The [Monday] Papers
1. This George Ryan phishing scam is so hilariously and simultaneously clever and stupid it would almost be worth it to invest some time and money following its trail. Then again, maybe Ryan himself is behind it.
2. Remember when Ryan's lawyer, Dan Webb, tried to sell us on how poor Georgie and Lura Lynn really were? Maybe Webb was already figuring Ryan's $197,037 annual, taxpayer-funded pension would revoked after a jury found his client guilty.
3. Why is six-and-a-half years in a minimum security prison considered a death sentence for George Ryan? He'll be 77 or 78 if he serves the full term, which is slightly more than the average life expectancy in Illinois, and given that Ryan is a white male who so far has had access to the high-quality health care, well, I bet he walks out of prison in a few years as unrepentant as ever.
4. The Sun-Times's "stories" this weekend about the paper's mini-footballs promotion didn't include reporters' bylines (see the Breaking News item), but I suspect reporters still wrote them. Is it really so hard to have a marketing intern do the write-ups and label the stories as advertisements?
5. The Sun-Times is now putting ads on the top half of its front page - ads for its mini-footballs promotion. Sunday's front page also included a front-page promo blurb of the paper's free collectors' edition of its Spider-Man comic book. Sources say the paper is considering a new weekly edition which would contain "news."
8. 'Rahm Emanuel told me that . . . the attack on the Clintons in the nineties was so severe and baseless, in his view, that a moment of anger [by Bill Clinton] over dinner was nothing," David Remnick writes in his fascinating New Yorker profile of the post-presidency of Bill Clinton (which is not available online as far as I could tell.)
"[Emanuel] mentioned a recent report in the Chicago Tribune which revealed that the Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, began his career in Congress with a net worth of three hundred thousand dollars and now has assets of six million, owing largely to an almost fantastical increase in the value of land near a highway project that he helped push through Congress.
"'The Speaker came in with three hundred thousand dollars and now has six million in real estate and no one asks a question? Your questions is, "Why is Clinton so angry?" My question is, "Why are you so stupid?"'"
9. Emanuel earned $16 million in less than three years as an investment banker in between his stints as a White House aide and a U.S. congressman.
12. David Broder's contempt for readers who have done more, well, reading than he has is astonishing. At one point in this online chat he says "Get it?" to a reader asking him about the CIA leak case, but it's Broder who clearly doesn't get it. Broder joins such local intellectual giants as Steve Huntley and Jack Fuller in asserting that the revelation in Hubris that Richard Armitage was the primary leaker for Sun-Times syndicated columnist Robert Novak disproves the "conspiracy theory" that there was a coordinated White House effort to discredit Joe Wilson. In fact, the revelations of Hubris show just the opposite. Get it, David?
13. Broder also still thinks Bill Clinton should have resigned for lying to his Cabinet officers about Monica Lewinsky, but doesn't believe George W. Bush or anyone in his administration ought to resign for lying us into a war - because Broder does not believe there was a coordinated White House effort to deceive the public about Iraq. Get it?
14. Broder is often referred to admiringly as the dean of Washington political reporters.
17. Fox announcer Tim Ryan extolled the virtues of all those blue-collar Bears fans at Soldier Field on Sunday. Myths die hard. Chicago is a yuppie city - and those Bears fans aren't exactly taking time out from their jobs at the slaughterhouse. According to Team Marketing Report, it costs a family of four $439.59 to attend a Bears game. That's the third most expensive ticket in the league.
18. The bad-idea playlist at the bottom of this story is a good example of how hilarious the Tribune is.
19. Robert Novak writes today that Mayor Daley is "only vaguely a Democrat, is much admired by Republicans and talks occasionally on the phone with the target of Democratic abuse, George W. Bush."
"I have a lot of respect for President Bush," Daley told Novak.
20. Novak also reports that Ald. Ed Burke supported the big-box ordinance in part so his wife, now a state supreme court judge, wouldn't have to run against labor in future elections.
22. "Our soldiers are following the rules of war - but their opposition is not," writes Mary Laney, in her latest dispatch from Planet IMA2L. "In Iraq, Americans have been kidnapped, tortured, beheaded, burned, hanged from bridges, dragged through streets. But the CIA's method of questioning a terrorist in a cold room while playing loud music is too 'tough'?"
23. From the estimable QT:
News Item: The New CBS Evening News announces a "freeSpeech" segment "intended to create a candid and robust dialogue among viewers about issues important to them."
News Item: Bill Maher declines invitation to appear on "freeSpeech" segment after being told he couldn't talk about religion but would be sent a list of "approved" topics.
24. Katie Couric is not just the newsreader of the CBS Evening News, she's the managing editor. So it was her call.
25. Random Beachwood Classic: Actual Crank Calls To Misleadingly Named Suburbs.
The Beachwood Tip Line: Just what it sounds like.
Posted on September 18, 2006
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