The [Monday] Papers
1. "Unreleased Jimmy Page Guitar Riff To Be Retrieved From Secret Vault To Save Rock and Roll." McCartney left out of the proceedings.
2. Why the life and death of Anna Nicole Smith is a tragedy worth thinking about.
3. Is Charles Krauthammer more credible than a blogger because he gets paid to publish propaganda in print? Because it's certainly not because of the integrity of his intellect.
4. A recent study shows that the media accounts for just 6 percent of Freedom of Information requests from Cabinet-level departments and large federal agencies - reiterating what studies have shown for years: corporations, lawyers, and plain ol' citizens use the Act far more than journalists. Apparently they can't be bothered.
5. Rick Kogan admirably laments the late, great Maxwell Street. But pinning it on the University of Illinois-Chicago and its expansion plans leaves out the fact that the mayor directed the university to move in "for the kill."
6. "Infinity on High, the new album by the Illinois rock band Fall Out Boy, debuted at No. 1 four weeks ago and has sold two hundred and sixty thousand copies," Sasha Frere-Jones writes in the New Yorker. He then explains the current state of a band he says started out five years ago as "a fairly unremarkable example of emo."
7. The recent Tribune article "Cheating A Real Problem In Club Penguin's Virtual World: Educators worry the breaking of rules will creep into other aspects of kids' lives" made me wonder if educators - and editorial boards usually so preoccupied with their prescriptions for perfect parenting - worry about when mayoral corruption is deemed worth it because downtown is pretty. I mean, look, are we really concerned about kids learning how to break rules? Or do we spend a lot of time teaching them how to game the system for their own advancement?
8. Sally Daniels of Cheyenne, Wyoming writes to The Onion: "While I've been pleased overall with your coverage of Barack Obama's candidacy, you have been more than a bit remiss in mentioning that he is black. I saw two entire paragraphs without a single reminder that he is black. Please rectify this situation forthwith."
10. "Only a horrible person would complain about a group of people trying to make each day a little bit warm-fuzzier," Paige Wiser notes. A horribly heroic person, that is.
And now for Bizzaro Beachwood, in which my observations and choices of praise-worthiness may appear to come from an alternative, opposite universe. But I stand by them nonetheless.
11. Sneed notes that while the mayor celebrated Jennifer Hudson Day, neither he nor the governor were present at the funeral of Chicago Pfc. Daniel Zizumbo. Good point.
12. I enjoy Fluff because it displays self-awareness of its guilty pleasurableness - as well as a finely-honed wit. It's just too bad the Sun-Times bosses don't think it's worthy of investment because, you know, celebrity publications aren't known to make a lot of money.
13. I always meant to commend Barack Obama for his retort to Australian Prime Minister John Howard. Refreshing.
14. The Bears seem to be a bit of a mess right now, but I believe Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith have earned the benefit of the doubt. I believe they have a plan.
15. And though I can't figure out the Javier Vasquez contract for the life of me, I think Kenny Williams will be proven a genius when his trades of Freddy Garcia and Brandon McCarthy play out. Again, Williams has earned the benefit of the doubt. I'm sure he has a plan. Not so the Cubs and Jim Hendry.
16. "Mayor Daley, as he has before, blasted the decision [to fire the Curie principal] and suggested state legislators should weaken the power they gave local school councils a decade ago to hire and fire principals."
Daley is not only right, he doesn't go far enough. I'm sensitive to local input of schools, but no one but the school superintendent should have the power to hire and fire principals.
17. Robert Novak is right about Hillary Clinton's Goldwater Girl omittance - though he is certainly wrong about multiple other things. (I will add here that I watched her speech over the weekend to the New Hampshire Democratic Party, and those who underestimate her oratory do so at their own peril.)
18. I generally - though not wholeheartedly - agree with Steve Chapman's "Press Cries Wolf Over Testifying." Not that journalists aren't under seige; they are. But Patrick Fitzgerald isn't to blame for doing his job as well as he does. It's the courts who have destroyed source confidentiality. And it's in Congress's power to enact a federal shield law. That's where the accountability lies.
19. Neil Steinberg is right when he says that conditions at Walter Reed are nothing new, and in fact part-and-parcel of how we've always treated out veterans (second item; skip the first, it's retarded). Article 99 was 15 years ago, and even then it was an old story.
20. The way the Sun-Times initially presented its "indictment" against the Tribune Company for its mismanagement of the Cubs was pretty lame, but I have to admit I'm enjoying reading the testimony of the witnesses they are deposing. (Too bad there isn't a Web presentation of the whole case.)
And now back to our regularly scheduled column.
21. Why wasn't Condi Rice or Colin Powell in Selma? Or, for that matter, John McCain or Rudy Giuliani?
22. "Flush with oil revenues, Chavez buys friends by showering his neighbors with food subsidies and with debt and disaster relief. He also pays for Cuban doctors to shuttle around the region providing free checkups. Those gestures make Chavez's '21st Century Socialism' a lot more appealing to the masses than free-market reforms pushed by the U.S. From their perspective, capitalism has only widened the gap between rich and poor, while socialism is putting food on the table. Never mind that it masks a giant power grab by rich Uncle Hugo."
Memo to Tribune editorial board: If you're trying to convert us to Hugo's cause, you're doing a pretty good job.
23. Little Steven's Underground Garage will celebrate Chicago in song and story tonight from 10 p.m. to midnight on WXRT. (Hat tip to Robert Feder of the Sun-Times)
24. When Sun-Times cartoonist Jack Higgins (and other media geniuses) made fun of Hillary Clinton saying "Ah don't feel no ways tahd! Ah've come too fah from where ah've stahted . . . " he conveniently left out that she was quoting a James Cleveland hymn. C'mon, people. Do your due diligence.
The Beachwood Tip Line: Start the day right.
Posted on March 12, 2007
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