Thursday, March 19, 2009

Activists Lying About Ald. Munoz Assault Incident

That infamous video of a Chicago alderman assaulting a constituent received a little national attention earlier this month. Uberblogstress Michelle Malkin, for example, gave it prominent attention on her website. The alderman, Ricardo Munoz (22nd Ward), is seen in the video shoving a man and telling him to "Get the f^#% out of my office!" Many accepted the brief video encounter as representing the full story, but it doesn't. Chicago News Bench has learned that the video's makers intentionally presented a misleading story. Eight days ago, we asked ChicagoCitizens, the makers of the video, for more information. As the late Paul Harvey might have said, we wanted the rest of the story. Stand by for news; we are still waiting for ChicagoCitizens to respond. In my email to ChicagoCitizens, I wrote the following: We would love to see the video of the entire encounter, including the initial entering of the Munoz offices. The video begins with Munoz's door opening. What happened prior to that happening? Your YouTube page says that you have "No editing of video contents integrity, just straight facts. Contributions by Chicago Citizens." Please post the "raw," unedited video. The video, posted on YouTube on February 24, is still there today. We have learned that the video was actually made in late 2008. A witness to the event, who asked us to not identify him, recalled by phone today that "it was still warm out, it was late September or early October" when the encounter happened in Munoz's ward service office. That witness was in the 2-story ward office of Alderman Munoz at the time and recalls a group of people numbering "about five or six." "Claudio," the guy who is seen being shoved by Ald. Munoz, asked to see the alderman and was told by a staffer that he was in a meeting and could not be disturbed. Claudio, says the witness, complained that he had previously tried to make an appointment to see Munoz but did not have one scheduled. Then, says the witness, Claudio walked up the stairs to where the meeting was taking place. He was followed by the group member who had a video camera. The witness recalled that Claudio opened the door and walked into the meeting, but did not hear what was said. Alderman Munoz was upset that Claudio barged into a private, previously scheduled meeting and then ejected him, as seen in the video. The video, then, gives the false impression of an average citizen just trying to talk to his alderman and being booted out of the office. What seems more likely is that Claudio, and the group of activists with him, went to the office looking for a confrontation and hoping to catch it on video. Instead of playing by the rules and getting an appointment to see Ald. Munoz, Claudio took it upon himself to interrupt a meeting already underway. It was, in effect, a form of "gotcha journalism" done badly, unfairly, and rudely. We do not expect a response from ChicagoCitizens. They are apparently not interested in truth, and are unlikely to honestly answer our question. What a repugnant act, shameless and disgraceful. Activism is all well and good, but only if it done honestly. Most community activists try to do the right thing, by challening authority and doing it honestly. ChicagoCitizens apparently feels that doing it honesty and telling the truth, the whole truth, would not help them. They're right. Related: Munoz Assault Video Raises Questions Ald. Munoz goes wild for TIF, my post! no comments will be denied ... (Note: This is a repost of the video by YouTube poster "hsinaps77," who wrote, "i posted this because claudio and company kept deleting my comments, so here we go, shoe the whole video claudio! be a man! its a shame that you dont because then averybody will see what really happend, that claudio was being thrown out for not having an appiontment, then he ran up stairs like a little child,barged into the Ald. Munoz office, i would have thrown you out to, taken your camera by force and i would post the raw footage, BE [A] MAN CLAUDIO AND POST THE RAW FOOTAGE." It's worth visiting to read the comments. ) Chicago News Bench RSS Feed Cool Stuff...