Reporter to Rahm: Should CNN ‘Chicagoland’ series be considered a campaign contribution?

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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A reporter grilled Democratic Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel Wednesday about whether CNN’s favorable “Chicagoland” documentary series about the Emanuel administration should be considered an in-kind campaign contribution to the mayor’s re-election efforts.

Emails recently obtained from the CNN production team suggest coordination between CNN and the Emanuel administration on the series’ content.

“The emails between CNN and your administration seem to indicate that there was coordination between the administration and CNN how Chicagoland documentary took place. Do you think that that’s an appropriate way to interact with someone that is ostensibly doing a news piece, a documentary, something that’s supposed to be reality on your administration?” the reporter asked.

I think if you look at that there’s a lot of different views which they’ve expressed that they didn’t get all the cooperation they wanted

Another reporter asked Emanuel about CNN producers “making a clear effort to make it look good for the series. Have you watched the series?”

“I have not watched the series,” Emanuel said, but noted that local high school principal Liz Dozier, featured in the series, is one of a group of “incredible people doing incredible things.”

“Will CNN be reporting the cost of the production as an in-kind contribution to your campaign for re-election?,” asked reporter William J. Kelly.

“Don’t you think that’s a question for them to answer?,” Emanuel replied.

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