Readers have been emailing and messaging the Oak Lawn Leaf since the last board meeting wondering if we are crying over the fact that Trustee Tim Desmond (District 1) “failed” to mention the Oak Lawn Leaf in what can only be considered one of the most absurd “Trustee New Business” reports in the Village history.
The short answer is “no”.
Desmond recently used valuable time at a board meeting to give “thanks” to six other news organizations but omitted his friends here at the Oak Lawn Leaf.
So, naturally readers questioned whether Desmond had “forgotten us”, “skipped our name on the written comments” or as many suggested was “acting passive aggressively”.
We don’t know but we did review the video and sure enough, Desmond said that “in the spirit of Thanksgiving” he wanted to thank the men and women who work for the newspapers and keep “our interest for 15 minutes every morning”.
That surprised us because only the Daily Southtown Star is a daily newspaper so perhaps Desmond reads the same stories over and over again. He did list the pro-Bury daily blog, the Oak Lawn Patch, although he seemed to have trouble with the name of the reporter. Mayor Bury had the same problem, interrupting Desmond to say the reporter’s name was “Megan” before correcting it to “Morgan”.
It was a bizarre display of affection for news reporters. Desmond said he wanted to “commend you on great work”. He continued on explaining that the world used to have blacksmiths and goldsmiths but now only have “wordsmiths”.
Most of the reporters were probably embarrassed by the public display of affection. They were probably also very surprised by Desmond’s words since they came during a regular board meeting. Reporters are generally not loved by politicians. In fact, reporters are generally not loved by anyone. For instance, Mahatma Gandhi said, “I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers.” When Gandhi doesn’t like your profession, you know that you’ve entered a cesspool.
We won’t make any of the individuals named by Desmond as part of the story because they do their jobs to the best of their abilities. If Desmond was trying to curry favor with these men and women, it probably failed. Most reporters believe that politicians treat reporters as adversaries. Perhaps Tim Desmond is one in a million who does not have that mindset and thought that the named reporters wanted to be “buttered up” in order to turn the other way when a story pops.
If he was exhibiting passive aggressive behavior toward the Oak Lawn Leaf, we say “who cares?”
We won’t stop reporting about Tim Desmond or anyone else on the board just because they won’t launch hugs and kisses our way. Maybe Desmond doesn’t like the fact that we’ve taken the opportunity to bring to light matters in which he has chosen to lie. We published a story recently that proved he was lying about an election day incident in which he demanded that the citizen provide identification to him. Even election judges don’t have the right to make such a demand but Tim Desmond did it because he was upset and believes he can do whatever he wants.
The video of the incident showed that Desmond lied to some of our competitors who then published the story.
We were also on top of the story when Desmond was fined for failing to properly report campaign contributions and we took him to task for then voting for his attorney, Burt Odelson, to get a no bid deal with the village.
Desmond infamously was against benefits for Trustees as a candidate but then changed his mind and signed up the whole family for health insurance at taxpayers’ expense. We reported that one too.
If Desmond thinks we are crying about his inane comments at the meeting, he’s wrong. We take to heart the words of the great newspaper man Joseph Medill, who said, “…write boldly and tell the truth fearlessly; criticize whatever is wrong, and denounce whatever is rotten in the administration of your local and state affairs, no matter how much it may offend the guilty or wound the would-be leaders of your party…Make an earnest and conscientious journal; establish its reputation for truth and reliability, frankness and independence…..”
That’s all we are doing every day and the respect of our readers is better than hugs and kisses from Trustee Desmond.