The [Friday] Papers
House Speaker and Illinois congressman Dennis Hastert (R-Yorkville) got the "I'm Deeply Sorry" headlines he wanted today - at least in the Tribune and the Sun-Times, though the story was different elsewhere, as we shall see - though anyone who saw him give his brief, prepared statement yesterday could see that he was far more sorry that his job was in jeopardy than he was about his role in the congressional page scandal.
Today's front pages also show that The New York Times and Washington Post weren't willing to let Hastert write his own headline. Even venturing as far as The Decatur Daily, of Alabama, a paper I picked at random, you can see that "I'm Deeply Sorry" didn't wash; their front page Hastert story is "Panel Launches Scandal Probe." Their lead story is "Battle For Baghdad Begins To Heat Up."
As a reader, it makes you think differently about the news, doesn't it?
Most interesting in the local coverage today, though, is a Tribune editorial that persuasively explains why Hastert ought to resign without meaning to.
The Looming Tower
It's like, have you ever had a friend to whom you had to say, look, if everyone has a problem with you you might want to consider that you are the problem, not everybody else?
Courageless in Chicago
I thought of this while wondering why it is that Tribune editor Ann Marie Lipinski seems to be the only one in the Tribune chain without a problem acceding to slashing her paper to bits. Not only that, but I haven't heard her speaking up for Baquet or Johnson, just as she never spoke up for previously ousted Times editor John Carroll or previously ousted editor Bill Marimow - considered two of the best in the business (with reputations certainly eclipsing hers.) And where is the Chicago newsroom in all of this? Dennis FitzSimons can't fire the whole company.
The Greene Room
Yes. I hear those rumbles too. They come from the TV.
"The oversight committee . . . is being whispered as a possibility by Washington wags."
Yes. They are whispering about that on TV.
Talk about stealing a paycheck.
In today's column Michael Sneed said:
Sneed hears a ghost from the political past may soon resurface.
* Translation: Sneed hears the case of former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds, a Chicago Dem who was imprisoned for child pornography and criminal sexual assault of a 16-year-old campaign worker, may resurface in the congressional page scandal.
* To wit: Whispers from Washington are that top GOPers reeling from the political uproar surrounding their handling of former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley's (R-Fla.) sexually explicit instant messages may counter with Reynolds.
* The reason: He was pardoned by President Clinton in 2001.
* The warning: Reynolds served his full five-year sentence for sexual assault. The pardon was for unrelated federal charges of bank and campaign fraud.
In fact, Mr. Reynolds was not pardoned for any of his crimes.
Rather, Reynolds served his entire sentence for his sex crime and forty-two months in prison for the bank fraud. After Reynolds served forty-two months for bank fraud, President Clinton commuted the remainder of that sentence and Reynolds was released from prison and served the remaining time in a half way house.
Had Mr. Reynolds been pardoned he would have been released and not have served time in prison and a half way house.
A columnist or editor could check such facts in mere moments on the Internet, e.g., http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/pardons6b.htm.
- Austin Mayor
Subhead we'd like to see: "Columnist to Resign: 'It's Time'"
It is funny, though, to see conservatives argue that the Foley scandal highlights the hypocrisy of Democrats, not Republicans. What's next, the quagmire in Iraq is Al Franken's fault?
What in the world is the media's fascination with Hastert's job as a wrestling coach 26 years ago? And since when are wrestling coaches known for their virtue? Hastert's previous vocation as a wrestling coach is as insignificant as George Ryan's stint as a pharmacist. Christ, my first after-school job was in a candy packaging warehouse, but I don't expect to forever be known as a chocolatier.
* Barista! Tales From the Coffee Front starts in its place on Monday.
* The last installment of Wicker Park Days also runs today. Go back and read the entire essay.
* If you haven't been reading What I Watched Last Night, you're really missing out.
* Is there a more interesting collection of material anywhere in Chicago? We don't think so either. Help us move forward. We hope to have Membership Benefits soon. We also accept advertising. Contact us for more information.
Posted on October 6, 2006
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