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.
"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
"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.
- Lester Bangs
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
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