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The [Friday] Papers

"Presumptuous or not, the campaign spared no detail - providing giant cranes for camera crews to get crowd shots - to capture images intended to present Obama on a world stage as he has never been seen before, even as Obama protested that he was speaking not as a presidential candidate but as a 'citizen'," Lynn Sweet writes.

Lord. Ich bin nacht ein candidater!

"Obama is on a nine-day overseas campaign swing designed to help plug holes in his foreign policy resume and blunt any perceptions among U.S. voters of a stature gap."

Again, I'm still waiting for someone to tell me how stagecraft plugs holes in resumes. We're in for the ultimate illusionary presidency.

Political Calculation
"Under criticism for canceling a planned visit with wounded U.S soldiers under treatment at a base in Germany, the Barack Obama campaign said today that they made the decision after the Pentagon advised them that the visit would be considered a campaign event," the Tribune reports.

"The senator decided out of respect for these servicemen and women that it would be inappropriate to make a stop to visit troops at a U.S. military facility as part of a trip funded by the campaign," campaign official Robert Gibbs said.

Funny, here's what Gibbs said just a few days ago: "The trip is not at all a campaign trip, a rally of any sort."


Lynn Sweet has a terrific collection of photos, videos and stories from the trip on her blog, by the way, showing in a small way why 3-D journalism is obviously superior to 2-D journalism.

Traffic Code
"Civil rights groups called Thursday for ending the state police practice of searching vehicles during routine traffic stops, citing new statistics that show black and Hispanic motorists are searched more often even though drugs or other illegal items turn up more frequently among white drivers," the Tribune reports.

And those aren't just raw numbers. The study shows that 24.6 percent of searches of white people among participating agencies statewide yielded contraband, while only 13.8 percent of searches of blacks and 11.3 percent of searches of Hispanics did.

Prince of Pedestrians
"The homeless pedestrian who was struck by a car driven by syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak said in a radio interview yesterday that he is 'doing fine,' recovering from a dislocated shoulder, and voiced surprise and amusement that the prominent political pundit was at the wheel of the Chevrolet Corvette that hit him," the Washington Post reports.

"'Bob Novak is the one that hit me?' said 86-year-old Don Clifford Liljenquist, sounding astonished when WMAL (630 AM) reporter Troy Russell told him that the driver was Novak. 'Well, everybody knows who Bob Novak is! He's a famous journalist! . . . I was struck by Bob Novak? . . . Well, I think that makes it a great story!'"


Maybe Novak thought he was Joe Wilson.


At least Novak sent the guy a card.

Ann Marie's World
Wow, if the excerpt Chicago Tonight ran last night of tonight's John Callaway interview of departed Tribune editor Ann Marie Lipinski was the best tease they could come up with, it's one helluva boring interview. Just like the paper!

About Sam Zell, Ann Marie said, "My dealings with him were limited," adding that "he didn't come up through the newspaper industry."

I've got news for you: Neither did Dennis FitzSimons!

He was a broadcast guy.

Paradise Internet
Styx - minus the estranged Dennis DeYoung - sang the 7th-inning stretch at Wrigley last night. Guitarist James Young then sat in with Len & Bob for the bottom half of the inning and one thing he said in particular struck me: Young said that while the Internet has impacted the record industry, it has also given Styx - and other bands - new life because they can be discovered by new fans.

The Internet is a superior distribution system; the less any of us have to rely on the radio or record stores - and God bless the great ones - for exposure to bands, the better. More bands having a better chance of being heard is a great thing.

That's Neil
"Some Fear Flouride, Too."

1. Steinberg complains about stupid people who "find innovation so frightening." You know, like the way Steinberg is frightened by the Internet.

2. Steinberg complains about "once-respected scientists [who] are making sweeping public statements based on nothing." I'm skeptical about links between cell phones and cancer too, but the doctor who is the subject of Steinberg's complaint A) didn't make a sweeping statement but a cautionary one and B) didn't base his statement on nothing but on data that has yet to be published but does, in fact, exist.

3. Steinberg thinks he's written an original joke that George W. Bush is proof that anyone can grow up to be president.

Foul Ball
Right. And if Bartman offered the Sun-Times editorial board an interview, would they refuse it, or just be disappointed as they conducted it?


One thing Steve Bartman's got in exchange for all the grief he's taken: economic security.

Video Vixens
* Our smash hit "We Can't Wait 100 Years" is now out on video!
* Citizen Kate's voter registration drive.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Share the glory.


Posted on July 25, 2008

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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