The “Ricketts affair,” double standards and media hypocrisy

The “Ricketts affair,” double standards and media hypocrisy

The “Ricketts affair,” double standards and media hypocrisy

The criticism of Joe Ricketts and the attacks against the Chicago Cubs reflect the twisted, distorted form of public justice that has corrupted today’s society. It also displays the hypocrisy of some of the politicians like Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel who have exploited the incident for personal political benefit

By Ray Hanania

If you don’t think politics determines how stories are covered, you haven’t been reading the news.

Last week the far liberal website “Splinter News,” the mirror opposite of the far conservative website, Breitbart, revealed Joe Ricketts, 77, took his conservative views over the line in several emails.

The emails viciously attacked President Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton, defended Donald Trump, and vilifying Muslims. The views are the mirror opposite of extreme liberal views, which viciously attack President Donald Trump, police shootings of armed drug and street gang members, and advocate an immigration crackdown.

Somewhere in the “middle” of all that is the truth: Obama was no saint. Clinton was a horrible candidate. Trump isn’t good at managing his image. Some police, very few, shoot innocent people. Islamic extremists engage in terrorism giving Muslims a bad name. Drug dealers like Al Chapo Guzman dance across the border with violent impunity.



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Aah, but the “middle” isn’t news, only one side of it is.

Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field. Photo courtesy of Ray Hanania

Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field. Photo courtesy of Ray Hanania

Joe Ricketts angered Muslims when he wrote, “Islam is based on ‘kill the infidel’ a thing of evil,” and “Muslims are naturally my (our) enemy.”

A conservative, he also embraced the “Obama birther theory,” and the media really hates that.

Everyone piled on Joe Ricketts, especially now that the Chicago Cubs are one of the nation’s most powerful baseball franchises. Maybe if this happened before the Cubs successfully broke their 108-year World Series Drought in 2016, no one would have cared. Who wants to bash an unknown?

The founder of the powerful TD Ameritrade, Joe Rickets used $403 million in shares to cover the equity needed to purchase the Cubs back in 2009 when they were little more than “lovable losers.” The media doesn’t care that Joe Ricketts doesn’t run the Cubs and his emails have nothing to do with the Cubs. His son, Tom Ricketts, owns the team with his siblings. Tom Rickets turned the Cubs into a sports powerhouse.

You wouldn’t know that from the way the media is bashing the Cubs of the father’s words.

Joe Ricketts issued an apology to the media: “I deeply regret and apologize for some of the exchanges I had in my emails. … Sometimes I received emails that I should have condemned. Other times I’ve said things that don’t reflect my value system. I strongly believe that bigoted ideas are wrong.”

Of course, the media took the exact opposite view of billionaire Jeff Bezos, a far left-wing Liberal. Bezos, who owns Amazon, also owns the Washington Post. The Washington Post has led the vicious wolf-pack attacks against Trump.

Bezos took pictures of himself naked and “sexted” them to his girlfriend, a TV anchor who he dated while ending his marriage to his wife of 25 years. When the National Enquirer, a conservative version of Splinter News, obtained them, Bezos went on the offensive, with the media’s sympathy.

The media loves Bezos because he loves Obama, Clinton and hates Trump. Never mind Amazon is responsible for putting millions of retailers out of business.

The real irony in all this came when Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel entered the Joe Ricket’s fray, writing, “Joe Ricketts once said that I do not share his values. Truer words were never spoken. The ignorance and intolerance he has espoused are not welcome in Chicago. Those are not the values I learned from my parents, and those are not the values Amy and I have instilled in our children.”

“Joe Ricketts should consider himself lucky he has never met my mother. She would teach him a lesson. I am proud not to share his bigoted opinions. Hate has no home in Chicago.”

In rebuking Joe Ricketts, Emanuel didn’t mention his father.

A former member of the Irgun terrorist organization, Benjamin Emanuel made ugly comments to an Israeli newspaper when his son, then Congressman Rahm Emanuel, was appointed as Obama’s chief of staff.

“Obviously he [Rahm] will influence the president to be pro-Israel,” Benjamin Emanuel said. “Why wouldn’t he be? What is he, an Arab? He’s not going to clean the floors of the White House.”

The media contained the offensive remark, instead of using it to undermine Rahm Emanuel’s appointment. Media like Time Magazine argued you can’t blame the son for the sins of the father.

Except, I guess, when the target is a conservative. Rahm Emanuel is a liberal. Joe Ricketts is a conservative. Jeff Bezos is a liberal.

Maybe the Ricketts family should have purchased the New York Times instead of the Cubs. That might have “contained” this controversy.

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author & former Chicago City Hall reporter (1977-1992). A veteran who served during the Vietnam War and the recipient of four SPJ Peter Lisagor Awards for column writing, Hanania writes weekly opinion columns on mainstream American & Chicagoland topics for the Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers, and Suburban Chicagoland.  

Hanania also writes about Middle East issues for the Arab News, and The Arab Daily News criticizing government policies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A critic of mainstream news media bias, Hanania advocates for peace & justice for Israel & Palestine, & the empowerment of Arabs in America. 

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Click Here to LISTEN to Hanania's live radio show on 2nd Friday every month 7 AM CST. Click here to listen to Ray's Podcasts. 

His columns are archived here. Hanania was named "Best Ethnic American Columnist" by the New America Media in November 2007, and is the 2009 recipient of the SPJ National Sigma Delta Chi Award for column writing.

Email Ray Hanania at

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