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Added Jan 12 2012

Chicago News Report is a blog I used to frequent for late-breaking Rogers Park-related news. Unfortunately, in the interest of free speech the blog's owner allows people to post racist comments anonymously. Blogs like CNR are why I am against people being able to post to message boards anonymously.

The comments have recently ratcheted up to include personal attacks against anyone who posts dissenting opinions. The following link is an example:

I was called an N-word lover on this thread (The blog owner recently instituted a filter so the N-word looks more like n*****.)

One anonymous poster went so far as to google my screen name and then present a distorted profile of me--based on reading a few comments I posted on various websites.

I think it is cowardly & disgraceful that not only are people on that blog allowed to post despicable, racist comments about my neighborhood--and about black people in general--but they are also allowed to do it anonymously. How is that free speech?

The First Amendment pre-dates modern technology by a lot. Back then, free speech and the right to peaceably assemble mostly looked like men in waistcoats and breeches standing in the town square bellowing the rhetoric of the day against whatever evils of government existed at that time. Back then, it was illegal to create anonymous fliers and newsletters!

Today, people hide behind their First Amendment rights to post the most vile, intolerant, hateful, racist rantings against anyone they don't like--anonymously and with impunity. Undoubtedly, this is NOT what was intended by the original framers.

IMO, the only solution to reducing the amount of hate speech allowed to proliferate across the internets on public message boards is to mandate that people identify themselves. Then let them rant all they want--and suffer the consequences.

  • Inactive user

    I think we just have a difference in opinion. It seems you think learning which streets/corners have a higher rate of crime is cowering. I consider it be street-smart :)

  • Barbara Rogers Park resident since 1984

    Perhaps. I consider it "street smart" to be aware of one's surroundings WHEREVER one may be. I don't have a whole lot of interest in planning where to go and what to avoid whenever I want to go somewhere in the city. That's what I mean by giving in to fear-mongering. It's kinda like what the GOP does with anything that sounds like something that would benefit the masses, rather than their cronies.
    ... But I digress. Or do I?

  • Inactive user

    Now you want to turn this into a political debate? I think you're just trolling..

  • Helen NoH North of Howard for 55 + years

    When losing the argument, by all means start calling names.

  • Jim A Sic Semper Canis

    @Matt: If you're interested in drilling crime data down to the street level, the City of Chicago data portal will allow you to do this.

    It's a bit different than ClearMap and I find the data portal easier to use for specific streets. In any event, it's a more accurate way to learn about local crime than CNR.

  • Inactive user

    @Helen, I wasn't losing the argument. Wanting to know what streets have higher concentrations to crime doesn't equal to succumbing to fear-mongering. I think most intelligent people can see that is a logic fallacy. Perhaps I have a larger interest in it because I'm planning on buying property in the next 6 months. I don't hide in my apartment all day and never said I did. I don't avoid Boystown because of CNR, I avoid it because I'm not gay. If you think crime rates don't matter, go move to Englewood.

  • Matt, I think most intelligent people would find serious flaws in your logic. You avoid Boystown because you say you aren't gay, however several years ago straight couples and singles began moving into Boystown in DROVES after the gays came in and fixed it up. I guess CNR didn't report that to you. Boystown/Lakeview is essentially Lincoln Park North. If you base your judgement of neighborhood safety on CNR, then you're relying strictly on anecdotes. Most intelligent people would look to reliable sources of crime statistics (e.g., that sited by Jim A. above) and common sense (e.g., what Barbara has displayed in her comments). There have been shootings on N. Michigan Ave. and right outside of Macy's on State Street, during broad daylight, but most people would not avoid these places because of those incidents. Most people don't need to wait to read selective reports about crime on CNR to decide what areas may not be safe. Boystown is as safe, statistically, as Lincoln Park, so for someone to avoid it because they read about selectively reported incidents on that area on CNR is simply stupid. Again, here's where common sense comes in. I would argue that you are safer walking through any part of Uptown or Rogers Park during the day than you are walking through Lincoln Park at night.

