While Chicago was mired in so many shootings it received the nick name “Chiraq”, CNN was busy discussing the best camera angles to use with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s staff. According to emails obtained by The Chicago Tribune, staffers for Mayor Emanuel and CNN producers coordinated scenes for the “documentary” on Chicago called Chicagoland. The messages show the reportedly objective documentary devolving from an in-depth look at the city into a vanity exercise for its mayor.
Emails show that producers and staff looked for touching moments to highlight in order to make the Emanuel look compassionate and “look good.”
The mayor then hugs Cowan and says, “I love you.” Later, Cowan is shown saying, “It did change my life. I’m grateful for it.” In an interview, Levin explained that he asked for access to Cowan and Emanuel to show a different side of the mayor after he heard him talk about the teen at three different events.
“For us, yes, it was set up in that, ‘the mayor is going to be riding with Martell today,’ but it was a battle for us to finally get access to it,” Levin said. “This, in a sense, yes, was under their control, but I think what’s revealed here is a different Rahm Emanuel than you see at most of the staged events, and that’s why I pushed for it.”
All that news that’s fit to edit? This is a documentary?
According to the Tribune “Producers asked the mayor’s office to help them set up key interactions in what the cable network has billed as a nonscripted eight-part series, including Emanuel’s visits with the school principal who emerged as a star of the show.” Setting up an interaction with the staff of the person involved, in a location, and at a specific time sounds a lot like scripting doesn’t it?
Fortunately we are all already aware of the real Rahm Emanuel.