Annabel Kent, Chicago Media Critic
“Crocodile tears (or superficial sympathy) are a false or insincere display of emotion such as a hypocrite crying fake tears of grid
In a March 30, 2012 article entitled “Nanci Koschman fights for her boy,” Sun Times reporter Carol Marin wrote:
“What Nanci Koschman is doing takes courage.
She sat, quietly crying at times, in the first row of Courtroom 606 at the Cook County Criminal Courts on Thursday as her attorneys asked Judge Michael Toomin to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the events surrounding her son’s death.
When David Koschman’s head hit the curb that awful night, he never woke up. Eleven days later, he was taken off life support at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. And died in his mother’s arms.
She and David were a mother-son team. She watched over him. He looked after her. She worked multiple jobs, as a school secretary, at Carson’s, in a doctor’s office and as a restaurant hostess to keep them afloat.
She kissed him good night that evening, told him she loved him and sent him off to the city she had taught him to love.”
So the article went, exploiting the saga of sadness through which the mother of murdered David Koschman has suffered for eight, terrible years.
If you’re reading Marin’s piece on Mars, you might think – “Well, thank goodness a newspaper there is keeping alive this story of political favoritism shown to the nephew of a powerful politician – favoritism to the point of apparently letting him avoid, at minimum, charges of involuntary manslaughter. Ah, the free and independent press on planet Earth at its best.”
Think that and you’d be wrong on Mars.
The Sun Times sat on the story for most of those eight years – essentially muted. Rendered silent from what? Fear of retribution from a powerful political regime and its many influencial backers? Fear of being shunned in the crony bars and press clubs where the Second City movers-n’-shakers hobnob? Exchange gossip. Get the inside scoop.
Maybe fear of being labeled muckrakers and naysayers. Or, some combination of all of the above, and more.
(Never mind the Chicago Tribune. They didn’t have to check out of the story. They never checked in.)
It doesn’t matter why the Sun Times ignored the story. What does matter is this:
Early on, the paper did a flyby, reported basic facts, and stopped digging for the truth – if it ever started. Oh sure, the truth was buried deep by officialdom. But, then that almost always happens when the truth is inconvenient. That’s why investigative reporters have to investigate.
So, when the story broke, the paper did a flyby, and moved on. And there it sat for seven years.
Then the political trade winds shifted in the Windy City and a new regime moved into City Hall.
Suddenly the paper had the green light to engage the truth of David Koschman’s death. Now comes this last piece on March 30, where we find the reporter…
Crying crocodile tears for Mrs. Koschman.