Drowned out by the political stenographers (with predicable punditry) and workplace violence playing out on live TV, real news is reported by smaller newspapers.

This story comes from Cairo, Illinois, at the southern tip of the state. Some of the town’s 2,800 live in squalor while a slumlord thrives. The Southern Illinoisan of Carbondale, 50 miles to the north, went to investigate.

The headline: “Alexander County Public Housing Authority in financial turmoil as employees ‘lived it up’ and residents went without.”

Molly Parker’s lead: “While some of the state’s poorest residents and children have been living in public housing … described as ‘third world’ and unfit for humans, some employees and management of the Alexander County Housing Authority have taken home hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars via questionable payments, consultant contracts, retirement incentives and legal settlements in addition to their regular pay …”

This was no TV hit-and-run showing an outraged resident and a rat or two. She nailed hides to the wall.

The former executive director of the housing authority denied wrongdoing, but told Ms. Parker, “We lived it up too good.” In other words, the Illinois way — sweetheart deals for unions and retirement promises that can never be kept.

Meanwhile, as drug deals go down and shots ring out, impoverished residents pray the feds will swoop in and clean up this hellhole.  Whatever happens, they will continue to worship their slumlord, the government.

For Ms. Parker, I see journalism awards. Perhaps she will move to a big city, covering politics until she digs up something that doesn’t sit well with her sh**-for-brains boss or the publisher’s friends.

Mouser’s career advice: Try TV, then make a break for PR, also known as honorable work.

A link to the story: http://tinyurl.com/p8a954k