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The [Friday] Papers

"A longtime aide to former Representative Mark Foley testified before the House ethics committee for nearly five hours on Thursday, repeating under oath his account of having explicitly warned Speaker J. Dennis Hastert's office at least three years ago that Mr. Foley should be told to keep his distance from Congressional pages," The New York Times reports this morning.

The Sun-Times thought the more important news about our hometown Speaker was President Bush reading "The country is better off with Denny Hastert as the Speaker" from a script. The paper's editors put that content-free spin point on their front page today, with a photo of Bush and Hastert and the headline "Stand By Your Man."

The testimony of Kirk Fordham, the former Foley aide, warranted a single perfunctory paragraph near the end of the Sun-Times's story.

The Tribune also downplayed Fordham's testimony, though that was in part because the paper also wedged its almost completely uninteresting poll results about Hastert into its front page story of the president backing Hastert.

Interestingly, while the Times put a photo of Bush and Hastert on its front page, it played (correctly) separate stories about Fordham's testimony and Bush's fundraising visit on page 20. The Washington Post put the Fordham story on page 7, and the president's visit on page 11.

The point being: Does the mere physical presence of the president in our city really make his grade-school rheotric more newsworthy?

Potomac Fever
The Post has a more sober account of the president's visit than the home teams.

House Business
Robert Novak is ostensibly a Sun-Times columnist, but apparently you don't get the good stuff - like him saying that "Hastert is like a captain who has convinced the crew to join him in going down with the ship" - unless you pony up for his newsletter. (- Via Larry Bodine, a renegade Republican who says he was kicked out of the president's event yesterday.)

Gov. Baloneyvich
Rod Blagojevich is a slickster. His much vaunted campaigning skills (as opposed to his atrocious governing skills) were on full display at his press conference Wednesday when he put on a bravura Little Boy Lost routine in responding to the indictment of his pizza pal and patron, Tony Rezko.

Now comes the Daily Southtown editorial board with an excellent interview of Blagojevich, who tries to appear as the Most Naive Governor Ever. This is a must-read - but don't be fooled by Rod's act. There are more shoes to drop in this investigation, and one of them is going to drop on his head.

Pundit Patrol
The Sun-Times editorial page cannot think of a single interesting thing to say about the Rezko indictment, but Rich Miller puts it together nicely.

Bush League
Blagojevich has a new television ad "in which he speaks directly to the camera and explains policy differences between his administration and that of President Bush," the Tribune reports.

Apparently he can't really run against George Ryan anymore.

Couples Therapy
Isn't Blagojevich closer to Rezko than Topinka was to Ryan?

Vote Whitney/Stufflebeam.

State of Denial
"It doesn't implicate the governor," a Democrat close to the campaign and afraid of defending his boss in public by name told the Tribune.

"One thing that's very apparent if you read carefully the indictment . . . there is no suggestion, not even a hint of a suggestion, that I knew anything about that or allowed that to happen or looked the other way," Blagojevich told the Southtown.

To the contrary. If you read closely enough, Blago is all over it.

Daley Dose
The mayor uses Cory Lidle's death to once again call for a no-fly zone in the Loop that will do absolutely nothing to prevent planes from crashing into downtown buildings. Once again, Fran Spielman does superb stenography.

"For Daley, it was another chance to say, 'I told you so,' about the need for destruction of Meigs Field, the city's lakefront landing strip, shortly after midnight March 30, 2003," Spielman writes.

I'm not sure what that means, but if it's a reference to Daley saying Meigs Field posed a terrorist threat, Spielman must not read her own paper.

Or maybe she was somehow referring to the $1 million the FAA says was illegally diverted to the destruction of Meigs Field that the FAA recently ordered the city to repay.

You know, covering Chicago's City Hall is one of the prime metropolitan newspaper reporting jobs in the nation. You'd think the Sun-Times would care more.

New York State of Mind
A plane crashes in Manhattan and Daley whines about the aviation lobby. A plane crashes in Manhattan and the mayor there remains calm.

"Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a recreational pilot with decades of experience, said he believes the skies are safe under the current rules," the AP reports. 'We have very few accidents for an awful lot of traffic,' he said. 'Every time you have an automobile accident, you're not going to go and close the streets or prohibit people from driving.'"

Logo Lingo
The mayor reveals that the city's Olympic logo will be a middle finger en fuego.

Silly Laughingstock
I thought the City Council had already spent too much time worrying about this.

Being Burt
Ald. Burton Natarus didn't feel any pain when a veterinarian slid a knife over his hand to simulate the "gavage" feeding method that creates foie gras. There has been no reporting yet, though, on how he felt when he was stuff so full of corn that his internal organs exploded.

Creationism
Believing the only two veterinarians on the planet who say that creating foie gras isn't torture is like believing the only two scientists on the planet who don't believe in evolution.

Or like believing a governor didn't know what his pal was doing while raising prodigious sums of money for him or believing a mayor was well within his rights to destroy an airport in the dark of night.

Or believing what you read in the Chicago papers.

Trib Tattle
How disingenuous is it for the Tribune editorial page to say that "Chicago aldermen spent a lot of time this summer debating about all the jobs some of them didn't want for the city"? Very.

If you want to have an honest debate, you have to debate honestly. Proponents of the big-box ordinance, right or wrong, were not motivated by some perverse desire to keep jobs out of the city anymore than they were motivated by racism, as the mayor has very easily gotten away with accusing them of, and the Tribune edit board knows it.

Jobs Juke
Jobs may (or may not be, according to some data) more mobile these days, as the Trib edit page asserts, but you can't run a Wal-Mart checkout line from India - at least not yet.

Head Case
The same Trib edit also supports the mayor's proposal for a small measure of relief from the city's "head tax" charged to businesses per worker they employ without mentioning that he promised to eliminate the tax totally something like 17 years ago. The mayor is against guaranteeing a livable wage for employees because it might cost the city jobs, but he has no problem taxing businesses for every employee they hire. There's a phrase for that.

The City That Has No Working Class
"Report Finds Working Class Can't Afford City."
- page 7, Metro, Tribune
- Page 0, Sun-Times

Millennium Airport
"O'Hare Expansion $400 Mil. Over Budget."

But it will be worth it no matter how late and overbudget it is.

(Note how "city officials told the Sun-Times" that it's not their fault.)

Pizza PR
Today's participant in the Sun-Times Product Placement Program: Pizano's pizza.

Daley Dance
"Mayor Daley said she was leaving OPS for personal reasons.' The mayor added he did not ask for her resignation."

- Oct 9, Sun-Times

"Tisa Morris was forced out of her $145,836-a-year job this week as OPS director."

- Oct 13, Sun-Times

Alternate lead: "The mayor was caught in another lie today when it was revealed that he forced the director of the police department's Office of Professional Standards out of her job after discovering after two years - but just as he's making a series of race-based, election-year moves - that she wasn't doing a very good job, instead of her leaving for personal reasons like the mayor said."

Art Brutes
Look, just because an eighth-grader can reproduce virtually any Sun-Times news story doesn't mean an eighth-grader can reproduce a Jasper Johns.

But as a matter of fact, yes, if I could afford it, I would spend $80 million on "False Start."

Cop Shop
Apparently this is news because the police department called a press conference and said it was.

Academic
Wise man and Tribune Op-Ed columnist Victor Davis Hanson thinks the volumes of reporting showing the incompetence of the Bush Administration and the folly of the Iraq War are lies because whistleblowers chose to remain anonymous.

Hey, Victor, you're right; are you gonna believe a few anonymous sources or your own eyes?

The Beachwood Tip Line: The real no-spin zone.



Permalink

Posted on October 13, 2006


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Slow TV Chicago.
POLITICS - Dangerous, Low-Wage Industries Depend On Immigrants, Refugees.
SPORTS - Wrong Foot Louie vs. The Fireball Kid!

BOOKS - Meet Chicago's American Writers Museum.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Meet Limo Bob.


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