Chicago's conservative talk radio station, WLS-AM, is going after the local CBS affiliate for a reporter's warning to Republican candidate Mark Kirk.
"Channel 2's made a decision that we’re really not going to cover the Senate race if it consistently, only in your terms is about Broadway Bank," the reporter, whom a colleague identified as veteran political producer Ed Marshall says in the clip, said to be from a Monday press conference. "The bank's been taken over by the government. Alexi’s been pilloried. Tell me – what is your campaign going forward?"
Kirk answers gamely about small business and corruption, but it's an unusual question, and suggests the local media is growing a bit bored of the bank story and of Kirk's attempts to run on it, a sentiment that offers Giannoulias his best hope of getting past the mess.
UPDATE: "Anyone who characterizes our position as a refusal to cover the Kirk campaign or the Giannoulias campaign is not only wrong, they are recklesly and purposefully wrong," Kiernan tells me. "My suggestion is to ask them why they're doing it. I absolutely stand by the spirit of that question -- of course we're going to aggressively cover candidates Kirk and Giannoulias -- however we refuse to let the candidates and their managers reduce a U.S. Senate campaign to a single issue of one candidate's relationship with a bank. Yes, that is an important issue and one that I will affirmatively tell you we have consistently reported on and will continue to do so, but we will also aggressively challenge the candidates to talk about other substantive and critically important issues facing the citizens of Illinois and the United States."
Kiernan noted that the station has pushed both candidates, with limited success, to talk about subjects other than the bank, and that Kirk himself, in the exchange played on WLS, "moves beyond Broadway Bank."
Question: Roles reversed and its the Republican with the bank question, do you think Channel 2 would say the same thing? I didn't think so.