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The [Friday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes

1. Oracle sure gets what it pays for every year when the company gets free front page advertising in the dailies (as they do today) through purported news photos of the planes its sponsors in the Air & Water Show.

Similarly, this is why the media should refuse to refer to U.S. Cellular Field, for just one example. Naming rights, sponsorships and strategically placed advertising are insidious product placement strategies that otherwise wouldn't be allowed by news organizations.

Either sell out or don't, but don't be outsmarted.


What about arguing on behalf of the Sears Tower name, then, you might say. Well, when the Sears Tower was built, it was built as the company's new headquarters. I suppose they could have sold naming rights to Kmart, but it actually was the Sears Tower.

Similarly, Wrigley Field got its name when the Wrigley family bought the team.

Just sayin'.

2. The Tribune is doing its readers a ridiculous disservice by apparently refusing to acknowledge that the "close family member" whom Ald. Ricardo Munoz clouted into Whitney Young was his daughter.

I assume the Tribune is acting this way to avoid identifying someone who is underage, but c'mon!

The story gains the bulk of its power from the fact that Munoz pulled strings for his own daughter and not just a relative among the dozen or so constituents he says he makes similar calls for every year.

It's not the most pleasing thing in the world to out a teenager, but she did get a special favor - and her dad the alderman is the one who got it for her. Blame Munoz for jamming her up.

3. Kass:

Visiting Africa a few weeks ago and without a hint of irony, Obama struck again, saying that Africans hoping to open a business or get a job surely must feel as if they "still have to pay a bribe."

Bribes? Can you imagine?

Someday, our president might visit Illinois and say the same thing, and that will really make news.

True, it's not news that Obama didn't lift a finger when it came to corruption in his own backyard, but it's also true that reporters continue ignoring that inconvenient truth. Not a single one, to my knowledge, asked the president after this latest scolding what efforts he made when it came to bribery in Chicago.

4. Some things never change. For example, juvenile courts are always overburdened and the CTA is always going to extend its rail lines.

And some things never happen. Like, juvenile courts are never funded and managed in a way that demonstrates anybody in a position to effect change really cares and the CTA rail lines never get extended.

5. How in the world is the 70th anniversary of an airline lounge news? I mean, I got that press release too but I didn't feel compelled to post it.

6. I'm too tired to rebut the Tribune's approval of the mayor giving United Airlines $25 million to relocate is operations center to Big Willie (just trying it out). Rebut amongst yourselves.

7. There Are No Independent Aldermen Here.

8. This week on Sound Opinions:

"Mix one famous musician and stir in some others. It can be a recipe for success, or disaster. Tune in for Jim and Greg's discussion of rock's best and worst Supergroups."

9. "If You're Part of the Pleasurati, There's a Condom for You."

10. "In the biggest class-action suit of its kind, a federal jury ruled Thursday that Cook County Jail employees broke the law in the way they conducted strip-searches of inmates," the Sun-Times reports.

Sheriff's spokesman Steve Patterson begs to differ with the jury's conclusion:

"We believe the jail's correctional officers and staff acted appropriately and did not violate anyone's constitutional rights in conducting searches for weapons or contraband before placing them into jail custody."

If Patterson was still the fine county reporter that he was for the Sun-Times, he might think differently. Or say what he really thinks.

11. Brace yourself: Neil Steinberg's chuckle of the day is actually worth repeating.

12. How Daley-like: the Obama administration's contract with a company hired to build a website for the public's benefit that would track stimulus money is not being made available to . . . the public. At least not in any meaningful way.

13. No Town Halls For You!

14. Most disingenuous Olympic bid ever?

15. John Cullerton's Hilarious New Video.

16. I haven't had a chance to dig into the Sun-Times report that creditors may kick Sam Zell to the curb, but I did see this quote they had from one corporate turnaround expert:

"This was a textbook case of a leverage buyout gone bad. These were imbeciles who had no idea what they were doing."

17. Cathleen Falsani always makes Saving Grace sound like a much better show than it actually is. The whole Earl-the-angel thing is lame, and the show totally jumped the shark when Hanadarko was kidnapped, strung up and tattooed with angel wings on her back. Please.

18. Les Paul made the world a far more bearable place than it would have been without him and his little ol' invention. Thanks, Les.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Like a burst of sun.


Posted on August 14, 2009

MUSIC - Lyric Opera Strike Settled.
POLITICS - USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Come On, Vic!

BOOKS - Chicago Book Haul: The Dial.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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