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The [Friday] Papers

We have a really funny new Mystery Debate Theater today. Check it out, I implore you!

Now I'm off to tape Week in Review, which you can watch tonight on Channel 11 at 7 p.m., so there won't be a new Papers column until Monday. The inimitable Natasha Julius will be in this space tomorrow with her Weekend Desk Report.

And Ferdy on Films is really rockin' these days, make it a habit.


The [Thursday] Papers
Jeez, maybe Obama is divine. Every opponent he faces turns out to have a sex scandal in their closet. Spooky good fortune!

The big New York Times story alleging an improper relationship between McCain and a lobbyist eight years ago was the subject of speculation on the Drudge Report and Politico last December.

This is journalism!

My favorite part: "Okay, we've dealt with the soap . . . oh, towels!"

Here is the accompanying column.

Dirty Bird
"An attorney for jailed political fundraiser Tony Rezko made an emotional plea for his release today, saying he's being held in 'degrading' conditions where inmates must share underwear," AP reports.

The Beachwood Prison Style Affairs Council weighs in.

1. That's why Rezko will do a sweetheart deal for a 12-pack of new Hanes underwear for a pack of smokes.

2. He's seen London. He's seen France. Now he's sharing underpants.

3. And he prefers a 36, loose. Usually something in a bikini.

4. At the same time.

5. With Mickie "Underwear" Basciano.

6. "You know that bit about how nothing comes between me and my BVDs? If only, my friend . . . If only."

7. "I support Sen. Obama because he's the candidate of change, and I'm sure looking forward to that - a change of shorts, for starters!"

8. "We only have 500 pairs of boxers for 800 inmates - do the math! And I'm the low guy on the clothesline."

9. Obamamania is so exciting you constantly need a new set of underwear. Fired up and ready for fresh boxers!

10. Record of wiretap, Payphone #4, 2/18/08 17:30:

INDIVIDUAL A: Papa John's, can I take your order?
REZKO: Yeah, I'd like a large thin crust with sausage and a side order of size 42 shorts.
INDIVIDUAL A: That you, boss?

11. Did the attorney make the underwear plea in a brief?

Reader Submissions!
12. When Rezko gets out of jail maybe he can take over as the Fruit of the Loom apple.

13. The prisoners really look forward to Fridays. That's the day they get to change underwear. Cell Block A gets to change with Cell Block B, Cell Block C gets to change with Cell Block D . . .

The Clinton Scandals
"Almost everything you may think you know about Bill and Hillary Clinton . . . rests on facts' that are somewhere between highly dubious and demonstrably false. Far from being the result of muckraking reporting by a vigorous and independent press, what 'the Clinton scandals' amount to is possibly the most politically charged case of journalistic malpractice in recent American history."

Unless you are the Tribune editorial page, which dares to go where even Ken Starr would not tread.

Plump Payroll
Tribune Shopping Advisor Ellen Warren gives colleague Jon Yates a makeover. The cost of his three new (lame) outfits? $1,176, $1,412, and $1,200.

If Tribune reporters can afford that, Sam Zell has a larger problem on his hands than I suspected.

Predictable Playbook
"McCain Attacks Obama Here: Calls Him 'Most Liberal' In Senate During Visit."

As Media Matters has noted, "Among the 'liberal' votes Sen. Barack Obama took that purportedly earned him 'the most liberal senator in 2007' label in the National Journal's 2007 Vote Ratings were: To implement the 9-11 Commission's homeland security recommendations, provide more children with health insurance, permit federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, and maintain a federal minimum wage."

Sex Fiend
Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell has every right in the world to defend Michelle Obama even if the would-be First Lady said something kind of stupid. I really don't care; not everything everybody says is always articulated perfectly, and I'm not one much for this sort of gotcha game. I think we all knew what Michelle Obama meant, and it's perfectly reasonable.

But why in the world does Mitchell find it necessary to inject Monica Lewinsky into her defense - while attacking Cindy McCain? To wit:

"'I just wanted to make the statement that I have, and always will be, proud of my country,' [Cindy McCain] said," Mitchell notes.

"Talk about empty rhetoric.

"If Cindy's telling the truth, then she was the only person in America bursting with pride as the world watched former President Bill Clinton's presidency nearly get derailed over hanky-panky."

It's possible Mitchell means to attack Republicans for impeaching Clinton over a blowjob, but not entirely clear. But why is that the example she chose?

The latent hostility of Obamacrats who have suddenly decided Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh were right about the Clintons is astonishing.

Sweet and Sour
I might be missing something, but doesn't the math make it nearly as unlikely that Obama will reach 2,025 delegates as Clinton?

Web Woes
Is it just me or is the design of the Tribune website going in reverse?


"For years, as newspaper Web sites became deeper, richer and more complex, Tribune's sites fell behind, limiting their ability to draw readers and advertisers," the New York Times noted in a profile of villainous Los Angeles Times publisher David Hiller.

"Just last week, the Times Web site added the ability to put hyperlinks in its articles, something other papers have had for as long as a decade."

Coming next week: An electronic "mail" system that allows reporters send written messages to each other and the public.

The Beachwood Tip Line: E-Z.


Posted on February 22, 2008

MUSIC - Britney's IUD.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - Locked Out And Loaded.

BOOKS - Foxconned.


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