Former Polish President Lech Walesa Endorses Ill. GOP Candidate, Local Media Ignore

The gubernatorial race in Illinois is heating up. Conservative Republican candidate  Adam Andrzejewski has, according to some reports, surged from relative obscurity to within 2 points of the lead for the GOP nomination. And last week Andrzejewski was endorsed by Lech Walesa, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and former President of Poland.

If you live in the Chicago area, however, may be unaware that such an important historical and political figure was just in your town, endorsing a candidate for governor of your state. The only local television coverage the endorsement event received was from Chicago's ABC News station, which showed Walesa and Andrzejewski on stage while covering a Tea Party rally at the event, but never even mentioned the former president by name (see video below the fold).

The only print coverage in local newspapers the event garnered was from the Tribune, which ran a 113-word AP story, and the Sun-Times, which mentioned Walesa in a 2-sentence caption, right below a blurb headlined "Family of boy found hanged sues schools" and above one headlined "New Schools Expo today". So the latter paper decided the death of a child in a local suburb was more important than a political endorsement from a man at least partially responsible for the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe. The former decided it couldn't spare a reporter for such a monumental figure (h/t Founding Bloggers and Race 4 2012).

While no television station could bring itself to mention Walesa or his endorsement, ABC made sure to mention that "the Tea Party movement has endorsed Hinsdale businessman Adam Andrzejewski. While he has never run for or held public office before, he will walk point for the republican party's right wing."

Founding Bloggers asks, "could this media blackout have anything to do with the political bias in the newsroom?" Spoken in Walsa's home tongue, tak. For those who don't speak Polish, that means yes.