Editorial uses Fox 32 staffers to prop up the boss

Dennis Welsh

Dennis Welsh is at it again.

The last time we looked in on the vice president and general manager of WFLD-Channel 32, he was seated on a throne while lecturing viewers about the evils of nepotism in Illinois and Chicago politics.

In his latest editorial on the Fox-owned station, Welsh has a new gimmick: He punctuates his commentary on the state’s “insane unfunded pension debt” with video inserts from seven unidentified taxpayers. (Here is the link.)

Dennis Welsh (2013)

Who are these supposed ordinary citizens expressing their outrage over high taxes and government workers’ pensions? For a few seconds in small print at the bottom of the screen it says: “Illinois Taxpayer enactments performed by Fox 32 employees.” In other words, they’re all Fox 32 staffers being used as props for the boss.

That’s not all. Fox 32 is paying to promote Welsh’s rant in Facebook ads, according to Illinois Working Together, a coalition of unions including chairs of the Illinois AFL-CIO and Chicago Federation of Labor.

“@Fox32News is PAYING TO PROMOTE this video that blames all IL taxes on pensions + advocates constitution changes,” Illinois Working Together tweeted this week. “It's one thing for a newscast to air its political views/advocate policy change. It's a very different thing to *pay to promote* those views. Apparently the “views expressed” may or may not represent @Fox32News. So . . . who paid for the Facebook ads?”

Welsh did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Fox 32 sources said the editorial was produced outside of the news department and did not involve news personnel. “We’re not happy about it,” one insider said.

“Illinois Taxpayer enactments performed by Fox 32 employees”