Friday, March 16, 2018

Illinois in the NYT

In The New York Times, Julie Bosman reports on candidates in the Illinois governor’s race. It’s a disappointing article, in several ways. The article makes no mention of the state budget crisis being a manufactured crisis, nor does it address the profound problems that have followed (such as the decline of public higher education). Though Daniel Biss appears to lead Chris Kennedy in the Democratic primary race, Biss gets a mere namecheck. And thus the Times casts the Democratic primary as a contest between just two viable candidates, Kennedy and J.B. Pritzker, a millionaire and a billionaire.

Those who don’t follow Illinois politics should be aware that the Times article omits reference to the ugliest elements in a wiretapped 2008 conversation between then-governor Rod Blagojevich and Pritzker. What the article includes is ugly enough, but it’s far from the whole story. You can listen to excerpts from the conversation and decide for yourself.

My take: the last thing we need in Illinois politics is another billionaire running for governor. But if Pritzker gets the Democratic nomination, I have a campaign slogan that I’m prepared to donate: “A Billionaire for the Rest of Us.” All I will ask in return (because it’s Illinois, so I should get something in return) is that the Pritzker campaign stop calling our house and sending campaign literature.

comments: 4

Diane Schirf said...

To me "literature" seems an odd term for promotional material (whatever the topic, whether it's a candidate or a park).

Michael Leddy said...

It probably is. But it’s idiomatic: “printed matter (such as leaflets or circulars)” (Merriam-Webster).

Diane Schirf said...

I know, but I've always thought it sounded odd, like trying to elevate snake oil to medicine.

Michael Leddy said...

I heard my dad ask for “sales literature” so many times that it sounds ordinary to me. But you should like this 1895 citation from the OED: “In canvassing, in posters, and in the distribution of what, by a profane perversion of language, is called ‘literature.’”