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Braun lashes out at Sun-Times’ Steinberg

Carol Moseley Braun speaks Wednesday. | Keith Hale~Sun-Times

Carol Moseley Braun speaks Wednesday. | Keith Hale~Sun-Times

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Updated: February 29, 2012 4:12PM

Mayoral hopeful Carol Moseley Braun lashed out against Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg on Wednesday in response to a column criticizing the former U.S. senator.

“He is a drunk and a wife beater, and that’s a matter of record. I didn’t make that up. It’s the truth,” Braun said at a news conference called to outline her public safety platform.

“You know that old ‘Give ‘em hell Harry.’ I tell the truth, and they think it’s hell. I’m just going to tell the truth about these things. He is a drunk and a wife beater, and he insulted the entire African-American community in Chicago. And the Sun-Times, particularly based on its demographic . . . ought to do better by Chicagoans than to give this man a continual platform for his divisive rantings in the newspaper.”

In 2005, Steinberg was arrested by Northbrook Police and charged with striking his wife during an argument. The domestic battery charges were dropped later that year after prosecutors said Steinberg had complied with a court-ordered alcohol treatment program.

In a Monday column, Steinberg criticized Braun and offered his take on the push for an African-American “consensus” candidate by black politicians.

“She represents the egomaniacal muddle that Chicago black leadership has slid into, where calls for imaginary and self-destructive racial solidarity trump minor concerns like reason or history,” Steinberg wrote.

On Wednesday, Steinberg responded to Braun’s comments.

“I want to thank the many, many readers and fellow professionals who have written to express their support and astonishment at Carol Moseley Braun’s intemperate remarks about me and my wife,” Steinberg said.

“The difference between my past and hers is that I have done the hard work to change myself, while she remains exactly what she was, alas. If a person cannot tolerate one teasing column, how can she hope to be mayor of a great city?”

Sun-Times Editor in Chief Don Hayner released the following statement on Wednesday:

“The Chicago Sun-Times has many columnists, including Neil Steinberg. Steinberg expresses his opinions, as do all of our columnists. The Sun-Times strives to reflect the varying opinions of the Chicago area, and we believe we accomplish that mission daily.

“We stand behind Neil’s right to express his opinion but also acknowledge that not everyone will agree with him all of the time. We are always open to input from those who disagree with Neil or any of our commentators.”

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