey

Mental Health Clinics

I was just out on the lakefront today, looking at a huge new Marina on 31st street. I was reminded of how much money the city put into a facility for those in the city with yachts, at the same time they closed those clinics. Rahm should have to answer for that.

March 9, 2015 at 12:09 PM

By: Theresa D. Daniels

Rahm thinks we're dumb

I love how this article reminded us of the many hoaxes Rahm has pulled on the public he thinks is/are too stupid to know they're being had. Am I the only one or did I just miss what other people also wrote and said about Rahm's minimum wage ad that was such a lie? This was the ad that should have made what he thought was the dumb public believe that he had already changed the minimum wage to $13 per hour, whereas in fact that won't happen till 2019. This ad isn't on anymore and has been replaced by the one ad, over and over, meant to make us believe that Rahm is now humble and honest.

March 10, 2015 at 5:39 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

We ARE dumb -- a lot of the time...

While it may or may not prove true on April 7 that Chicago has finally returned to some of our roots, the past couple of decades might be said to show that we ARE "dumb" about politics, especially as the working class is concerned. After all, Rahm did get the majority of the votes in the February 2011 Municipal Election after all those media stops (especially at the 95th St. "L" stop, long enough to get all those smiling commuters with Rahm into the Hollywood video can). And Rahm did get the majority of vote in the February 2011 Municipal election, even though by January 2011, everyone who was paying attention knew that Barack Obama had betrayed just about everything the hopefuls had hoped about back in August, September, October and November 2008. The list is so long as to be embarrassing

-- from Arne Duncan and "Race to the Top"

-- from that creepy Nobel Prize stuff to the Drone murderer

-- from Rahm's Way or the Highway on every issue

-- from the White House "Pullman" histories (and we still have that corrupt former CPS FTB Valerie Jarrett as a bigshot and it's 2015, not 1985 for goshsakes!)...

Why not go on?

Every morning from now until April 7, Substance will provide our readers with some fun from the past, from the four years of Rahmsway... Other people can enjoy those Mr. Rodgers sweaters for the next couple of weeks, but we need to remind ourselves and our readers that a lot of people bought the bullshit as it was being shoveled, from all those posed events, to Rahm's Rainbow (coming soon again to Substance) to the "Chicagoland" stagings that only failed because even Chicago realized that was too too much. But some people would still vote for Rahm if Robert Redford and a dozen of Rahm's Hollywood cronies stood at the "L" stops, looked us in the eye soulfully, and asked, just this one time, for our vote for Rahm...

Meanwhile, though, I'm going to figure out how to thank the Substance staff for all the patience we've had to have the past couple of years...

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