Media should retire 'flash mob' and use 'death mobs' instead

June 8, 2011

Just to clarify the headline: Nobody has died from these mob attacks. But 'death mob' is much more serious than 'flash mob," which just makes think of the Black Eyed Peas.

Last night, another "mob" beating took place down in the Mag Mile area. Actually, I'm not sure (and the police AND media know this) that this is the same thing that happened the other night. But it does involve a mass of people, which the dictionary could define as a "mob".  And it plays on the built-up fear that the media has already helped promote.

Whether it's headlines from those brochures you read on the Red Line, or a lead story on ABC-7, it's clear that the media is taking a more aggressive role in telling Chicagoans what to think.

This story? The one where two guys got jumped, ran down their assailants, only to find a new crew of assao;amts awaiting them seems to be more along the lines of teenage hi-jinx rather than the "Chicago-is-going-to-sh*t, move to-Orland Park-storyline" So, I ask our mainstream media: Is this story one to lead with? 

And anyone who thinks that crime is up or is worse than ever before, let's just revisit our modern history.

Yes, the crime spree should stop, but it would far more interesting - and helpful - if the media and the police were able to talk about the city's response and how police should deal with this.

And maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey is right. He takes on the media's portrayal of these crimes in this tweet:  "calling these attacks 'flash mobs' is an effort to soft-sell a developing epidemic of crimes committed by roving gangs."

My suggestion? Get rid of that McDonalds.

B story: RedEye Nation is mad at me for some gentle ribbing I threw out yesterday. RedEye has since summoned their little baby sister Chicago Now to the battlefield. "WBEZ Blogger Blasts RedEye" is the headline of Kyle Betts' blog post.

Kyle questions whether I'm serious enough and cites my 'notorious' Henneman video about the drunk Cubs fan. Kyle tells the world that "People certainly overreacted to Henneman, but maybe Kaufmann isn't in the best position to comment on editorial judgement."

Whaaaa? I'm not sure that Kyle reads this area of our site that often, but questioning other media's editorial judgement is really my thing. That's pretty much all I do. That and making fake videos.

Also, our server went down yesterday afternoon. I'm looking in your direction, Tribune.

Really though, this supposed beef is only about one thing: Softball. Sorry to drag all of you into it, but we are starting a league and I am just creating storylines. I'm like a local media version of Shaq.

C story: Steve Edwards did an awesome breakdown of gambling in the Chicago area if this new bill passes. 22 places to gamble within 90 miles of Chicago. That's a lot of gambling.

Weather: Hot, hot, heat. It's going to rain tonight and turn into November.

Sports: Here's a tip to all Fantasy Baseball players: Pick up any and all available White Sox players. The Sox are starting their annual hot streak, where they rattle off win after win after win right before the All-Star break. There's a good chance that our South Side squad could be back in the race for the AL Central within the month. Just in time for them to wilt in the late Chicago summer. Ah, I believe.

Oh, and the Iowa Cubs lost their 8th in a row.

Kicker: Quick message to Rahm: Daley would never let flood the Ohio Street pedestrian tunnel under Lake Shore Drive. . This is seriously impeding my ability to walk to Panera. And quick thought: Maybe the mob of criminals wanted to go Olive Park and couldn't because this was flooded, so they got mad??