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Danny Seraphine Blasts ‘Revisionist’ Chicago-Produced Documentary

Columbia
Columbia

Former co-founding Chicago drummer Danny Seraphine has joined a chorus of critics taking aim at a new documentary about the band.

The two-hour program Now More Than Ever: The History of Chicago was aired by CNN during prime time on New Year’s Day, but it was produced in the manner of an infomercial by the nephew of one of the current band members, rather than the network’s news staff.

Among those who are unhappy with the results is Seraphine, who doesn’t feel his side of the story was accurately portrayed. “The History of Chicago, my ass!” he wrote on Facebook. “Revisionist history at its best.”

His comments follow a scathing and deeply sourced piece from the Washington Post questioning CNN’s ethics in presenting a film “about a subject made under the editorial control of the subject itself.”

Viewers didn’t find out until the final credits rolled who was behind the program. Now More Than Ever was directed and edited by Peter Pardini, whose uncle Lou Pardini has been a member of Chicago since 2009. Seraphine left the group in 1990.

“There is a clear understanding between the audience and a serious news organization that the program is being produced following news standards,” Tom Bettag, a journalism professor and former network news producer, told the Post. “Viewers can’t help but feel betrayed. They should, because it is clearly a betrayal.”

Peter Pardini has since responded with an official statement via CNN. “From the beginning, Chicago’s manager told me to make the movie I wanted to make and not to listen to anyone else’s opinion,” he said. “This is exactly what happened. At no point did anyone from the band or management sit in with me or tell me how to edit the movie and the band didn’t see the movie until it was done.”

Now More Than Ever arrives during a busy period for Chicago, as they’ve just announced a co-headlining tour with the Doobie Brothers. Seraphine has since formed a band called California Transit Authority that occasionally features fellow Chicago alum Bill Champlin.

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