We can’t imagine, sometimes, what goes on in the minds of the Masters Of The Fourth Estate, aka the Illinois Press Association. A few years ago, they were rigging journalism contests, which led to the departure of president and chief executive officer Dennis DeRossett, who walked away with his full $185,000 salary in 2017, according to Internal Revenue Service records, despite resigning halfway through the year after Illinois Times exposed him as a contest-fixing mastermind who overruled judges to anoint his own picks. As dues-paying members, we were hoping for better, but last week we were disappointed when the press association asked newspapers throughout the state to run an editorial – already written for the sake of convenience – urging the General Assembly to declare Jesse White Day in Illinois on the grounds that White is about the greatest name ever to appear on a ballot in the Land of Lincoln. Maybe, maybe not, but sheesh – what’s an organization that represents newspapers doing recommending that any elected official have a day named in his honor by other elected officials? Confidential to the Illinois Press Association: Stick with pushing for improvements to public records laws and funding Capitol News Illinois and keeping the money spigot on by requiring that legal notices still be printed. We can figure out which politicians, if any, deserve endorsements all by ourselves.

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