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The [Friday] Papers

1. Both papers put the alleged plot to attack the Sears Tower across the top of their front pages this morning. The Sun-Times's headline "Sears Tower Terror Plot" appeared in red. The Tribune's "FBI: Sears Tower Targeted" appeared in traditional Tribune black, but somehow appeared more ominous than usual. The Tribune has a special way of doing that.

But there sure seems like there's less than meets the eye here. "[A] source said the alleged cell was not close to carrying out any attack," the Sun-Times reported. "Another source . . . said the suspects had only devised a plot on paper."

Hey, look, I don't want to underestimate the motivations of those arrested, but I have friends who have devised plots on paper, possibly even involving the Sears Tower.

The Sun-Times article concludes with a Sears Tower executive saying that "despite new information, law enforcement continues to tell us that they have never found evidence of a credible terrorism threat against Sears Tower that has gone beyond criminal discussions."

Likewise, the Tribune, which gave the top half of its front page to the story by including a large photo of three armed FBI agents standing around doing nothing, says in its second paragaph that "The suspects had 'aspirations' but 'no means' to attack the Sears Tower or other buildings, a senior federal law-enforcement source said."

And then, a few paragraphs later: "'There was no threat at all,' the senior federal law-enforcement source said, referring to the Sears Tower."

Then why am I reading about this on the front page?

Still, the Tribune found it useful to work up an "Inside America's Tallest Building" graphic to go with the story. (I guess "Inside America's Tallest Building Which Was Under No Plausible Threat" didn't fit in the allotted space.)

This is not an uninteresting or unworthy story. It's just not as worthy - yet, anyway - as Chicago's newspaper editors seem to think. The story originated out of Miami. The Miami Herald headline? "Terrorism Raid Targets A Warehouse In Miami." (You can see how it looks via the Herald link on the left rail of

In the meantime, the Tribune says, "Chicago police said the city is not on increased alert despite the news."

Chicago's newspapers are, though. Despite the news.

2. "There's no excuse for his choice of words," White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a radio interview Thursday about manager Ozzie Guillen calling Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti "a piece of shit" and "a fucking fag."

"You have to separate that from the issue of the person he is talking about because that person is, indeed, a piece of garbage," Reinsdorf added, according to a Sun-Times account, which curiously lacked responses from the paper's sports editor Stu Courtney and editor-in-chief John Barron.

3. Meanwhile, Ozzie continues to alienate heterosexuals too . . .

4. This photo of the righteous Joliet Jackhammer (Jack Hammer?) is great reminder to check out our just-updated, as it is weekly, Minor League Report.

5. "Hundreds of chemical weapons found in Iraq were produced before the 1991 Gulf War and probably are so old they couldn't be used as designed, intelligence officials said Thursday."

. . .

"Asked about the danger to U.S. troops, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said: 'They are weapons of mass destruction. They are harmful to human beings. And they have been found.'"

Former chief U.S. weapons inspector David Kay agreed. To a point. "[They are] less toxic than most things that Americans have under their kitchen sink at this point," Kay said.

In other news, the Administration announced plans for warrantless searches of American kitchens.

6. Onion or Sun-Times? "1 Out Of 4 Americans Has No One To Confide In."

7. "When we do things in Chicago, we do them right," Mayor Richard M. Daley said of the city's plan to include a temporary, collapsible stadium in its Olympic bid because the city spent $600 million on a new Soldier Field that is not large enough to host major events.

8. "Nearly 80 percent of Cook County residents want Chicago to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, according to a new poll the Sun-Times takes at face value that was conveniently released on the eve of a presentation before the U.S. Olympic Committee."

9. Connecting the dots.

* "Almost half of Bucktown residents have lived in the neighborhood for between two and five years. Twenty-five percent have lived there for 120 or more months, while 26 percent have lived there for seven to 24 months."

* "Wolcott Lofts To Fall."

* "Sterilizing Bucktown, One Building At A Time."

* "Where Did They Go? The Decline of Middle-Class Neighborhoods In Metropolitan America."

9. "I think [Todd Stroger is] a fine young man, but he's not up to his father's job. He's been on the public payroll since post-college. And now he's on the City Council. But we're talking about real life here."

- Tony Peraica, the Cook County Boad Commissioner running for board president, from the Defender

10. An awful lot of breast-feeding in the news lately. This might clear things up.

11. Just once I'd like to see them put a newspaper reporter in charge of a TV station.

12. As has been observed by many before me, I'm only surprised it doesn't happen more often.

13. "There is a government in Cuba that imprisons people for years without charge or trial. Unfortunately, it's ours."

- from a full-page Amnesty International ad in The New York Times on Wednesday

14. Find out why here.

15. "This year, a record 18,000 candidates are vying for 2,000 (Chicago teaching) jobs. 'No one else has that in the country,' Daley said to a wholly believing Sun-Times."

16. The Cubs don't need Mark Cuban, they need Mike Veeck.

17. "The woman who claimed Michael Jackson molested her son, leading to the sensational trial a year ago at which the singer was acquitted, was ordered Wednesday to stand trial on a charge of welfare fraud."

But here's the interesting part. Her name, by marriage, is Janet Jackson.

18. "Rove War Record: Cut And Ran" (second item)

19. Martin Luther King III told the Defender this week that the family made a mistake by not allowing Harry Belafonte to speak at Coretta Scott King's funeral.

20. The World Cup is bigger than the Olympics.

21. A raft of new offerings for all sections to be posted through the weekend and early next week, delayed the last few days only by the distracting annoyance of me having to sell advertising. Make a big buy yourself - sponsorships and naming-rights packages also available - or at least donate to the cause or buy a gift membership for that special loved one. For a small handling fee, we'll deliver it personally.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Go Socceroos!


Posted on June 23, 2006

MUSIC - Millions Of New Guitar Players.
TV - "One America News" is AT&T.
POLITICS - When Wall Street Came To My Mobile Home Park.
SPORTS - Tonyball, Bears On The Run, Eyes On The Sky & More!

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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