Good Morning America has a history of ignoring the spasms of bloody violence that rock Rahm Emanuel's Chicago. The city's little league baseball team prompted ABC to mention the problem. Correspondent Lara Spencer on August 15th noted the appearance of the Jackie Robinson West squad in the Little League World Series and reminded, "The victory bringing a much needed moment of pride to a city riddled with violence with 82 shootings occurring over fourth of July weekend alone." [MP3 audio here.]
Back on July 8th, the weekend after the mayhem occurred, GMA reporter Dan Harris allowed a scant 11 seconds to recapping the crimes. Mentioning Emanuel on Friday, Spencer enthused, "...Even Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel attending [baseball] watch parties across the land of Lincoln." ABC hasn't shown much interest in mentioning Barack Obama's former chief of staff in relation to his city's death toll.
On September 5, 2012, Emanuel appeared on GMA (and the other two morning shows) to promote the President's reelection. No mention was made of the city's skyrocketing violence. (Thirteen people, for instance, were shot in a 30 minute period in August of 2012.)
Over a three day span in April of 2014, 44 people were shot. The ABC morning show gave that 19 seconds.
WLS radio in Chicago reported on the violence in 2014:
According to the Chicago Tribune, the number of shooting victims between Jan. 1 and Aug. 14 of this year (1,254) is already more than half the number of shooting victims (2,185) reported for all of 2013. Eighty-nine homicides have been reported in Chicago this summer with 11 of those occurring in the first two weeks of August, the newspaper reports.
From GMA's July 8th report, until Friday's segment, GMA ignored the violence.
A transcript of the August 15 segment is below:
ROBIN ROBERTS: Lara, there's a big fun event coming up.
LARA SPENCER: Yeah, this is a story I hope puts a smile on your face. I know it did mine. The Little League World Series is under way and a team of inner city kids from Chicago is taking the tournament by storm giving the windy city a whole lot to cheer about.
BASEBALL ANNOUNCER: It's over, Chicago --
SPENCER: It was a big win Thursday for Chicago's Jackie Robinson West little league team.
BASEBALL ANNOUNCER: That ball is driven to left field.
SPENCER: Crushing their opponents, Pacific Little League of Linwood, Washington, 12-2 in their first game of the Little League World Series. Thirteen-year-old Pierce Jones smacking three home runs.
PIERCE JONES: I've never played a game where I hit three home runs. I mean, I'm pretty sure it's the best game of my life.
SPENCER: The victory bringing a much needed moment of pride to a city riddled with violence with 82 shootings occurring over fourth of July weekend alone.
ED HOWARD (Jackie Robinson West Little League team): It means a lot to me and Chicago.
SPENCER: This is the first time a Chicago little league team has made it to the World Series in 31 years.
DAROLD BUTLER (manager, Jackie Robinson West Little League team): There's been a lot of negative press. These guys playing this style of baseball and making everyone proud back home in the city.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Let's go, baby.
SPENCER: And they have the support of the entire windy city behind them from pro ball players to everyday fans, even Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel attending watch parties cross the land of Lincoln.
SECOND UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: They're doing it. They're making an example. They're setting goals and reaching them and that's a positive.
SPENCER: A pack of 13 inspiring a nation.
HOWARD: I'm very excited. This is like a dream come true. The best moment in baseball ever for me.