‘It’s funny:’ Calgary councillors become journalists on Chicago website

‘It’s funny:’ Calgary councillors become journalists on Chicago website

CALGARY — Browsing on a website that calls itself the Chicago Evening Post, one might have assumed five Calgary city councillors are moonlighting as journalists under different names in the Windy City.

The purported news site’s senior editor is listed as Dean Weaver originally from Peoria, Ill., who cut his teeth in Buffalo and Pittsburgh and conducted several special investigations for the Guardian newspaper in Britain.

But the photo attached to the short biography was that of Coun. Sean Chu until it, and those of his alleged colleagues, were taken down Tuesday.

“I’m a senior editor. I can boss other councillors around,” Chu said with a laugh earlier.

Chu said he’s puzzled as to why municipal politicians from Calgary would appear on a Chicago site, but he’s not bothered.

“It’s funny, no matter what,” he said. “Of all the cities in North America, why did they pick Calgary? There must be a reason. It’s a good thing.”

A phone number listed on the Evening Post’s website went through to a hair salon in Chicago called Salon Zero One One.

E-mail addresses for Weaver and his supposed coworkers are listed on the website, but none replied to messages on Tuesday. A message to a general address for the site was not returned either.

The Library of Congress government website says the Chicago Evening Post newspaper, founded in 1890, stopped publishing when it was absorbed by the Chicago Daily News in 1932.

Coun. Jyoti Gondek also had a sense of humour about a doppelganger working as a lifestyle editor in Chicago under the byline Liv Carpenter.

“We have so much work to do that this is probably not something I’m going to worry about too much, but I am getting a kick out of it,” she said.

Carpenter’s bio says she played volleyball and annoyed a lot of professors during her time at the University of Chicago. Gondek joked that she, too, may have also annoyed some university professors in her day.

“She enjoys running, practising minimalism, reading whatever Oprah recommends, and trying out the next best skin-care item that probably won’t work,” Carpenter’s bio says.

Coun. Jeromy Farkas — a.k.a. contributor Greg McCreary, a four-year Chicago denizen who covers Congress — said he didn’t know what to think when he saw his likeness on the site.

“It was the first sort of semi-fan page I’d seen of council, but it was an interesting way to go about it.”

Farkas said the matter points to some serious issues about the modern media landscape.

“Sometimes there’s really no way, with how graphics and technology have advanced, to be able to tell what’s real and true and what isn’t.”

Coun. Jeff Davison’s photo appeared above a photo of Rick Kings, who mostly covers sports and community events in Chicago.

“Since taking office here, I have much less time to cover the Cubs, but I’m making it work,” Davison said.

Steff Martin, who the website says covers trending news stories, bore an uncanny resemblance to Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart.

A reverse image search for a sixth staffer — deputy politics editor Elizabeth Antoski — suggested she is actually Detroit city councillor Mary Sheffield.

There is no evidence online that any of those named on the website have worked as journalists.

“The majority of our news is provided by staff writers who are all experts in their respective fields. Other news is provided by news agencies and freelancers,” the website says. ”Our paper offers authoritative insight and opinion on news important to the people of Chicago.”

Christopher Waddell, with Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication, said the site seems to be bogus.

But he said its content is much more benign than that offered by fake news sites during the 2016 U.S. election, much of which was designed to damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

The Evening Post’s top stories include police officers accused of stealing from drug traffickers and a major expansion to O’Hare International Airport — both of which were covered by established media outlets.

“Maybe the Chicago Evening Post is just an attempt to capitalize on Google ads,” Waddell said. ”Maybe they’re trying to establish something that they want to use for some purpose later on.”

Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Red Deer Mounties seek armed robber who stole narcotics from pharmacy

Narcotics were the target during an armed robbery of a Red Deer… Continue reading

New downtown parking rates on the way in Red Deer

Expired meter penalties increase

Central Albertans compete in AMAZING RACE

Mellisa Hollingsworth and Nancy Csabay team up

What makes a beer a beer? Feds brew changes to national beer standards

Federal officials are proposing changes to national beer standards that would widen… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer celebrates World Refugee Day

The Central Alberta Refugee Effort hosted multiple events around Red Deer Wednesday

New evidence that viruses may play a role in Alzheimer’s

WASHINGTON — Viruses that sneak into the brain just might play a… Continue reading

Amber Tamblyn novel flips gender stereotypes as it examines rape culture

TORONTO — Actress and author Amber Tamblyn started writing “Any Man,” her… Continue reading

Mike Colter brings the pain as the indestructible Luke Cage

ATLANTA — “Black Panther” broke box office records, but “Luke Cage” once… Continue reading

Toronto police strike blow to gang with ties to the U.S. and Caribbean: chief

Toronto police say they’ve taken down a large portion of a street… Continue reading

Canada focusing on existing climate plan, has no timeline to increase ambition

OTTAWA — Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says Canada has no immediate plans… Continue reading

Jimmy Fallon reveals personal pain following Trump fallout

NEW YORK — Jimmy Fallon is opening up about the personal anguish… Continue reading

Paul McCartney ready to release his 17th solo album

LOS ANGELES — Paul McCartney is inviting fans on a musical journey… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month