Early Thursday morning Anita Alvarez sent out an email to everyone on her campaign mailing list denouncing last Sunday night’s interview she did with CBS News’ 60 Minutes. Anita was interviewed about wrongful convictions and forced confessions in what 60 Minutes called “Chicago: The False Confession Capital.” Reactions to her contributions to the segment have been scathing, Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune said, “Cook County State’s Attorney Alvarez humiliates herself on national TV.” Huffington Post said, “State’s Attorney Defends Convictions, ‘Necrophelia’ Theory.” The Sun Times reported on “Anita Alvarez’s unflattering ’60 Minutes’ interview.” She looked bad to say the least.
It is very surprising that she did the interview in the first place, seeing as the Attorney General’s office is almost never available for interviews. I have asked! I think she was charmed by a national TV audience and jumped at the chance to be interviewed. She describes the story as “one sided and extremely misleading” although there she is, on the television, answering questions asked of her. There is no denying that the words she spoke are her own. Here is the complete text of her email, you can watch the 60 Minutes interview below on the left side of this page.
I hope this email finds you and your family well and enjoying the holiday season!
Many of you have watched or read about the 60 Minutes story entitled Chicago: The False Confession Capital, which aired on December 9th. I have received a significant amount of negative feedback regarding my participation in that segment and the position those clips portray me as taking on the issue.
Given the manner in which 60 Minutes chose to edit my interview, I am not surprised by the negative feedback. However, I want to address these gross misconceptions head-on and have submitted a letter to the president of CBS News to correct the record and to express my deep dissatisfaction with their segment.
CBS provided an inexcusably limited narrative of the case and excluded my most pertinent comments regarding the important and troubling topic of wrongful convictions in an apparent effort to provide their story with an antagonist. Their misrepresentation of the facts and my hour-long interview with them did a disservice to their audience and their journalistic credibility.
Make no mistake, I recognize that Cook County has a troubling history of false confessions and wrongful convictions and I will continue to implement solutions to ensure that they do not happen in the future.
Only four months ago, the Chicago Sun Times praised my offices handling of wrongful conviction cases as “a model for justice” for the rest of the country. My commitment to using my offices resources to seek justice in such cases remains steadfast. I invite you to verify what I have outlined in the letter yourself and to share the accurate facts with others.
Click here to view the letter: My Response to CBS
Best Wishes and Happy Holidays,
She includes a link to the letter that she wrote to the Executive Producer of 60 Minutes where she refutes the facts of their story point by point and also says that she was not the States Attorney when most of the cases occurred up to 20 years ago.
Bravo Anita, you took on the most well respected and the longest running weekly news show in the history of television and lost, badly. Did you think they were going to ask you softball questions? Did you think twice when you answered a question about necrophilia explaining a convicted rapist’s DNA showing up in a rape victim? A crime that others were convicted of? Did you think they would come by for tea and crumpets and ask about Chicago restaurants and tourism? Are you familiar with the term, “I have no comment on that?”
Sorry Anita, you sat down with the big boys and you got your hat handed to you. Take it like a adult and shut up and it might go away. As William Shakespeare once wrote, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”