Chicago newspaper reaction to Mayor Daley in Wheaton

After attending Mayor Daley’s speech on campus yesterday (my thoughts here), I was intrigued to see how the local newspapers portrayed the talk. Here are the headlines:

1. Daley: We’re a ‘country of whiners’Chicago Tribune with the story on the Clout Street blog.

2. Together, we’re strong, Daley tells suburbsDaily Herald.

3. Daley: U.S. is a nation of “whiners”Chicago Sun-Times (just repeating an AP story).

4. Daley reviews tenure as mayor during event at Wheaton College – mysuburbanlife.com.

The fourth headline seems most accurate to me while it is not surprising that the Daily Herald would emphasize the suburban angle. If you do a quick search on Google News, it appears that the “country of whiners” line seems to dominate the headlines.

This is interesting: Daley’s quote about being a “country of whiners” was in response to a question at the end about how America could get back on the right track. Throughout his talk, he said Americans needed confidence, we needed to push ahead in new directions (like Chicago has in the past), and that we need to continue to compete, particularly in the field of education. But the “country of whiners” quote seemed to a less-guarded comment.

In my opinion, the primary message of the talk was about education and Daley’s role in trying to reform it. The Daily Herald ran a separate story about this emphasis on education. While the “country of whiners” line might be a good soundbite, the bigger question we could be asking is whether the Chicago Public Schools have improved in Daley’s 22 years as mayor.

And I still haven’t seen any mention of Daley’s final line of the day when asked by a student what he thought of Jay Cutler. Daley said something like (paraphrase here), “Both Jay and I get beat around by the media.”