I subscribe to Brasscheck TV and have just viewed the following clip of Chicago mainstream "reporters" trying to block a radio reporter from asking Rahm Emanuel hardball questions:
UPDATE May 2012: The above video was apparently taken down by Youtube. However, I've now found it at another location. (I hope this stays up):
It's an extremely revealing video and demonstrates the press corps's failure to discharge its important duties. No wonder that many joined the attack on Helen Thomas, who actually asked real questions.
I have not heard of William J. Kelly before, the man trying to ask Mayoral candidate Emanuel about his alleged Chicago residency and his financial connections. Kelly is labeled a "conservative talk show host," and I have no idea what his various political views are. I certainly applaud his attempt to ask Emanuel important, legitimate questions.
Emanuel, of course, is very close to Israel. His father was a pre-Israel terrorist and he himself held Israeli citizen for many years. In the first Gulf War rather than serve in the US military, Rahm went to Israel and volunteered for Israeli forces.
Following is some background about Emanuel that more people should know. It would be good if Kelly would sometime try to ask him about this, but I don't know if Kelly would be willing to touch the "third rail," as Helen Thomas calls it. In fact, he probably doesn't even know this part of Emanuel's bio:
In 1984, Emanuel and David Axelrod (Obama's senior campaign strategist in 2008) worked alongside AIPAC on a campaign to unseat Illinois Senator Charles Percy who was then chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. That electoral success followed a victorious AIPAC-directed campaign in 1982 when Springfield attorney Richard Durbin was recruited to oppose Paul Findley, an 11-term Congressman. Findley learned too late the political costs visited on U.S. policy-makers who challenge the Israeli-fication of U.S. foreign policy.
Durbin was just elected to his third term in the Senate where he serves as assistant majority leader. He shares a house in Washington with New York's Charles Schumer, third in the Senate leadership and one of 13 Jewish Senators (up from 11). Durbin and Schumer are junior to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. A Zionist-inclined Mormon (also known as "the Lost Tribe of Israel"), Reid concedes his admiration for the Israel lobby: "I can't think of a policy organization in the country as well-organized and respected."
Emanuel's rapport with AIPAC's extensive campaign-financing network enabled Bill Clinton to amass a record-breaking $72 million in 1992. Those funds helped his fledgling presidential candidacy weather the media storm over the Jennifer Flowers sex scandal and a controversy over his Vietnam-era draft status. Emanuel's aggressive pro-Israel fundraising strategy also drained funds from rival Paul Tsongas who soon withdrew, citing a shortage of funds. Emanuel then served for five years as a senior strategist for the Clinton White House before joining investment bankers Wasserstein Perella where he became managing director of the Chicago office.
Of the nine Democratic members of the Illinois delegation elected in 2002, Emanuel was the only one to support the October 2002 Congressional resolution authorizing war in Iraq. In the course of winning his 2008 race with 74% of the vote, Emanuel was the topmost House recipient of campaign contributions from hedge funds, private equity firms and the securities industry.
Known since childhood as a "convinced Zionist," Emanuel and his brothers attended summer camp in Israel. During the 1991 Gulf War, he joined the Israel Defense Forces as a civilian volunteer (akin to a reservist) where he worked in a motor pool repairing trucks. Operating as an adjunct to the Israel lobby as both a fundraiser and a member of Congress, Emanuel has long served as a loyal sayanim (Hebrew for "volunteer") in support of policies pursued by Tel Aviv.
Following is an excerpt from an article in CounterPunch:
...in some respects, Emanuel is a mysterious fellow, as evidenced by his biography, which is readily available on Wikipedia and in the piece in Fortune (3). But there are a few things missing or not fully explained. First, as is often pointed out, Emanuel's physician father was an Israeli émigré; but, according to Leon Hadar, he also worked during the 1940s with the notorious Irgun, which was labeled as a terrorist organization by the British authorities.(6) Perhaps Rahm's current interest in terrorism was first kindled at his father's Irgun knee.
Second, during the 1991 Gulf War, Emanuel was a civilian volunteer in Israel, "rust-proofing brakes on an army base in northern Israel." (Wikipedia, New Republic). This is peculiar on two counts. Here the U.S. goes to war with Iraq, but Emanuel, a U.S. citizen, volunteers not for his country, but for Israel. Moreover, here is a well-connected Illinois political figure with a father who had been in the Irgun, but he is assigned to "rust-proof brakes" on "an army base." Maybe.
Third, immediately upon his return from his desert sojourn, Emanuel at once became a major figure in the Clinton campaign "who wowed the team from the start, opening a spigot on needed campaign funds."(3) How did he do that after being isolated overseas, and with no experience in national politics? Fourth, after leaving the Clinton White House, he decided that he needed some accumulated wealth and "security" if he were to stay in politics. So he went to work for Bruce Wasserstein, a major Democratic donor and Wall Street financier.
According to Easton, "Over a 2 1/2-year period he helped broker deals-often using political connections-for Wasserstein Perella. According to congressional financial disclosures, he earned more than $18 million during that period. His deals included Unicom's merger with Peco Energy and venture fund GTCR Golder Rauner's purchase of SBC subsidiary SecurityLink. But friends say his compensation also benefited from two sales of the Wasserstein firm itself, first to Dresdner Bank and then to Allianz AG." Again for a newcomer to haul in $18 million in two years is almost miraculous. How did he do it? Next Emanuel won a seat in Congress in 2002, and by 2006 he was chair of the DCCC. Another near miraculous rise.