Fake News: WGLT

By:  Diane Benjamin

See WGLT’s latest on Sister Cities/Tari Renner:  http://wglt.org/post/caught-middle-sister-cities-chair-defends-programs-work#stream/0

One would think as Public Radio and part of ISU, real journalists would be writing the stories.  Evidently not.  I hope future employers of journalism students take that into account if their degree is from ISU!

The story has problems determining fact from fiction.  It claims Margot Ehrlich was an official delegate on the trip to Japan.  Hint WGLT:  Just because Tari says it, it doesn’t make it true.

How did Margot get that position?  Sleeping with the mayor?

Was anybody else allowed to apply for the job? (Japan, not sleeping with the mayor)

If Margot was “official”, why did she pay for the trip 3 weeks later and before anybody knew the City paid for the ticket?

Was Tari an “official delegate” too?  Why didn’t he pay for his ticket if that’s what official delegates do?

The Sister Cities guy claims everybody paid for their trips.  WGLT didn’t ask is they “donated” money to the tax-deductible Sister Cities Committee and plan to take a tax deduction for that donation.    Inquiring minds really want to know!

So many questions!

So little journalism!


I wonder if this is the WGLT motto?

Listen to the interview.  A few more details were filled in.  Yes, some people took an additional tour.  A total of 32 were on the trip, but not all went on the tour.



19 thoughts on “Fake News: WGLT

  1. Well, at least Renner wasn’t rambling even though WGLT bought into his version. Any “disgrace” brought to the Sister City Program falls directly on Renner’s shoulders. Both mayors’ accommodations were provided by the Sister City. The City and Town paid for airfare. What no one seems to get through their head is that the City’s credit card forbids the user from paying for travel expenses of non-employees. Margot’s ticket was not paid through the Sister City account. She was not included in the “group package” for the delegates. The credit card is NOT to be used for convience. Mayor, if you want your partner to travel on a separate airline from the delegates, purchase both tickets with your own credit card and submit receipts for the expense to be reimbursed. It’s not that difficult unless there is a lack of ethics.


  2. Interesting that the Sister City folks feel a need to defend the program. Must be feeling some heat. Ahhh, and then theres that donation/tax write off thing.


  3. I don’t see any real benefit of program to the citizens of Normal. When Mitsubishi first came to town and in the few years after that, I guess it made sense. But Mitsubishi left us… so the what is the benefit…? besides a few people in government get to go to Japan to visit…? Ok that is nice but what does it do for Normal?


  4. Both the Mayor and his girlfriend are subject to the (5 ILCS 430/) State Officials and Employees Ethics Act. Margot is subject because she is a state employee, and Renner is subject because the Bloomington City Code adopted this law as their Code of Ethics. WGLT is state owned, and their employees are state employees. The station, a public station, has shown a clear pattern of bias towards one political party, one political point of view, and it allows a controversial political office holder to use the station for his own political gain. Furthermore, employees of this station have accepted meals from this politician, who in turn expensed the meal costs to the City of Bloomington. No records giving a summary of the purpose and agenda of these public paid for meal meetings exits, and one could conclude that the mayor was colluding with his media friends.

    Here is a post that I recently posted, and I ask that everyone help change the culture at WGLT and hold their employees and the Mayor accountable by writing a complaint to the Illinois OEIGS OFFICE. Their contact info is below. PLEASE HELP!!

    August 15, 2017 at 4:52 pm
    As Skunk alluded to, McCurdy and Renner are pals. WGLT is owned by ISU, a state Univerisity. McCurdy is a state employee and has been and continues to be used by a Renner for Renners own political purposes. This violates the state ethics laws. He knows what they are. The University does a pretty good job educating their employees. Enforcement, or shall I say , selective might be a problem there. If you’re tired of your tax dollars always be used by WGLT as Renners personal. Bully pulpit and as a forum for only the progressive left, then please file your complaint with the Office of Executive Inspector Generals Office in either Springfield or Chicago. Here are instructions from their website:

    Complaints regarding allegations of misconduct, fraud, waste, etc. related to entities under the jurisdiction of the Office of Executive Inspector General for the Agencies of the Illinois Governor may be submitted by anyone. Complaints may be submitted anonymously; however, a complaint must relate to the official conduct of:
    an employee of an executive branch state agency, board, or commission, or state public university under the jurisdiction of the OEIG; an employee of the the Regional Transportation Authority, the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra, or Pace; or a person or entity (such as a vendor) doing business with an entity under the jurisdiction of the OEIG.
    Anyone who files a complaint should have a reasonable belief that the allegation being reported is true. In addition, anyone filing a complaint must provide sufficient detail concerning the allegation in order for an investigation to be initiated.

    Examples of allegations of violations by public employees that may be investigated by the OEIG include, but are not limited to: fraud, abuse of authority, corruption, theft of state property, improper use of state time, property, or other resources for prohibited political purposes, bid rigging, improper time reporting, and other forms of misuse of public property, equipment, or other assets.

    Complaints may be filed orally or preferably in writing. Forms for this purpose are available at the OEIG website, OEIG Complaint Forms.

    To report a violation you may:
    Call the OEIG’s toll-free hotline at 866.814.1113

    Contact the Office via telecommunications device for the disabled (TTY) at 888.261.2734;

    Mail a completed complaint form to:
    Office of Executive Inspector General for the Agencies of the Illinois Governor
    Attention: Complaint Division
    69 West Washington, Suite 3400
    Chicago, Illinois 60602

    Fax a completed complaint form to 312.814.5479

    Visit the OEIG Springfield or Chicago offices to obtain, complete, and submit a complaint form


      1. A few of them do intern there, but they also intern at 92.9….
        My point is, WGLT has nothing to do with the instruction in the journalism major. So, what you’re saying is “fake news.”


      2. Yes, I do, when it’s warranted. Notice, I didn’t say anything about the actual story, because I agree with you. This whole thing is messed up, and WGLT does pander to Renner (and Koos).
        There was no reason for you throw in that that paragraph about ISU students. I can tell you, as a journalism graduate, that’s not journalism.


    1. Actually last year RC McBride was listed as teaching a communications course. Likely related to journalism. So there is that.


  5. I think the real question is, why did Teri make is girlfriend pay for her ticket? Only a jerk makes his date pay. Teri should have paid for his gal pal with his own money.


      1. GLT is fake news, ISU teaches fake journalism, what next? A fake girlfriend. Maybe that’s why the dictator didn’t pay her way.


  6. Agree that this “delegate” was simply a girl friend who came along for the ride. Even if you accept this fact, it would seem to be a distraction from the mayor focusing on whatever the main objective of this trip was? Chris Koos didn’t bring a squeeze along for the trip.
    Mr mayor fix our streets, shore up the disasters at the Colleseum or the performing art center!
    You are indeed a self-entitled ass whose real goals are impossible to discern. You are part of the reason businesses flee Illinois for safe haven away from your corruption and self-interest actions.
    The Bloomington mayor is an embarrassment to democracy and to all earnest elected officials. Time for you to resign and go back to corrupting young minds.


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