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The [Monday] Papers

About that memo . . .

I've talked to a number of you over the week about the New York Times article that negatively characterized the culture and values of our company.

Negatively? Or inaccurately? And isn't this the sort of memo targets of Tribune articles write?

The Chicago Tribune and our newsroom always have operated with the highest professional, ethical and moral standards. Everyone who truly knows us understands this to be true.

Since when - the days when Colonel McCormick banned Rhode Island from the newspaper (and altered its maps accordingly) because he didn't like some horse-racing legislation it's lawmakers had passed? Or when the company bought the Cubs to create an obvious conflict of interest? Or perhaps when corporate chieftain John Madigan would call the paper's automotive writer to - according to former editor-in-chief Jim Squires - to speed up delivery parts for his Saab?

Perhaps Kern is thinking of more recent times, such as the firing of sexual predator Bob Greene, whose creepy but well-known habits were allowed to flourish until one of his victims called him out. Or maybe he's thinking of his predecessor, Ann Marie Lipinski, who quit amid alleged editorial interference from Sam Zell. Or perhaps he's thinking of the Tribune Company's former executives, who are now alleged by a federal bankruptcy examiner o have engaged in fraud when selling to Zell.

Contrary to Kern's statement that "everyone who truly knows us understands" that the Tribune has always operated at the highest ethical standard, everyone who has worked inside the paper has stories to tell that makes that one of the silliest claims ever made in American journalism history.

Not that the Tribune is unique in that regard. That's what makes Kern's assertion even more mind-boggling.

But it gets worse.

For me, the greatest revelations are the choices that people make in their personal moments of truth. That is the place where history is made. These choices reveal everything about a person's character, values, about their courage to face adversity and stay true to their beliefs. History celebrates those who are principled, those who are selfless, people who defend their families, friends and homelands, people who put themselves and their careers at risk for larger ideas than themselves.

And what courageous choices have you made, Gerry?

For example, this memo fails to tell us what you surely know - if your corporate bosses are a bunch of misogynistic yahoos. Has your experience been otherwise? Do tell.

It is easy to profess your convictions when things are going well. It is quite another to hold onto those convictions and to push ahead when times are difficult.

I couldn't agree more. Perhaps that's why I'm in such financial peril after your boss killed a factual post that proved prescient in describing the culture Randy Michaels would bring to Tribune as CEO based on sexual harassment allegations from his time at Clear Channel.

I'm kind of tired of rehashing my sad little part of this saga, but who has really shown courage, Gerry?

*

If the Tribune newsroom was truly an independent operation, it would be investigating the allegations against Michaels & Co. as we speak. That wouldn't even take courage, it would just be fulfilling the requisites of the job. After all, immunity is not part of the deal for corporate executives who run media companies. In fact, their very jobs demand unparalleled transparency.

Carla Oglesby's Case
"One curiosity in the alphabet soup of the case," the Sun-Times reports. "The list of those referred to as "Public Official" starts with "Public Official B." There is no mention of a "Public Official A." Law enforcement sources said that was by design but otherwise would not discuss even the existence of a "Public Official A."

Flores FAIL
Manny is out.

McRib Is Back!
Somewhere.

In Action!
Part one of our video review of Chicago Riotfest 2010. Today:

* The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
* Corrosion of Conformity
* Naked Raygun
* Cap 'N Jazz
* Articles of Faith

The New MSNBC
Now a Spike Lee Joint.

Bears Now Hogs
Reminiscent of old Redskins.

Lou Was A Boo-Boo
If Jim Hendry had hired Joe Girardi the first time around, he'd be home by now.

Bartender Journalism
I'll be behind the Beachwood Inn bar tonight and every Monday night for the duration. Specials tonight: Old Style for $2.50 and $1 off the bottom shelf. Plus, free pizza!

And don't forget: Chicagoetry Live this Thursday night.

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Real courage.



Permalink

Posted on October 11, 2010


MUSIC - The Week In Chicago Rock.
TV - Trump's Disastrous FCC Chair.
POLITICS - Filing: Walmart CEO Made $22.4 Million Last Year.
SPORTS - Canada Cuts Youth Hockey Injuries In Half.

BOOKS - America, We Need To Talk.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beachwood Photo Booth: Wyoming, Michigan.


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