Mayor Rahm Emanuel, at a Monday news conference, didn’t like questions about whether his press office had recorded reporters’ conversations without first seeking their consent.
That’s a big no-no under the Illinois Eavesdropping Act, one of the toughest two-party consent laws in the country.
One woman, Annabel Melongo, spent 20 months in Cook County Jail before a judge finally freed her.
Her crime: She had recorded a couple of phone calls with a court clerk. We’re talking felony, folks.
Emanuel, invoking “Will” Shakespeare, dismissed such bothersome questions about his press office doing the same as “much ado about nothing.”
Frankly, another line from Shakespeare seems a better fit for the mayor’s fit of pique: “What a piece of work is man.” (“Hamlet”)
The controversy has its origins in Monday’s Tribune story that two of its reporters were recorded without their knowledge by the Emanuel press office as they did phone interviews with city officials, including Police Supt. Garry McCarthy.
Emanuel, at his press conferences, hates it when reporters have the temerity to go off-message on him. His Monday appearance had been called to talk about physical fitness, veterans and the park district. When the wayward press corps turns to a different topic, the mayor’s default reprimand is to invoke “the children,” a subject that Emanuel believes he, and only he, really cares about. Unlike heartless news people.