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The [Monday] Papers

Ald. Bernie Stone is angry because 600 city bureaucrats have annual salaries of more than $100,000. He's not angry because the salaries raise questions about the city's budget priorities in doling out taxpayer money so generously. No, he's angry because he and his fellow aldermen only make $98,125 a year.

It's just not fair.

"My colleagues and I all passed the salaries of these people," Stone is quoted as saying in the Sun-Times. "Why did we do it? Because we were asked to do it by the administration and we just followed along like little sheep. It's about time that we stop following like sheep and stood up like men."

To prove his manhood, Stone wants an aldermanic pay raise of $20,000 over four years.

As a reward for acting like sheep.

Except when it's time for aldermen to stand up like men. (And women, we presume.)

Like when the issue is lining their own pockets.

"If Stone's purpose was to infuriate and embolden aldermen, it was mission accomplished with Ald. Ed Smith (28th), chairman of the City Council's Black Caucus," the Sun-Times's Fran Spielman wrote. "He had no idea there were 600 bureaucrats earning more than he does."

"It's shocking," Smith said.

Ed Smith has been an alderman for 26 years. That means he's voted on approximately 26 budgets. He had no idea that 600 city workers earned more than $100,000 a year.

So, yes, it is shocking.

Not as shocking, though, as having aldermen who pay attention to the budget and put the concerns of the taxpayers who fund it above their own. That would be standing up like men.

Onion or Tribune?
In "Gene Ties Accountant To Warlord Genghis," Genghis Kahn descendant Tom Robinson says, "I do have a certain number of administrative skills," though adds, "I haven't done any conquering, per se."

The Zarqawi Code
Like many - if not most - media accounts of the killing of terrorist mastermind Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, the Tribune's account, "How U.S. Hunted Down Al-Zarqawi," picked up the chase in the middle, not the beginning.

TV Without Pity
Tribune writer Allison Benedikt has been on fire since moving to the television beat; the latest example was her piece on Saturday that began this way:

"It's hard to pinpoint exactly when Entourage went south, but I'd guess it was around the time my mom first asked me to 'hug it out.' Yes, in the short period it took Jeremy Piven to go from actor to hunk to enough already, the HBO comedy has become a bloated caricature of its first-season self."

Alas, the Tribune newsroom seems to have as much a problem with talent evaluation, development, and retention as the Cubs. Benedikt has put in her notice. She and her husband, John Cook, a former Tribune writer who had already quit the paper, are returning to New York City.

Notes From Beachwood HQ
Catch up with the Weekend Desk Report and see why you should make it a regular part of your reading routine.

The Michael McDonald Alert System (Beta) is open for business.

You can now make The Beachwood Reporter your home page. Go to "Preferences" in your browser and try it out!

The Beachwood Tip Line: Stand up like a man. Rat out the sheep.


Posted on June 12, 2006

MUSIC - Chicago Harmonica Meetup.
TV - Sinclair, Cubs Name Accomplice.
POLITICS - Terms Of Service Gone Awry.
SPORTS - Beachwood Street Hockey?

BOOKS - Rock The Luya Mic.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Let Elevators Evolve.

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