CBS, ABC Chicago Ignore GOP Primary Debate to Replace Jesse Jackson, Jr.

Is the Chicago Media ignoring the Republican primary in the 2nd district special election? And if they are, maybe a better question is why?

Local media outlets in Chicago have all offered generous coverage of the Democratic primary to replace Jesse Jackson, Jr. However, in most reports they hardly mentioned the Republican primary at all.

Within days of the candidate-filing deadline, many in the Chicago media already began reporting that the winner of the race would undoubtedly be a Democrat. CBS 2’s Jay Levine reported on January 7th, “it’ll be the shootout among the 17 Democrats from which the next congressman will emerge in the 2nd District.” Levine retracted that statement from his article after Breitbart News inquired what polls CBS was using to make that claim.

ABC 7 Chicago's Michelle Gallardo filed a report on a candidate forum in Hopkins Park, IL, where she inaccurately labeled the event as a “Democratic forum,” despite the fact that it was organized by both a Republican and a Democrat and featured Republican candidate Paul McKinley as one of its panelists.

Gallardo wrote on January 5th:

The primary will take place on February 26. The general election will be little more than a month later, on April 9. But again, at this point it really is any body's race. The only thing we can predict with some certainty is that, in the end, whoever wins the congressional seat will most likely be a Democrat.

Breitbart News has since reported many other instances of the Chicago media’s bias by omission.

Just last week, NBC 5 reported that the republican primary was “meaningless.” This week, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that the Republicans will be “roadkill.”

On February 5th, the Chicago Republican Party hosted a Republican primary debate; after Chicago media outlets turned down requests to cover the first major GOP debate in January, ABC 7 and CBS 2 did send camera crews to Tuesday night’s debate, but neither outlet ever broadcast any footage of the event on television or online.

CBS 2’s Vice President & News Director Jeff Kiernan responded to Breitbart News request for a comment regarding why the network declined to cover the debate:

While we don’t discuss our editorial process outside the newsroom, our station has—and will continue to—cover the primary and general election in the 2nd Congressional District. 

ABC 7’s Joyce Fisher responded by explaining, “it is not unusual… there are times that we go out and we will tape lots of different events during the day, but given the short amount of time we have on air, not everything is broadcast.”

With nearly 100 residents of the district in attendance at the debate, how could ABC and CBS think the Republican debate was not important enough to insure they broadcast coverage to the voters in Illinois 2nd district?

Was it so uninteresting that they felt its not worthy of any coverage? Or is there something happening in the previously "guaranteed" blue district the media would rather not show the voters? Perhaps that there was in fact a strong African-American turnout at the Republican event?

WVON Radio’s Cliff Kelley moderated the debate and told Breitbart News that the Republicans “should not be counted out,” given that it is not a typical election; when I asked whether or not he felt the race would be a new ball game once it is a one-on-one contest, Kelley said, “Absolutely.”

If one of Chicago’s top talk radio hosts can see a realistic possibility that this race could entail a serious Republican challenge due to its unique circumstances, why is the Chicago media ignoring this extraordinary news story?

Chris Cleveland, Vice Chairman of the Chicago GOP, agrees with Kelley, telling Breitbart News after the event, “the Democrats don’t realize they may be in for a surprise in this special election."

Follow Rebel Pundit on Twitter.


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