  • Inactive user

    Pls point out where I stated that I judge the safety of entire neighborhoods based on what I read on CNR.

  • Matt, you said CNR is your guide for which streets/corners to avoid. So if CNR reports that there's been a mugging on your street, are you going to avoid it? Would you decide to move if CNR reported that a suspicious-looking person was seen at the corner by your home? Or would you make those decisions based on what you yourself have observed regularly, from your normal comings and goings? Can you tell when a street or corner has problems to the degree that you might want to avoid it? Does this type of street or corner have different characteristics and look/feel different than one that you would traverse?

  • Inactive user

    I was pointing out that there was some useful info coming out of CNR. I never said it was my guide. As mentioned by several others CNR reported stories the Tribune doesn't. And yes I would like to know of muggings that may have occurred on my street. Wouldn't you? No, I wouldn't move based on a CNR report, but I may watch over my shoulder a little more.

    From what I've heard the alley behind the Loyola Red Line stop is a mugging hot spot. I would avoid walking down it at night when ever possible. Do you honestly think all streets/alleys/corners in chicago are equally safe?

  • Barbara Rogers Park resident since 1984

    @ matt - Just the opposite (as I stated earlier). Rather, I would AVOID all/most alleys at night. Wouldn't most people in a big city? Instead of "equally safe" I'd think it wise to consider most alleys with equal caution, especially at night. But - note: this is a gross generalization - I'd guess that most women would say the same thing. Since we don't have the burden of acting macho, most women tend to avoid walking down dark alleys, tend to know who is around them (in front and behind), and be extra alert when walking or traveling anywhere after dark or places that appear deserted.

  • Matt, you said:
    "It was worth putting up with the BS to find out where crime is happening around me. Because of CNR I know which corners/streets to avoid."

    I'm not going to argue the semantics of what you stated there, but it seems as though you basically stated that CNR was your guide for areas to avoid.

    You can find a complete listing of muggings and other crimes in any given area in the city though the Chicago Police Department's website (which was already pointed out to you here). That resource is a much better tool to use to determine where crime hot spots are.

    By the way, Tim Fitz of CNR describes himself as a "professional button pusher" (see his Twitter profile). He likes to start stuff and pit people against each other. If his motivation for CNR was simply to report the news to you, he would not focus the blog almost exculsively on black perpetrators of crime and make up "news" like post of a collection of YouTube videos and the post about olympic champion Gabby Douglas that depicts a picture of a monkey hanging from the olympic rings. Nor would he go beyond simply mentioning race in his posts and instead using inflamatory language meant to exacerbate racial tensions. Nor would he allow racial slurs, gratuitous use of the N-word, and hate speech in the commentary.

    If Tim simply wanted to report the news in his blog, he would have done that. There's no need to defend the hate site he created.

  • Helen NoH North of Howard for 55 + years

    "Tim Fitz of CNR describes himself as a 'professional button pusher' (see his Twitter profile). He likes to start stuff and pit people against each other." Yep, and he succeeded in that right here on EveryBlock too. Thanks for that info., Ray.

  • You're correct Helen, and he follows this thread, so he sees it all. His buttons were pushed quite a bit too, however, and he reacted by misdirecting a b*tchy rant at Phoebe.

  • RogersParker Rogers Parker since 1991

    Ray, how do you know that's the CNR Tim Fitz's Twitter account? There are quite a few Tim Fitzes on Twitter--and that particular account hasn't been used since last year and the blog associated with it is defunct. Just curious if you have some sort of inside info. Thanks.

  • RogersParker Rogers Parker since 1991

    davep said: "Rule #1 of reporting in chicago...never reveal the race of the suspect, because that makes you a racist."

