Chicago Sun-Times Drowns Out Real Story in Bottled Water Article

Some Windy City restaurateurs are kicking bottled water to the curb all in the name, they say, of saving the planet, much to the delight of the Chicago Sun-Times. But it seems to me reporter Rummana Hussain may have washed over a juicier angle by burying a key fact eight paragraphs into her nine-paragraph March 27 article.:

Revenues from Chicago's new nickel-a-container bottled water tax are coming in at a rate nearly 40 percent below projections.

Could it be that the new water bottle tax adds yet another paperwork and accounting hassle for restaurant owners, some of whom would just as soon ditch bottled water than deal with the headache of complying with the law? Hussain didn't consider that angle, accepting on face value that restaurants are ditching bottled water purely out of concern for the environment.

What's more, there's a huge story here in unintended consequences with tax revenue coming in well under initial projections. The bottom line: Chicago passed a tax -- initially proposed at up to 25 cents a bottle -- hoping to rake in cash from bottled water sales while doing so in the name of saving the environment to assuage voter anger over yet another tax hike.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters