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The [Friday] Papers

The funny thing about the unmistakably looming presence of Mayor Richard M. Daley in the City Hall corruption trial taking place in federal court is that it is the defense - representing four former Daley aides, including Robert Sorich, once the mayor's patronage chief - not the prosecution that keeps bringing his name up.

So much so that, at one point in the trial, lead prosecutor Patrick Collins complained to Judge David Coar - out of the presence of the jury - about the defense's frequent references to Daley, arguing that the jury might get confused about who is really on trial here.

(That seems inexplicable to me, but perhaps it is Collins's belief that the defense wants to make the jury jump the hurdle of Daley's popularity by lumping a conviction of Sorich and the others with the belief that the mayor has also done wrong.)

Coar in turn demanded that defense lawyer Thomas Anthony Durkin explain the relevance of the mayor to the case. In the sidebar discussion that followed, Durkin opened the door to calling on Daley to testify.

That may seem backwards on the surface. You might think that the refusal of Sorich & Co. to roll over on the Administration and cut deals for themselves in the face of a very strong case by the prosecution would mean they were lined up four-square with the mayor.

Instead, one of Durkin's many defense theories (some of which have been called " beyond far-fetched" by Coar) seems to be that the boys were only following orders. Daley's boys.

With former Streets and San operative Daniel Katalinic still on the stand Thursday, Durkin went back to the well.

"Katalinic agreed with Durkin that it was 'preposterous' to say that Sorich controlled City Hall hiring, since he reported to higher-ups at the IGA," the Sun-Times reports.

"'They are the heads of the Mayor's Office of Intergovernmental Affairs?' Durkin asked.

"'Yes,' Katalinic said.

"Durkin suggested that power went even higher, asking if the mayor didn't run his own office.

"'I would think so,' Katalinic said. 'It's called the mayor's office.'"

Bald Attempts
Meanwhile, the media goes apeshit about some stupid offhand remark Daley makes about a bald reporter. (The Swede in The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, for God's sake!) The Tribune ran a click poll about it yesterday and published an editorial today.

I've got news for you, folks. It's really not that funny.

Now, I can't begrudge John Kass getting two columns out of the silliness; after all, The Swede is Kass's legman, and Kass has by far beat the drum about Daley's corrupt administration more than any other journalist in town. If he wants to have some fun with it, he's entitled. But don't the rest of us have better things to do?

Like maybe run a click poll about whether the mayor should apologize to the media for accusing it of wishing John Stroger dead and to the Stroger family for inappropriate remarks made while the man actually seems to be dying?

And let's not forget what spurred the bald brouhaha: Insistent questions by the City Hall press corps about whether the mayor ordered more toll collectors on the Skyway to ease traffic to and from his weekend home in Michigan.

Even if the allegation is true, which I think is extremely unlikely, it's hardly worth getting exercised about compared to the things we already know this mayor has said and done. The media chooses to gang up on the mayor about this?

Topinka Trash
Among the reckless and ridiculous things an unhinged Judy Baar Topinka spouted in her first gubernatorial debate with Gov. Rod Blagojevich was that the fact alone that the FBI had interviewed the governor meant he was "in hot water."

Would Topinka care to speculate about what kind of hot water the mayor must be in? The FBI interviewed Daley last August.

Cab Clash
- "Cabbies Shun Roof Ads" (Sun-Times, May 12)
- "Ads Appeal To Taxi Firms" (Tribune, June 2)

Morning Sickness
Here's an idea: Sun-Times Select. Pay a little extra to have Debra Pickett's column removed from your paper before it is delivered to your home every morning. At least until she gives birth. Or better yet, for the next 18 years, when we will inevitably read a column like this.

Bubble Trouble
Bubble Wrap is a federally registered trademark.

Getting Gibson
Defender editor Roland S. Martin got the scoop on Thursday when new ABC evening news anchor Charles Gibson called in to Martin's radio show on WVON to dispute the way his comments about traveling to Africa were recently characterized in New York magazine.

Keeping Tabs

Here's a name you should know: Kenon White. He's the man behind the sharply designed front covers at the Defender. Day-in and day-out, he's besting the designers of the other tabloid formats in town. See for yourself.

1. Defender.
2. Sun-Times. (Choose from left rail.)
3. RedEye.

Katie Kerfluffle
Did NBC deviously design Katie Couric's send-off to be as sickening as it was in order to devalue her worth as the incoming CBS news anchor? That's the only conclusion I can draw. If there ever was a real argument about whether Couric is a real journalist - and there wasn't; she isn't - this nonsense pretty much sealed it.

UPDATE: This photo just in.

And this one - Oh Lord, please put it down!

Oh my God, it gets worse!

The Beachwood Tip Line: Silly. Like a fox.


Posted on June 2, 2006

MUSIC - Holiday Hullabaloo.
POLITICS - Bank Profits Soaring.
SPORTS - Chicago vs. Michigan, 1903.

BOOKS - Dia De Los Muertos Stories.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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