Perfecting the Art of the Finger Wag

Council Members

© 2009 Chicago Tribune

It was Chicago author and lawyer Scott Turow who said you must know how to point in front of a jury. As he says in his book, “Presumed Innocent”, “…If you don’t have the courage to point…you can’t expect them [the jury] to have the courage to convict.” As in the court of law, there is also a jury in the world of public opinion.  And in Chicago, the “j’accuse!” of one’s index finger is part of the political arsenal of established pols.  Some seasoned veterans even go on to master the very intimidating “angry finger wag”.  Whether it be the ongoing wars over the budget, at left, or in battles over zoning, our aldermen have exhibited the belittling power of the pointed finger.  There is, of course, a theatrical element to the gesture as well. Not discounting the very emotional issues at stake with real lives in the balance, it’s quite possible the behavior of elected officials could be affected by the presence of news cameras…:-)

Alex Garcia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.