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The [Friday] Papers

"Do you believe in curses?" Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times writes this morning.

"How else do you explain what happened Thursday night at Wrigley Field, where the National League's best defensive team suddenly turned into the worst?"


"For as much as the scene and the setting at sold-out and energized Tropicana Field were different, the 6-4 win over the White Sox was very much a typical show," Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times writes this morning.

Palin Pride
The unabashedly pro-Obama Sun-Times sure liked Sarah Palin's debate performance last night.

It's big front page headline is "She's Got Game."

Subhead: "Palin holds her own against Biden."

Commentary blurbs also on the front page -

Steve Huntley: Palin shows why nation cheered her.

Mary Mitchell: She's stronger on offense than defense.

Lynn Sweet: He was better, but she was good enough.


Find out what our Mystery Debate Theater crew thought.


Also, take our new Division Street poll about your viewing habits last night. It's free!


Shopping the CTA.

"'I may not answer the questions the way you or the moderator want to hear,' said Sarah Palin early in Thursday's vice-presidential debate, neatly impugning the impartiality of moderator Gwen Ifill and shrewdly re-casting a one-on-one contest into a two-against-one attack," writes Tribune theater critic Chris Jones.

"'But I am going to speak directly to the American people.'

"She was as good as her word. Palin's eyes rarely strayed from the camera. And being considerably smarter and more articulate than many caricatures suggest, Palin spoke her declarative sentences, declarative sentences delivered without necessary regard to any question, with passion, striking speed, and an upbeat folksy charm."

I don't know about all that - and let's not get into all the nonsense about who looked whom in the eye and so forth - but I think Palin did remind folks of the appeal she showed during her Republican convention speech. One of the things I thought was most remarkable about that speech was how self-assured she was in her first time on such a big stage, and how well her oratory was in terms of timing, cadence, and tone.

She certainly didn't seem to possess those talents in her disastrous interview with Katie Couric.

Last night, I thought she was very strong in the first half of the debate, but noticeably nervous. In the second half, she sometimes seemed out of her depth. If nothing else, though, she showed she could salvage her tattered public persona and put herself into contention again for a strong political future instead of a jokey footnote.

I thought Biden was a bit flustered early on when Palin came out of the gate so strongly, and then exasperated later as if he couldn't believe he had to share the stage with this woman. But overall Biden was fine. Now, the assertion on CNN by the usually sober David Gergen that this was the best debate of Biden's lifetime is just silly; we don't have to look back further than the primaries to debunk that.

Feder Frenzy
I'm grateful to Robert Feder for reprinting today (last item) one of my lines from last week's Week in Review because I was pretty proud of it, but when I said it on the air I was greeted with crickets chirping in the studio. I mean, I got no play whatsoever.

The subject was whether Channel 2's glitzy new studio downtown will result in a lift in the beleagured news station's ratings.

Let's cut to Feder:

"On last Friday's Chicago Tonight: The Week in Reviewon WTTW-Channel 11, there was Steve Rhodes, blogger and self-appointed media critic, trashing the CBS-owned station's brand new Loop studios and theorizing about 'some sort of curse' on its ratings.

"'I think they could change their name to Channel 7 and they wouldn't get people to start watching them,' he sniffed."

I mean, that's pretty good, right?

"That's the same Rhodes who's paid by NBC to write a political blog for Channel 5," Feder continues. "He also makes guest appearances on Channel 5 from time to time."

Here's what I sent Feder in an e-mail this morning:

"I'm sure my minders at NBC were thrilled that I showed my partiality to Channel 7!

"I mean, really. I was appearing on WTTW, and later that day I taped Fox Chicago Sunday. Do you really think I'm doing Channel 5's bidding? Please.

"All I know is that when you retire, I won't know who to turn to to keep track of Richard Roeper's Tonight Show appearances."

As of this writing, I have not received a response.

Oh, by the way, Feder also wrote:

"Ethics,' he once noted on his blog in the third person, 'has been a lifelong interest of Steve Rhodes.'

"Tell that to Channel 2."

First, if Channel 2 has a problem with anything I've said or done, I'd be happy to take their call. Not only that, but I don't have a non-compete, so I'd love to do their shows too!

Second, Feder is clipping that third-person comment from our Beachwood Ethics Statement. That's why it's in the third-person. I invite everyone to take a look if they haven't done so yet; we keep a link to it on the left rail of our front page every day.

Programming Reminder
J.J. Tindall
Reads Aloud Live
Chicagoetry: Selections from The Beachwood Reporter

Saturday, Oct. 4
Steve's Sports Bar
3524 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 348-2778

$5 cover
9 p.m.

To celebrate a year as Poet-in-Residence at The Beachwood Reporter, as well as to inaugurate a newly poetry-friendly venue in Humboldt Park.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Mercy and curses.


Posted on October 3, 2008

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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