IL-14: With the Four Print Media Endorsements Published, Who Did Best?

Daily Herald did the best job to apply discernment to their decision to back Lauren Underwood

All four Chicagoland mainstream print media editorial boards have spoken, and all came up with the same conclusion: Congresswoman Lauren Underwood should be reelected to a 2nd term in the 14th congressional district over Republican challenger Jim Oberweis.

But reading the editorial endorsements, which newspaper editorial board really vetted both Underwood and Oberweis? Who really thoroughly examined what the candidates said in their questionnaires and in their editorial board interviews?

Here is how McHenry County Blog sees it, ranking the four publications, the Daily Herald was the best. The rankings:

  1. Daily Herald
  2. Chicago Sun-Times
  3. Shaw Media (multiple newspapers published within 14th including Northwest Herald)
  4. Chicago Tribune

Here’s a brief capsule of the rankings. Please note, the ranking based solely on how the publications did the 14th congressional district race.

Lauren Underwood

4. Chicago Tribune

Reading the Chicago Tribune editorial endorsement this morning, one cannot come away from it without the feeling the editorial writer has a real dislike of Jim Oberweis.

Before getting to the treatment of Oberweis itself, the Tribune continued its practice of not making public its editorial board interview video. Being the only publication to not make the interview public, transparency itself ranks last, but now for the editorial content.

Take this portion from today’s editorial:

The Republican challenging Underwood is a familiar face: state Sen. Jim Oberweis of Sugar Grove who has been a frequent candidate on the ballot. He ran for the U.S. Senate three times, governor once and a U.S. House seat previously. Have we missed any?

“Chairman of the well-known dairy company, Oberweis is a job creator and believer in free market solutions to problems. We’re in agreement there. He’s an approachable, straight-talker too.

“But then, when he finally did win a seat in public office, he missed session days and dozens of votes. He claims Sugar Grove as his primary residence but his wife is a permanent resident of Florida. Illinois needs representatives who are in touch with them.

“Underwood is endorsed.”

Tribune editorial endorsement 9/30/20 excerpt, emphasis added


Why the snark? Could it be the Tribune is still upset Oberweis won the March Republican primary over their endorsed candidate? Instead of discussing the current policy issues facing Congress and the nation with Oberweis, they chose to go after him on missed days during his first term in the state Senate over four years ago.

Maybe the Tribune editorial board did discuss congressional issues, and readers would know this had the video of the interview been released to the public.

But then go after the, while not the norm, legal residency Oberweis’ wife? While it is known this arrangement bothers some, Mrs. Oberweis has had legal residency in the state of Florida for 10 years.

And calling it “permanent” instead of “legal”, connotates a negative like Mrs. Oberweis stays in Florida all the time. That’s wrong and, she is not the candidate.

And nowadays, members of Congress, like Underwood, stay in touch through ZOOM virtual meetings, and that’s not likely to change until the middle of 2021.

Then throw in the Tribune bought the lie it was Underwood’s insulin bill that was signed into law. Last night during and after the presidential debate on Twitter, Underwood’s lie that she lowered the cost of insulin made her Indivisible supporters accuse President Trump was “stealing” Underwood’s accomplishment. The truth says otherwise.

She fooled the Tribune, too.

3. Shaw Media (Northwest Herald, et. al.)

Last Friday’s (9/25) McHenry County Blog article with the link to the editorial endorsement from Shaw Media Local News Network, which publishes the Northwest Herald and 4 other publications within the 14th district under different names said it all.

As said elsewhere, Shaw Media and the Daily Herald jointly interviewed both Underwood and Oberweis together in a virtual meeting on September 9. Shaw Media pretty much bought most of Underwood’s talking points, though Shaw only gave her credit for 1 bill, the insulin bill, being signed into law.

Shaw Media is ranked lower then the Sun-Times because Shaw published the whole truth about the Underwood insulin legislation from late December, based on the information supplied from Underwood’s congressional office, and available to the public on December 23, 2019.

Click the September 25 article link above to see the rest and details of what Shaw Media published in late December.

Jim Oberweis

2. Chicago Sun-Times

The September 22 editorial endorsement of Underwood treated Jim Oberweis more fairly than Shaw Media or the Tribune. The Sun-Times was the only newspaper to endorse Oberweis in the primary, and with the exception of the “apologist for Trump” reference, treated him fairly.

The interview, on September 3, was not his best interview, but definitely was better than the Daily Herald/Shaw Media joint interview. And, it was the interview which served as the backdrop for Oberweis’ TV commercial “Beautiful Protests”.

The Sun-Times bought Underwood’s embellishment of her insulin legislation, as well as the Electronic Health Records system being funded. The Sun-Times distinguished itself by being the first publication to reduce Underwood’s “3 bills” claim to 2.

1. Daily Herald

The first editorial endorsement published on September 12 turned out to be the best, with fair treatment to both candidates, and discernment on claims made during the interview.

The Daily Herald put it simply that Oberweis had not proved his case to replace Underwood. Additionally, the Daily Herald questioned/challenged Underwood’s claim that three of her bills were signed into law by President Trump.

Additionally, it called out Underwood’s voting record being kept closely to the planks of the Democratic Party platform, and treated Underwood’s claims about her legislation becoming law in the most honest handling of this clear embellishment Underwood makes about her record.


IL-14: With the Four Print Media Endorsements Published, Who Did Best? — 2 Comments

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