An Aldertrack founder takes a political job

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Jimm Dispensa (pictured here in 2007) has been scooped up by Patrick Daley Thompson.
  • Suzanne Tennant
  • Jimm Dispensa (pictured here in 2007) has been scooped up by Patrick Daley Thompson.
Eternal values are at risk . . .

Aldertrack, the Internet's one-stop shopping center for Chicago election news, is losing a mainstay. A news release announces that founder Jimm Dispensa has taken a job as chief of staff to Patrick Daley Thompson, the 11th Ward's new alderman.

Newsmen who cross over to the dark side have their reasons. (David Axelrod, formerly of the Tribune, later of chez Obama, wrote a book trying to justify his own.)

But instead of issuing a short, tasteful, mournful notice of Dispensa's dereliction, Aldertrack sounds positively celebratory. Says the news release:

"We're excited for his move, and he's excited to help the neighborhood he grew up in and to work for an old friend."

But journalists are like priests. They don't have friends. They have a church. They don't change jobs. They stray.

When I made an inquiry, Aldertrack publisher and new-media trailblazer Mike Fourcher wrote back to promise "we're taking specific actions to ensure the integrity of Aldertrack's editorial operations remain airtight." And he added:

"And hey, how come this is the first mention of Aldertrack? We've been kicking ass for months and hiring real reporters! More to come . . . "

That's more like it! The voice of a living faith . . .

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