    Believe it or not, Dave, journalists and their employers are beholden to a Code of Ethics: And most mainstream media outlets have their own style guides and ethical outlines above and beyond the SPJ Code.

    The fact is, not only do journalists usually not disclose the race of a suspect, until a suspect is formally charged with a crime, the suspect isn't named, either. Next time you watch or read local news reports, pay attention to whether the person(s) pictured/identified in the news stories have been formally charged by police with a crime. You see, private citizens, regardless of whether they're punks who allegedly beat up and rob old people or dickheads who rape women, are afforded more privacy protections under the U.S. Constitution than public officials (e.g., mayors, alderman, presidential candidates).

    So, really, not reporting the name/race of suspects is not a Chicago thing, it's an SPJ Code of Ethics thing.

    That said, not all bloggers are journalists. I'm referring strictly to the mainstream media (and most credible alternative media, such as The Reader and The Chicago Reporter). Bloggers are another breed altogether, imo.

    Just sayin'

  • RogersParker, YES, it's definitely CNR Tim Fitz's Twitter account. I traced a trail of links, which I'll provide here. Keep in mind that you'll have to copy and paste them if you want to do the same, because EveryBlock will disable them if you just click the hyperlink. Okay, here goes.

    1. Go to his Twitter page:

    2. Do a Google search, of this exact link (so do it in quotes), which is the link to his old Blogger account, and is listed at the top of his Twitter page: "";

    3. If you don't search for the fitzdaily Blogspot link in quotes, you'll get search results for fRitzdaily, so be sure you did the search in #2 above with the quotes. This page will come up in the search results:

    4. Now should have pulled up a page called "the original blogger tips and tricks" from the last link above. Do a Control F and search the page for this link (no quotes needed around it this time):

    5. Doing the step above will take you to this post:

    Timothy Fitz3/05/2011
    Hello, I got it to work!!! However, my second widget isn't inline with the title. The second widget with advertisement in it, is a little below the title on the left. How can I move the second widget up a little?

    I am using Blogger's simple designer template. Here is a link to the site:

    6. Click on Timothy Fitz in that post and voila!, you will see the following list of his blogs at the top of the page:

    My blogs
    Chicago News Report | Chicago News Blogs | Chicago Crime | News Blotter

    Alright, now keep in mind that Tim is following this thread, so check this out now, as he's apt to remove some of these breadcrumbs. But to answer your question, yes, that's The Timothy Fitz, the professional button pusher.

  • And RogersParker, glad you asked because this shows something interesting. You can see there that in Timothy Fitz's 3/5/11 post on that tips and tricks Blogger page, he was expressing his EXCITEMENT at getting the advertising up on Chicago News Report. And a few weeks ago when he went off on his rant against you, he was equally as MAD about us "meddlesome" folks getting his advertising removed. I noticed something else too. He took down the page on CNR in which he mimicked the attempts by folks here on EB to get his ads removed. Here is a link to the cashed page from Google (the link to the original page no longer works because he took the page down after people presented it to the advertisers as evidence of the hatred and racism on CNR):

    I guess Karma reall is a b*tch...haha.

  • Irish Pirate Littleton/Artist/Uptown/Chicago

    Good work guys!!

  • RogersParker Rogers Parker since 1991

    Well done, EBRay! I am convinced--and then some! :-)

    You may have missed your calling as an investigative reporter. I'm really impressed with how well you researched and verified before posting the facts. I don't know many "professional" reporters who would be as thorough.

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  • Irish Pirate Littleton/Artist/Uptown/Chicago

    In a way its good that hoodlums post-up what they do...the police can monitor it easier.

    I chose not too and step around it like the dogpile that it is....ditto for CNR.

    Let them howl......

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  • RogersParker Rogers Parker since 1991

    I'm almost scared to note that Tim hasn't updated his blog in almost 2 weeks for fear he'll take it as a challenge to post more stories that elicit foul, racist comments. Or maybe he's just on vacation.

