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The [Monday] Papers

"It's almost certain that the handoff of the White House from President George W. Bush to President-elect Barack Obama will pass more smoothly than the greeting that Bush's new crew faced in 2001," the Tribune reports on its front page.

"The Ws were removed from the keyboards in the executive office building of President Bill Clinton's departing administration."

Oh Lord! Hoary media narratives never die!

Indeed, a General Accounting Office investigation at the time found that the outgoing Clinton administration left some wear-and-tear for its successors. But any intentional damage done was hardly noteworthy or unusual.

"The accounting office said similar pranks were reported in prior transitions, including the one from Mr. Bush's father to Mr. Clinton in 1993," the New York Times reported at the time.

''We were unable to conclude whether the 2001 transition was worse than previous ones," the GAO stated in its taxpayer-funded report.

"[I]t's safe to say that a close reading of the GAO report doesn't validate the charges of wanton, widespread destruction by the Clinton team," Salon noted in "The real White House vandal scandal." "What it does show is the lengths to which the Bush administration went to try to make the scandal charges stick."

In other news, Al Gore claimed he invented the Internet.

Replacing Rahm
Laura Washington adds some names to the list of those who might be options to replace Rahm Emanuel as 5th district congressman: Edwin Eisendrath, J.B. Pritzker, and Ald. Tom Tunney.

"For my money, [Tunney] is The One," Washington writes.

She also reports that Roland Burris is throwing his hat into the ring to replace Obama in the U.S. Senate.

"I can think of one reason it shouldn't be Burris," she writes. "We already have an oversupply of egomaniacal blowhards in the Senate."

Cheat of Staff
"It was Tomczak, under orders from higher-ups in Mayor Daley's office, who dispatched an army of city patronage workers to guarantee Emanuel would win his first political race in 2002 for Congress. It was a close race and their help sealed the deal," Carol Marin writes.

"Emanuel, whose grasp of detail is second to none, condemned the corruption when the indictment was announced but improbably claimed to be clueless and even more improbably certified that Daley couldn't possibly have known, either."


Cynics Eric Zorn and Richard Roeper, on the other hand, applaud the Emanuel appointment - and delight in presenting to you the inanity of the false choices they set up.

"Yes, president-elect Barack Obama could have assembled a transition team of outsiders and activists - philosophers, rebels, true believers and demagogues," Zorn writes. "He could have named Michael Moore as chief of staff and Cindy Sheehan as press secretary."

Yes. Having eliminated Michael Moore, Emanuel was clearly the only choice left.

"Who'd the Republicans expect Obama to anoint as chief of staff - Rudy Giuliani?" Roeper writes.

Maybe they expected Michael Moore.

Funny, to Roeper the criticism of the appointment comes from the right. To Zorn, it comes from the left.

At least when combined together they got something right.

Political Scientist
"[I]t is a fact that nine-tenths of the HUMAN RACE never have and never will think for themselves, about anything. Whether it's music or Reaganomics, say, almost everybody prefers to sit and wait till somebody who seems to have some kind of authority even if it's seldom too clear just where they got it to come along and inform them one and all what their position on the matter should be. Then they all agree that this is gospel, and gang up to go persecute whatever minority might happen to disagree. This is the history of the human race . . . "

- Lester Bangs

Quick Take
One of the best things about the Sun-Times for a long time has been Zay Smith's Quick Takes column, a personal favorite of mine and one I've mentioned many times here and elsewhere. What the Sun-Times is now doing to Smith is unconscionable, but not surprising. The dismantling of the paper is an ass-backwards strategy hastening it towards death; it certainly isn't a survival strategy.

What's particularly head-spinning is that Quick Takes is such a natural fit for the Internet. I've never figured out why the column wasn't linked-up and marketed on the Internet; geez, on Sundays Smith turns it into a "what's on the blogs" feature.

The failure to properly manage the column and press it forward is one of the great local symbols of print mentality failure.


The Trib should snap up Quick Takes and consider making it a website of its own. Or if Zay Smith wants to go into business with me, I'd love to make it part of The Beachwood Media Company. Consider that an invitation.


Skokie Sculpture Park


The Beachwood Tip Line: In transition.


Posted on November 10, 2008

MUSIC - Spring Awakening Wake-Up Call!
TV - Goodbye, Apu.
POLITICS - The Political Odds.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Catching Bears Fever.

BOOKS - Gov. Ed Coles.


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