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The [Monday] Papers

1. So, um, the Hawks cheated . . .

2. Dio in Chicago. The world is full of kings and queens, who blind your eyes and steal your dreams.

3. Reporting Palin. Please don't user her gender, her accent or her leather jacket against her.

4. In criticizing Highland Park school officials, deep thinker Richard Roeper compares Arizona's new law regarding suspected illegal immigrants to dumb, archaic laws like a requirement in Florida that the doors of all public buildings open outwards (which might actually be a safety requirement, but who knows.)

It wouldn't be so funny if a member of the Highland Park girls basketball squad was discovered to be undocumented after getting stopped by the Arizona cops while the team was there for a tournament.

Look, it's not unreasonable for Highland Park officials to want to protect the liberty of possibly undocumented players who could be on the team next winter. The issue is the ham-handedness of how those officials have handled this.

This decision shouldn't have been made in private by a tiny group without input from students and parents. A range of solutions may have come to the fore. And everyone involved could have deciphered what this was really about - safety, politics or both. The team may have decided, in fact, to make a political statement. Nothing wrong with that. A team with black players may have chosen to forego a tournament in Alabama back in the day when those players would have had to stay in separate quarters. Or to protect their very lives. So let's not be flip about this.



* A Beachwood reader writes:

Yes, that crazy law Roeper talks about with doors opening outward is hilarous - um, except that in Chicago we have the same law for theaters after the 1903 Iroquois fire where 600 people died because the doors opened inward. Mr. Chicago should read up on his Chicago history.

* Another Beachwood reader writes:

Of course it's a safety reason! At the Iroquois Theater, all the doors opened inward, that's why all the bodies were found piled up in front of the doors.

I also seem to remember that the doors at Our Lady of the Angels school might have been inward opening. But the fact that the fire department's ladders were too short & the idiot nuns keeping the kids in the rooms to pray also were major factors there.

Go into any school today & you'll see that not only are the classroom doors opening outward, but the doors are recessed into the wall so that when they open up, no one in the hall will cause it to close just by walking by.

I guess Roeper's contract precludes editing!

5. So, in other words, there were no AK-47s.

6. Sorry to rain on the Tribune's parade, but their editorial on Sunday bragging about the paper's efforts to get Abraham Lincoln hardly reflected well on itself.

"Tuesday is the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's nomination to be president and, we think, a perfect moment to publish this photo," the paper says.

"That was Lincoln with his favorite newspaper - this one - on his lap.

"Yes, Lincoln was a loyal subscriber. And, not to brag, but this paper did have something to do with his convention victory in 1860.

"But, ah, about that photo? It's altered. Lincoln actually held a German anti-slavery newspaper, not the Tribune.

"We're chalking that one up to a little overzealous marketing by then-Tribune managing editor and co-owner Joseph Medill, who shared an intense common cause with his famous subscriber - abolishing slavery."

Altered photos, so funny! Of course, if that was in today's blogosphere, we'd get a lecture about how upstanding the old-fashioned press was/is.

And abolishing slavery? Always hard to tell if that was Lincoln's passion - he famously said he'd rather save the union instead.

"Medill spared no newsprint or superlative in promoting Lincoln for president."

Sounds like Daily Kos.

"For nearly 163 years, this newspaper has fought for causes - and candidates - we believe in."

Or more like, causes that Col. Robert R. McCormick once believed in, and the causes that suburban Republicans now believe in. But is that really the role of a newspaper? Or should a newspaper fight for its greatest cause - that of journalism? No favor to any party, dedicated only to truth, honesty, transparency, accountability.

Here's what else the Tribune is proud of:

"Sen. William Seward of New York was the heavy favorite. But Lincoln had Chicago's political muscle - and its finest mischief-makers - behind him. Including Medill, of course.

"And they made no little plans."

They were cliches before their time.

"Lincoln supporters poured into the city, courtesy of special cheap rail fares engineered by Lincoln's men. No tickets to the convention? No problem. Counterfeit convention tickets were printed on local presses - history doesn't record whose (but we can guess) - and handed out to Lincoln boosters.

"Lincoln's men also forged signatures for special Seward cheering-section tickets and recruited 'idlers, who for a modest fee or just for fun, agreed to be at the Wigwam before the Seward men,' the Tribune reported in 1960."

Only a hundred years late!

"'When the latter appeared, they were refused admittance because their places had been taken by the holders of fake tickets.'

"That morning, Medill pulled what he later called 'the meanest trick' of his life.

"He gerrymandered the Seward-voting New York delegates into a far corner of the convention floor, where they couldn't easily be heard - remember, there were no microphones in 1860. One account admiringly reported that 'Lincoln's organizers had recruited 1,000 of the loudest shouters in the state' to drown out the competition.

"The ploy paid ear-pummeling dividends. Cincinnati newspaperman Murat Halstead wrote that when Lincoln's nomination was seconded, 'the uproar was beyond description. Imagine all the hogs ever slaughtered in Cincinnati giving their death squeals together, a score of big steam whistles going ... and you conceive something of the same nature.'

"Seward led on the first ballot that day, but fell short of enough votes to clinch the nomination. On the second, Lincoln gained votes. On the third, Lincoln needed just 1 1/2 votes to win. That's when Medill raced over to the Ohio delegation, which had been supporting favorite son Salmon P. Chase.

"'If you can throw the Ohio delegation to Lincoln, Chase can have anything he wants,' Medill promised delegation leader David Cartter, without authority to actually deliver anything. Cartter climbed onto his seat and declared the switch of four votes to Lincoln. (Footnote: Chase did eventually become Lincoln's secretary of the treasury.)"

Is that really something for a newspaper to be proud of? The Tribune should have been exposing such chicanery, not participating in it.

Yet, the paper today remains shockingly proud of its antics, concluding:

"Sometimes, we'd add, facts aren't enough. Sometimes, history needs a shove. We're sure Medill would agree."

As would the zealous sectors of the blogosphere that the MSM so likes to castigate.

7. Alcatraz made all the difference for the Hawks yesterday.

8. Lou Piniella and Carlos Zambrano both scheduled to lose their minds this week.

9. The Sox will get three clinics on winning organizations this week.

10. Exile on North Ave.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Heaven and hell.


Posted on May 17, 2010

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BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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