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The [Friday] Papers

NEWSBREAK: "Sudan President Agrees To Release Tribune Journalist Salopek"

And now, back to The Papers.

*

It's Islamic fascism day on the commentary pages of our great metropolitan papers. Here's a user guide.

* "The Term 'Islamic Fascist' May Not Be Popular, But It's Accurate," by Steve Huntley. Huntley is already the Sun-Times editorial page editor. Apparently he also needs the additional forum of an Op-Ed column to get his urgent views out to the public. "What will he do next," a Beachwood reader asks,"start writing letters to the editor too?"

"Yes, It's Fascism - And It's Islamic," by Victor Davis Hanson, who is making a strong run for Most Boring Right-Wing Columnist Ever.

* "Fearful Words For Young Muslim," by Azam Nizamuddin, a lawyer and adjunct professor of religion and theology at Elmhurst College, whose argument is so soft you wonder if the Tribune set it up this way on purpose.

* "Defending Christian Fascism," by the True Christian Church of Christ, and featuring Ann "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity" Coulter. (There wasn't room for this one in some editions.)

Dear George
Kass has the Willis letters.

Silly Slaughter
I wonder if Hizzoner thinks horse slaughter is silly, too.

Not that I have a problem with eating horse meat. I don't see why any animal should be excluded from our dinner table just because we like the way it looks. We only eat ugly animals?

It's the treatment of animals before we kill them that is the issue. The making of foie gras is inherently cruel. Foie gras is the result of extending duck livers by force-feeding them until - often - their internal organs explode. That's a different matter than raising ducks painlessly until meeting a swift, instant death. Is it really too much of a sacrifice to forgo a luxury delicacy to spare some ducks pain and disease? What kind of a people are we? Who do we want to be?

Today's Toddler
Forrest Claypool will endorse neither fellow Democrat Todd Stroger nor fellow reformer Tony Peraica in the campaign for Cook County board president.

Claypool said on Thursday that local Democratic leaders had "thumbed their nose at the taxpayers" and "arrogantly manipulated the system for their benefit and the benefit of outsiders" in lying about the condition of former board president John Stroger after he suffered a stroke at the end of his re-election campaign against Claypool in the Democratic primary, and then in maneuvering to put their stool pigeon, Stroger's immature and mediocre son, Todd, on the ballot.

When informed of Claypool's decision not to endorse, Todd Stroger showed once again that every time he opens his mouth he makes himself look like even more of an idiot who is too clueless to be humiliated by an ongoing public undressing unique in the annals of local political sleaze. "I don't know what the basis of it is," Stroger said of Claypool's decision. Ignorance - feigned or not - seems more and more like a central part of Stroger's campaign strategy.

But that wasn't all.

"All of this came the same day Stroger failed to call in for a scheduled interview on WLS-AM's Don and Roma, leading to radio guffaws directed at Stroger and an opening for Peraica to call in and be heard by 300,000 listeners," the Sun-Times reports.

Two weeks ago, Stroger backed out of an appearance on an African American radio station after Peraica agreed to also appear.

Maybe Todd is learning after all that its best for him to keep his mouth shut. After all, a quiet man is often deemed wise - even if it merely means he has nothing of value to say.

Daley Dose
The mayor obviously does not agree with Claypool that the Cook County Democratic Party cynically exploited the life-threatening illness of its fallen leader, John Stroger, and moved to put Todd on the ballot to serve their private, greedy interests instead of the interests of taxpayers. He supports Stroger.

Nor does the mayor believe that his former patronage chief Robert Sorich, now a felon, did anything wrong. In that way, and others, the mayor is very much like George Ryan. I would respect each more if they would just come out and say they think this is the best way to govern, plain and simple. And then take responsibility for the consequences.

"Sorich has refused to coooperate with investigators in the ongoing probe of the Daley Administration, but he recently testified before a federal grand jury after prosecutors served him with a subpoeana," the Tribune notes today in its report about Sorich hiring a high-profile lawyer who once represented Ollie North to handle his appeal.

Mr. Mayor, as a man with a deep love of this city, and who has continually promised to get to the bottom of corruption in your administration, wouldn't you like to see Mr. Sorich cooperate fully with federal investigators? Will you call on him to cooperate? As a former prosecutor yourself, do you support this investigation? If this case came to you when you were the Cook County State's Attorney, would you have moved forward to prosecute it? Or would you have endorsed a fundraiser for the defendant?

Katie Cakes
The Tribune editorial page thinks Katie Couric conducted a "solid, informative" interview with President Bush the other day. It isn't bothered enough by the lie that the interview was billed as an exclusive to mention that part. It thinks the "business" over Couric's re-touched photos was "silly." It's not bothered by that lie either. It endorses Couric's stated goal to make the news "friendlier" and "more entertaining." After all, Couric once "worked" as a "beat reporter." Not that the paper is calling for more reporting. It doesn't think it was necessary for Walter Cronkite to introduce Katie on her first night. But if you have to ask whether someone has gravitas, they inherently do not. Finally, the paper characterizes Katie as the girl - make that the anchor - next door. If you live in a neighborhood of millionaires.

Guilty Sounds
On Sound Opinions tonight, local rock critics Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis play some of their favorite guilty pleasures. There is no joke here; to the contrary, this is a recommendation. Sounds like a great show. At 7 p.m. on WBEZ-FM (91.5).

Globalization Works
"Gov. Blagojevich last year billed the new Illinois Global Partnership as 'another effective tool in creating more opportunities for our working families to get ahead,'" the Sun-Times reports. " But the only people who really got ahead were the trade group's $100,000-plus-a-year executives, who traveled, wined and dined on the taxpayers' dime, a state audit shows."

TIF Tiff
Even the most hardened reporter might find TIFs (tax increment finance districts) too tough to take on. But Ben Joravsky has been at it for years at the Reader, and he's persuasively argued that TIFs are little more than a mayoral slush fund that steals money from schools, parks, and other taxing bodies - such as the county.

Now County Commissioner Mike Quigley is stepping up to the plate and fighting back. Joravsky's account, "The Lone Gunman," will get you up to speed.

In Today's Reporter
* The nation's best Fall TV Preview story: "Year of the Superspiracy."

* Why the Bears-Packers game will be closer than you think, in the latest Blue & Orange Kool-Aid Report.

* Life at Work is making us schizophrenic. The clothes are a big part of it.

* A Beachwood Classic, chosen at random: "May The Porkins Be With You." Because even the smallest kid knows it's funny to call a fat guy Porkins. It just is.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Start your weekend right. With a tip.



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Posted on September 8, 2006


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Cricket vs. Brexit.
POLITICS - An Odd Call From Bermuda.
SPORTS - All Is Not Forgiven, Bears.

BOOKS - Turning Points Of The Civil War.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Baxter's IV Bag Shortages.


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