Crooked City

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What Will Tribune Do With Steven Mills and Eric Zorn?

The recent article in American Thinker by local PR exec and writer Dan Curry sets one to thinking, especially this section: 

"Tribune liberal columnist Eric Zorn, a frequent champion of the Innocence Industry, apparently sees the handwriting on the wall.  In an extraordinary pre-admission, Zorn wrote in September 2013 that he and his brethren in the press might have been wrong about the Porter case.  The Tribune a month later wrote an equally unusual editorial asking that light be shone on the previously-thought-to-be closed case.

These media self-criticisms are less noble than it appears.  They came after eight years of purposely ignoring the monumental story.  I first noted something fishy about the Porter case in 2006 on a blog and was met with stony silence.  Several years later, retired Pulitzer Prize winning Chicago Tribune reporter William Crawford wrote a detailed analysis of the case and pitched it to former colleagues at various media outlets.  He was ignored and even mocked.  But he appears to have been right."

So, one wonders...

How will a major metropolitan newspaper swimming in debt deal with columnists like Zorn and his colleague Steve Mills in the wake of the Porter scandal? As more and more evidence comes to light that Zorn and Mills ignored the evidence in the Porter case (and others) and quite possibly had a too cozy relationship with Northwestern investigators, will the paper keep them around? Just exactly how close were Zorn and Mills working with the Northwestern "investigators"?

And then there is the civil trial in 2005. It's going to be tough for the Trib, Mills or Eric Zorn to explain that one away, the fact that Porter was essentially retried in the civil trial and he lost. It was a staggering blow to the wrongful conviction movement. Confronted with the decision, Zorn assailed the city's attorney who had just argued successfully that Porter was guilty. Here was a columnist who didn't even hear the evidence condemning a jury's verdict. 

Watch the riveting statements of that attorney in this interview, especially his comments about Zorn:

What about their treatment of those who tried to point out the evidence in the case? When retired journalist Bill Crawford attempted to present the evidence that Porter was indeed guilty and Simon was wrongfully convicted, Zorn vilified Crawford in his articles, calling him "dyspeptic." That's a fine way for a newspaper to treat a journalist who served them for 27 years and brings them what could be the biggest story in a decade.

What a mess for a newspaper that can't pay its bills, that has been steadily laying off reporters and staff and trying to sell itself to investors. The Porter scandal isn't going to make it any easier.

This past week, the Sun Times wrote a bombshell article, showing even more evidence that the Porter exoneration was a sham. The Tribune's response: silence.

Rather than put a blanket on a story to protect their own, it might be time for the Trib to do a little housecleaning. 


In a week of groundbreaking developments in the Anthony Porter scandal, the Tribune remains silent. They do not cover the bombshell story about a central prosecutor coming forward to say he didn't believe Porter was innocent and had doubts Alstory Simon was guilty. They do not cover the evidence of corruption at Northwestern, the connection of the Porter case to others, like Madison Hobley, the Illinois Torture and Relief Commission, nothing.

Rather, Tribune reporter Steve Mills regurgitates an ancient story of the Ford Heights Four, even quoting disgraced former journalism professor David Protess. Strikingly, Mills omits the fact that Protess was fired from Northwestern for lying to the school and its attorneys about his cases, that he altered evidence, that there is now a vast body of evidence that he framed Alstory Simon and knowingly let out a killer in Anthony Porter.

Many people central to the Ford Heights Four investigation have condemned the freeing of these four men, including the prosecutor who handled the case. What the Tribune should be calling for, as Dan Curry did in a recent American Thinker article, is a review of all Northwestern exonerations to see the magnitude of corruption there. 

It's hard to gauge the destruction created by Mills.

Livy said "We can no longer endure our sins, nor their remedies." That's where Mills and the Tribune is at. Could be a rough ride for them in the next few months.