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  • Irish Pirate Littleton/Artist/Uptown/Chicago

    Sunshine is the best has been said.

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  • Shelena Marie Beach goer

    Well Phoebe, I guess we have one thing in common, we're both violators of the Everyblock club lol. Before my comments were removed I was going to tell you that I can respect your wishes. Its your thread. Anyway I do get your point about CNR as well and I dont appreciate the racist comments or personal attacks on you. I guess my point is that one needs to choose battles. Its difficult to detect tone on electronic devices so let me say that I genuinely hope you have a good day (its beautiful out), and If I see you in person Ill buy you a coffee so we can laugh about how we got in trouble on Everyblock.

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  • Irish Pirate Littleton/Artist/Uptown/Chicago

    My last two comments are flanked by removed comments...hope it wasn't something I said.

    We need EveryBlock if for no other reason but to have a friendly place to go and ignore CNR and in Uptown at least the Uptown Update which is not nearly as bad but can be very divisive and arbitrary.

    Like Rp Lover and I guess Pheobe? I am a member of the club too, live n learn....;)

    Alls well that ends well.....

  • H

    Looks like Fitz is back at it again. That's no suprise though, because the self-described "button pusher" was probably getting the withdrawl shakes. Just as in the past, the posts are selective stories aimed at taking jabs at the black community in Chicago.

  • I can think of five websites off the top of my head that are worse than CNR. I don't understand the fixation with it, it is just a poorly written crime blog with redneck commenters. They are really harmless, they like to say the "N" word or pick on latinos, they don't really do anything but sit behind their keyboard and act ignorant. Just let them be, at least they're not out organizing Klan marches.

  • Al I. Not Defender of Cartoon Cows

    It doesn't pass the harmless test from here. I think the "there are worse sites out there" is a bogus argument. That's like saying you can't ever do anything to stop violence here because there is worse violence out there somewhere else in the world. Does not compute.

  • Good, go to Stormfront sometime. They are talking about white supremacists taking over the world and eliminating all who do not fit in the "Aryan Nation".
    Go to 4chan. They like to find families of kids who commit suicide, and harass them endlessly. And a lot of other things. They have taken down government servers just for fun. So a bunch of rednecks saying the "N-word" and T. Fitz spotlighting minority crime is as bad as that?

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  • Inactive user

    RogersParker, why are you accusing Sasha of being a racist?

  • RogersParker Rogers Parker since 1991

    I'm not. Sasha was the one to claim CNR was not so bad compared to Stormfront. I am simply suggesting Sasha leave EB Rogers Park to those of us who actually live here.

  • Al I. Not Defender of Cartoon Cows

    Yeah, what RogersParker said. It is utterly garbage for somebody to reply with "go read Stormfront or 4chan" when pointing out that something is bad and racist. This is not a single-winner contest. There can be more than one thing. FWIW, I'm just going to mute Sasha.

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  • P

    Not nice, Sasha. EveryBlock Becka: is there a point where we can close comment and decide that topic has been exhausted and move on? This is turning into a hateful thread and I think it is actually just making the unintended audience more excited to see people not like their website.

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  • Carl G. Rogers Park resident

    This Sasha Peters is not a nice person. Just read through his/her posts. Has only posted for a week or so. Very disturbed individual with a vendetta against the homeless and any minorities that aren't Jewish.

  • P

    Looks like the best thing to do is mark Sasha's unneighborly comments as such and move on. Icky people love trolling and we are giving Sasha the fuel for his/her fire.

  • EveryBlock Marina EveryBlock Community Manager

    Kate, that's a good suggestion to shut down this thread. We agree the topic has been exhausted. I'm closing comments and suggest that all newcomers to EveryBlock and anyone who's unclear about our community guidelines give this a read:

Hello, neighbor. This thread was closed due to violations of the EveryBlock community guidelines, which intend to keep discussions informative, friendly and respectful.

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