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Complaint Regarding Chicagoist Editorial Bias

(Photo: If you see your home in this photo, Chicagoist thinks your opinion doesn’t matter. Credit:

An email sent today by Chicago Carless to Jake Dobkin, co-founder and publisher of Gothamist, parent website to Chicagoist:


I would like to know whether and, if yes, why you condone the ongoing editorial slant of your component website, Chicagoist, to continue to berate your Chicago readership based on neighborhood?

As you may be aware, for the past two months, the issue of downtown noise pollution from street performers has been a hotly debated topic here, both in Chicago and on the local blogosphere. Many downtown residents feel that some street musicians have taken advantage of local laws regarding permissible hours, noise levels, and locations for their performances and made it difficult for them to live comfortably in their downtown-neighborhood homes. These laws have recently been tightened, but that’s not what’s at issue.

What is at issue is that all residents of Chicago–or New York, or Boston, or any other city–have the right to be heard and taken seriously about the problems, concerns, and challenges that they face in their own neighborhoods during the course of their daily lives. Unfortunately, repeatedly Chicagoist has posted articles very bluntly ridiculing those of us who live in downtown Chicago (and there are 100,000 of us) as overly privileged, overly complaining, second-class citizens of our own city who do not have the same right to be taken legitimately about our neighborhood concerns that Chicagoist accords to residents of all other neighborhoods.

I give you a recent rebuttal on my own blog, which includes links to posts on Chicagoist that I and my readership have found insulting and, more importantly, unfair.

I want to know do you, and would your advertisers, condone an editorial slant that uses the concerns of me and my 99,999 downtown neighbors as fodder for ridicule and tells this huge segment of your assumed target audience to shut up and “move to Naperville” and allow neighborhoods with “real problems” to be heard?

I can’t imagine that would be good for your readership or your metrics. All I know, as I posted on my blog today, is that I can’t see Gothamist telling downtown New Yorkers (my hometown) that their concerns were not worth being heard. So why is that allowed to continue to go on at Chicagoist?

I and many of my friends downtown have gone from faithful readers to former readers, and that’s a shame. I thought that Chicagoist was supposed to report on local issues fairly and inclusively. Was I wrong?

Yours Sincerely,

Mike Doyle

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Michael Thaddeus Doyle

I'm a NYC-native, Latino, Jew-by-choice, hardcore WDW fan in Chicago with an Irish last name. I believe in social justice, big cities, and public transit. I do nonprofit development. I've written this blog since 2005. Believe in the world you want to live in.

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