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The [Friday] Papers

1. I thought "Nobody Puts Baby In A Corner" was pretty good.

2. "A document filed in March with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows that Smith will exit Tribune Co. with severance and other benefits of $4.7 million and a payment of $2.1 million to settle up his ownership stake in the privatized Tribune Co," the Tribune reports.

"The company will also provide a 'gross-up' benefit estimated in the document at $2.6 million to cover any extra taxes Smith might incur as a result of the severance deal."

The "gross-up" thing is too easy, right?

3. "Tribune Co. boss Sam Zell has leased the 23rd floor of the Tribune Tower, the company's former executive suite, to a new investment firm headed by his sister, Leah Zell Wanger," Crain's reports.

How will he measure her productivity?

4. "'I didn't even know who I faced,' Eyre said earlier this week. 'By the time I got to the mound, Geo was talking to [Aramis Ramirez] when I go, 'Hey, who are we facing here?' He goes, '[Ruben] Gotay.' But it wasn't Gotay. He came up the next inning. I don't know who I faced. I wasn't paying attention. I was trying to make sure I got an out."

"The mystery man was Gregor Blanco, who struck out in what Piniella called the game's key moment.

"Eyre ran his consecutive scoreless appearance streak to 31 games, tying Ryan Dempster's franchise record. Soto followed up with a three-run homer to cap a four-run eighth that helped the Cubs pull away and send Atlanta to a 7-22 road record."

I guess it works for Eyre, but geez, can you pay attention to who you're pitching to? You're gonna get the advance scouts fired.

5. "The proposed 51-mile Juneau Access Road would provide something this remote capital city has never had: an overland route to the rest of North America. No longer would people have to take a ferry or a flight," the New York Times reports.

"Yet beyond the political and environmental fight that will determine whether the nearly $400 million road will ever be built, there is a central question: What would the improved access change the most, Juneau or outsiders' perceptions of it?

"'There is an insularity here,' Mayor Bruce Botelho said, 'that I think is a net positive.'"

Or . . . as our very own Tim Inklebarger once wrote in his I Lived In Alaska series:

"You can only get there by boat or plane and both are expensive propositions. For someone like me living on a journalist's pay, weekend shopping trips and quick visits to Anchorage are out of the question. What happens in Juneau literally stays in Juneau."

6. The American press makes me think of a gigantic, supermodern fish cannery, a hundred floors high, capitalized at eleven billion dollars, and with tens of thousands of workers standing ready at the canning machines, but relying for its raw material on an inadequate number of handline fishermen in leaky rowboats," A.J. Liebling once wrote.

"The owner of the fishery . . . undermans his boats not because he doesn't want them to catch fish, but because he hopes the fish will jump into the boats unassisted, the cost of nets being what it is."

7. "In the end, says the Chicago Reader's Alison True, none of us knows exactly where it's all going: 'But it doesn't have to be a bad place. In print there was this beautiful melding of journalism with high purpose and material - like movie listings and classifieds - that readers couldn't live without. It didn't matter that only 6 percent of readers read the cover story. It provided the gravitas. Readers could trust our reviews and music listings because they saw our commitment. We need to rediscover that formula - to remember why we got into this, and keep proving to readers that we care about our city.'"

Um, maybe the fact that only 6 percent of your readers read the cover story meant that most of your cover stories sucked - except the ones by the reporters you fired. It was their stories that provided the gravitas.

8. "The bill passed the House by a 114-0 vote, on the heels of a 56-0 vote earlier in May by the Senate.

"'There's a lot more that needs to be done,' Blagojevich spokeswoman Rebecca Rausch said."

The governor wants to build more consensus.

9. "Former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) has agreed to join the lobbying law firm Dickstein Shapiro as a senior adviser," the Washington Post reported.

"At Dickstein, Hastert "will not be lobbying; he will be providing strategic counseling to our clients," a spokeswoman for the firm said.

For example, he will advise clients to begin referring to their lobbyists as strategic counselors.

10. Daley's Superstation.

11. Recent incidents at Blommer's Chocolate Co. remind us of this Beachwood examination.

12. Gov. Rod Blagojevich finally declared six counties swamped with flooding a disaster area. One was downstate and the other five were in his brain.

13. "I suggest moving Grant Park," my brother writes, "maybe that will solve the museum issue."

14. Tim Willette writes: Did you read Scalia's dissent in the Guantanamo case today? Harsh words, yet strangely familiar:

"The Nation will live to regret what the Court has done today. See, e.g., U.S. v. Jessep, 38 M.J. 410, 417 (N.M.C.M.R. 1993). ('You fuckin' people. You have no idea how to defend a nation. All you did was weaken a country today . . . That's all you did. You put people's lives in danger. Sweet dreams, son.'). I dissent."

15. At the risk of blogrolling in our time . . .

16. "Obama's supporters don't know exactly what Obama believes in, but they seem not to care. He's on the way up and out of the wetlands of Chicago politics, reborn unto his national and mythic reform narrative, discovered by joyous national media and embraced, much as the iconic child was discovered and embraced when found in the reed basket floating on the River Potomac."

17. Even the best misfire from time to time. Today it's Roger Ebert: "But I feel today a general decrease in public civility."

Yes, and it's all coming from the Obama campaign.

But seriously, will newspapers ever tire of their tropes?

I mean, less civility than when? When we had separate drinking fountains for black people? When gays were still stuffed in closets? Is it gas station attendants who clean your windshield that we miss? Or is this about people on airplanes wearing sweatpants again?

18. "I have to admit the Obama campaign makes it a bit harder to think about leaving, but maybe he or John McCain will need a press secretary."

By which he means maybe Obama.


Of course, he'll have to line up behind Mary Mitchell and Eric Zorn.

19. "Last month, in one outing, Jill Cataldo bought 10 items that, with coupons, came up to negative 30 cents. Because Jewel doesn't pay you to buy food, she purchased gum for 34 cents, and paid a grocery bill of 22 cents (18 cents of that was sales tax)."

20. Dream vacation in the Dells.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Tip line of foam.


Posted on June 13, 2008

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - COVID Bowl Toteboard.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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