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The [Monday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes

"Requests for questions in writing rather than face-to-face interviews are cropping up more and more," Carol Marin wrote in her Sun-Times column on Sunday.

"Written Q&A's violate NBC policy because, among other things, they don't allow for follow-up questions. And they don't allow a viewer to see, hear, or judge the quality of either the question or the response.

"That, of course, is the point."

A few points.

1. Reporters who comply with these requests only make it harder for those who (rightfully) don't.

2. I suspect two reasons for the increase in such requests: more reporters complying with them and more reporters asking questions via e-mail.

3. As I've asked before, how is asking questions via e-mail any different than putting questions "in writing"?


Anti-Journalist Eric Zorn thinks newspapers who refuse to comply with such requests come off as "churlish."

All subjects of Zorn columns from here on out should refuse to actually speak to him, then.

The Tom Tunney Show
"Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), the city's first openly gay alderman, is still on the fence [in the county board prez race], but he says voters in his Lake View ward are split 50/50," Laura Washington reports. "'If the election were held today, the race would be between Toni and Terry,' he told me Wednesday. Tunney adds that Stroger has gotten an unfair rap on the county tax issue, but concedes 'people want to see a change from Todd'."

So . . . half of the folks in Tunney's Lake View ward support Terry O'Brien? Why?

Lake View sounds like Preckwinkle Country to me.

And meanwhile, O'Brien is running last in the polls - behind even Stroger - so at least for now the race is between Preckwinkle and Dorothy Brown. Brown will be brought low soon enough, though.


UPDATE: 1:15 P.M.: A reader asks why Tunney's sexual orientation was mentioned in the passage above. I don't know. I was just quoting the passage.

Michael Scott's Last Big Deal
A multi-million dollar condo-hotel project across from Soldier Field.


Contrary to the tenor of most reporting on Michael Scott, Greg Hinz recently wrote that Scott "had personal, business and family problems." I suspect we'll be hearing about those soon.


Hinz notes in the piece I just linked to that Scott is the third public figure tied to the local political system to take his life recently, the other two being Chris Kelly and Orlando Jones.

Hinz concludes:

"Given the shadows and the doubts about all of this, given the reality of Chicago corruption, I can't draw any hard and fast rules. But when bodies start falling, one perhaps ought to think. Next time I fire up the computer for another nasty story about an erring pol, I'll have to do just that."

That's the wrong conclusion. "Nasty" stories from the media didn't kill any of them. Neither did pressure from federal prosecutors, as some have speculated. "Erring" pols do to themselves what they do to themselves. At this late date in Chicago's history of corruption, pols here deserve every barb launched their way. Going easy on them isn't the answer. Fixing the diseased political culture in which they operated is.


Beyond that, I wouldn't for a second presume political problems per se drove any of the three to kill themselves. We don't know just what emotional issues roiled them to their cores.

The Scholarship Scam
We pay, they play.

Lovie Times Out
"In so doing, he ensured that one of the first stories Bears fans will tell in the future when they look back at the lame late days of Lovie's head-coaching tenure is the one when the coach proved himself not just replay challenged but twice as replay challenged as anyone else had ever been."

- Our very own Jim Coffman

Polar Express
Has the arctic really been cooling over the last 60 years as Trib letter writer Craig Conn contends? No.

The arctic is in a thaw, according to Scientific American.

In another report, Scientific American says:

"In the past decade, summertime Arctic temperatures have been 1.4 degrees Celsius higher on average than would be expected and 1.2 degrees Celsius higher than in 1900. And the Arctic is merely the trendsetter - the northern-most latitudes are among the fastest-warming parts of the globe due to various feedbacks. For example, melting Arctic sea ice exposes more ocean, which in turn absorbs more of the sunlight's warmth and further increases warming."

See also the New York Times series The Big Melt.

Rev. Zambrano
"When Zambrano signed with the Cubs, he was secure in his belief that this would be his first and only contract. After baseball, Zambrano hopes to fulfill his dream of being a minister," Cafe magazine reports.

"That was my whole passion since I was little. I wanted to preach the Word of God. I never dreamed of baseball until I was 13 or 14, but I dreamed to be a man of God since I was 7, 8," he told the magazine. "God thinks differently than how human beings think, so He probably prepared a platform for me in baseball and I believe in that."

Piss Poor
Describing the Wrigley Field troughs as a great equalizer - as the Sun-Times does today - is an incredible and absurd conceit. For one thing, it leaves out an entire gender. For another, most people probably piss next to yuppies on a regular basis. Reporters using bathrooms in newsrooms, for example. Finally, how is standing at a row of individual urinals any less "equalizing"? Because some doofus's piss isn't spraying all over you? Think harder!

In Action: Cheap Trick
Got their KISS records out.

The Chili Chronicles
Blood and peppers in Jefferson Park.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Hot, bothered.


Posted on December 14, 2009

MUSIC - Millions Of New Guitar Players.
TV - "One America News" is AT&T.
POLITICS - When Wall Street Came To My Mobile Home Park.
SPORTS - Tonyball, Bears On The Run, Eyes On The Sky & More!

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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