MEDIA WATCH: From 'Chicagoland' to 'The Wire', and from Rahm Emanuel to Stringer Bell.... Has Chicago's mayor been using a 'burner' cell phone to contact negotiator and evade the Freedom of Information Act? 'Hillarying' Hillary Clinton...

As negotiations grew more and more intense between the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Board of Education's "team" of lawyers and administrators during June 2015, people on the union side began noting that the Board's multi-million dollar outside lawyer, James Franczek, was using two cell phones. One was his regular phone. The other was a "burner," one of those cheap cell phones that became famous after they were used to thwart the police by drug dealers in the HBO TV series "The Wire."

Observers now speculate that the burner was a direct line between Franczek and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a way of communicating that would evade public disclosure should Chicago's reporters decided to try and use the Freedom of Information Act to get more disclosure of what Rahm Emanuel was actually saying during the crucial final hours before the Chicago Board of Education was forced to deliver the $634 million it owed to the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund on June 30, 2015.

The mayor, whose versions of reality have always contained as much Hollywood scripting as fact, had moved from "Chicagoland" (the CNN show by Robert Redford that tried to portray Emanuel as the tough guy surrounded by the usual diversity homage -- "Rahm' Rainbow" -- making the tough decisions). But when "Chicagoland" collapsed into gales of laughter because fact was just too much for the fictionalists, the script seems to have shifted from "Chicagoland" to "The Wire" -- with Chicagoland's mayor now acting like Stringer Bell or one of the other drug dealers depicted in the now immortal TV fiction.


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