Lake Effect Communications

Lake Effect Communications

Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s Protecting Staff

Anyone looking for PR Fairy Tales has an easy time of it when the search takes place in the realm of politics.  The manipulation or obscuring of facts is a valued talent during the competition found in elections, in efforts to defeat or adopt legislation, and in efforts to earn or deflect attention.  Structurally, the reporting of political news may contribute to the habit of dishonesty.  For example, during the summer’s political conventions, coverage of an address by one partisan always included a chance for comment by a rival partisan.  The commentary always seems invited by an innocuous question from the journalist: “What did you think (of tonight’s address)?”  Then the rival camp always sallies forth and takes advantage of the chance to disembowel.  Later, the tables turn. Then they turn again.  Again.  Again. 
 
But, in the business news, does an action by a Microsoft or a Citibank so easily lead to deflating comments from a rival?  If Apple introduces a new iPhone, reporters usually turn to industry analysts, not to those whose ox will be gored by any success of the new product. 
 
While the pattern of political journalism – statement by one, retort from the rival – is abundant, the case of Illinois Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s summer absence gives evidence of widespread effort to break down the defenses of a cagey staff.  Statements were few and obscure.  Furthermore, they came during the summer as speculations more embarrassing than the apparent truth grew rampant.  The statements also came with hints of intrigue – for example, right upon the deadline faced by any independent candidate wanting to challenge the Congressman in the November, 2012 election. 
 
Steve Rhodes has a fine article about the Congressman and his recent life in the October issue of Chicago Magazine.  See http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/October-2012/Jesse-Jackson-Jrs-Dark-Days.

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