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Thanks for being the only newspaper I know of that included the various YouTube videos of the riot at Ford City. It's one thing for a newspaper to write about what happened, but there's no substitute for seeing it with your own eyes and hearing it with your own ears.
Why did the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times not include these videos? Are they trying to be politically correct? Are they afraid to show the truth?
Editor's reply: We only saw one or two of their reports. We can only speak for ourselves, of course. Perhaps you could put the question to the Trib and Sun-Times and let us know what they say. If they don't respond, then folks will have to draw their own conclusions.
I think you are way off base in blaming Ford City Mall for what occurred. Here is a mall that tries to do something nice, a charitable act, for the public by bringing in a popular boy band, and you blame them when something goes a little awry.
Perhaps Ford City should stop doing nice things for the community.
Editor's reply: Thanks for writing. We would not characterize Ford City's hosting of a meet-and-greet with Mindless Behavior as a charitable act. We'd say it was a business decision designed to attract the group's young fans (and their parents) to the mall, to generate foot traffic and retail sales in the short and long term. Nothing wrong with that concept, of course. It's smart.
But our questions, as you know, focused on what Ford City did or did not do in terms of planning for security and crowd control. Ford City management chose not to answer our questions directly; but instead posted a brief statement on their Facebook page in which they insisted there was no connection between their event and the "unruly teens" who caused "a disturbance" (their terms for a mob of about 200 engaged in looting, criminal damage to property and intimidation of dozens of innocent people, including children).
The Chicago Police Department told us (and all other members of the press who asked) that there was a connection between the Mindless Behavior event and the crimes.
So it's one or the other. No connection at all (and therefore a whopper of a coincidence) or there is a connection, with teenage thugs using the event as an excuse to show up and riot. Which was it? You decide.
We recall a similar situation about 30 years ago, when Evergreen Plaza brought in a top Michael Jackson impersonator to perform (at the height of Jackson's "Thriller" mega-popularity). A huge crowd of teens showed up. Some started acting like animals, with thefts, criminal damage to property and intimidation---so much so that the mall was evacuated and shut down. And then many of the young barbarians reportedly fanned out into the Beverly neighborhood directly east and caused trouble there. (Sound familiar?)
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Instead of asking questions of Ford City, perhaps you should be asking questions of those teenagers' parents. Where were they? How could they let their children act that way?
Those are the real questions.
Editor's reply: We did not ask those questions because we think all of us already know the answers. Rest assured, these teenagers weren't Wally and the Beaver, or Denise and Theo Huxtable. Watch the video. These are teen thugs, some of whom were hell-bent on rioting, most of whom contributed to the riot by egging on the worst of them. One of the thugs said it best when he declared (regarding Ford City Mall) "We gonna rock this b~tch!"
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Your news site sucks. I'm from Tennessee and I found your site in a search online about the riot in Chicago at Ford City. Why did you censor my comment? Looks like freedom of speech for big-city liberals like you but not for the rest of us.
Editor's reply: The several reader comments we declined to post were in violation of our stated guidelines. (Same as those that appear above.) Yours fell into the "bigotry" category, as you can probably guess. But that's the beauty of a free and open Internet. Don't like a website? Start your own. It's free and not at all difficult. Really.
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Arch-conservatives like you shouldn't have websites. Your thinly-veiled, race baiting report on what happened at Ford City was loaded with code words and phrases.
Barbarism? Thuggery? Come on. Who are you, Rush Limbaugh?
Editor's reply: It's not race baiting. Thugs come in all shapes, sizes and colors. We've always been clear on that, as you can see from the even-handed way we report crime every week.
But really folks, make up your minds. Are we arch-conservatives, big-city liberals or what?
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The "Best Buy Riot" video you embedded on your website no longer appears on YouTube. I didn't see it. What was on that video?
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You have yet another subscriber! I just joined and want to extend my appreciation to you, for your efforts at informing residents of this Southwest Side Midway community with much needed local news coverage.
Your paper is unlike any other local paper in that it acts like it should-- a reporting of "on the spot" news, crime (and I appreciate the disclosure of photos of criminals), productive activity and issues of concern (or let me put it this way-- that should be of concern to the community),
as well as the usual events of churches, businesses, etc. I also like your use of video and hope to see more of that.
Since exploring your website, I was amazed to learn of at least two local crimes right around my home that I would otherwise not have been made aware of-- one that occurred recently, and another some time ago (which I found by checking your archival news). Your paper will be a welcome "eye" besides my own, in helping me be more aware of what's going on in my neighborhood and surrounding area.
So, I want to add my congratulations and wish you many years of successful reporting.
And, while congratulating you, I also want to address the other local papers, publicly-- that it would be advantageous to learn a thing or two from this "new kid on the block"! That is, if you already aren't rigidly "beholden" to act as mouthpiece (something I already suspect) for local politicos or orgs, and can either only publish these "honchos" photos or their stories and their news; or, otherwise only milquetoast coverage of bazaars and bake sales (not that there is anything wrong with a bazaar or a bake sale). But...
While we need human interest coverage, we need much more, to address the serious issues affecting our community-- esp. the more controversial topics, like those that expose growing criminal activity; and commentary that challenges the local "powers-that-be" when they are doing nothing, or too little to address some community concern-- or worse, doing something that will harm the public good. Just because they're the current leaders, does not make them sacrosanct (take a lesson from the pope)! They can be made to leave, and a public forum such as in an online newspaper as this one-- where the public has instant access to respond--is a great place to discuss such community matters. I thank you for providing this forum.
1ofUfromtheOtherSideoftheTracks (aka, 1ofU)
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