Another Journo Turned Politico Turned Journo Again

-By Warner Todd Huston

Well we’ve got a case of another journalist that turned into a political operative that now wants to go back to being a journalist. And would you be surprised that the journo/politico/journo redux is a Democrat? I would hope you wouldn’t because the right leaning journo to politico hardly ever happens (though it has been known to).

This time it’s one Bob Reed former Chicago reporter and editor of Crain’s Chicago Business turned mouthpiece for Illinois Democratic Governor Pat Quinn. Reed quit the journalism trade to head up Pat Quinn’s communications office when he was Lt. Gov. and stayed with him when he became Illinois’ accidental governor upon the elimination of Rod Blagojevich from his lofty, bribe riddle heights. Now Reed wants to go back to being a journalist and has resigned from Quinn’s staff to pursue new opportunities.

Interestingly, Reed termed his employ in the guv’s office as just another journalistic “assignment.”

I got an unexpected call from then-Lt. Governor Pat Quinn, who knew my work and offered me a spokesman position. His offer prompted me to seriously think about doing something besides traditional journalism. You know, go outside my comfort zone. I also knew in my bones that this was going to be a whale of an assignment. Although I accepted the job before Rod Blagojevich was arrested, it was pretty obvious the state was going through a rough time and something was going to give. But I had no idea how the fast and furious the changes would be.

Notice the chosen phrases in Reed’s answer? His new job in government was something “besides traditional journalism.” So apparently Reed sees working for government as non-traditional journalism? Then he went on to characterize his stint in partisan politics as just another journalistic “assignment.”

It seems pretty plain that journalist Reed didn’t see much difference between journalism and working as a partisan political mouthpiece for a sitting governor. And this is just the thing with so many journalists in this era of Obama. They so easily jump from being a supposedly independent, incorruptible journalist to being a partisan hack for a politician and then they don’t see any reason why they can’t just jump right back into the world of the “non-partisan” journo!

Naturally there is one reason for this. As a journalist they act with no different guiding principle than they did as a left-wing, Democrat mouthpiece. There isn’t any difference in their minds, nothing to be independent from. They were lefties when they were journalists and the transition was no big deal when they became a partisan mouthpiece. It was a seamless transition, really.

And now, Reed is looking to become an editor or “manager” as he put it, again. From journo, to partisan political flak, right back to journo. It’s all so seamless, indeed.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s,, and, as well as,,,, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

For a full bio, please CLICK HERE.

Copyright Publius Forum 2001