Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Fox Perica Connection

Last week a fellow MMW blogger wrote about the problems she encountered when trying to do a profile piece on a candidate trying to unseat an Uptown alderman. It opened up a whole bag of worms about what exactly are the legal and ethical obligations a news department faces when trying to cover political candidates.

On Thursday night, Fox News Chicago anchor Mark Suppelsa gave at least two minutes of the 9 p.m. news block to a feature on Cook County candidate Tony Perica. And when I say "gave," I mean I don't think he could have bought a better TV time. Suppelsa went out to Perica's suburban home, sat in a stuffed leather chair across from Perica between his wife and daughter, and talked about playing the guitar, making wine and eating cashews.

I'm all for colorful profiles of political candidates but I have to admit, I was a bit surprised to see this type of piece so close to election day.

At Medill, we made sure to at least approach both sides before running our piece about an election that will take place this spring. The Perica/Stroger race is in 4 days and Fox is giving away air time to one candidate.

Oh the name of full transperancy Fox didn't forget to include that Perica's daughter is a producer at the station. I guess it's all okay if remember to disclose.