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The [Monday] Papers

1. "I want to thank the Chicago press," said Patrick Ryan, Chicago's [Olympic] bid committee chairman. "We have many best-new friends in the press."

2. "Its gushing local media might as well have been part of the Chicago Olympic committee. It sang the city's praises like a boys choir."

3. "People ask me, as one of the reporters covering Chicago's efforts to land the Games, if I want the hometown to win," writes Andrew Herrmann - author of the Sun-Times's "Bringing the Olympics to Chicago" series.

4. See if you can spot the problem from the get-go in Herrmann's piece today: "Pretty much all Chicagoans - whether city dweller or suburbanite - know the drill."

5. "Washington Park: Stadium Site's Neighbors Have High Hopes."

Not if you were listening to WVON. Is it even remotely possible that the reporter could have turned in a story that said "Washington Park Residents Pissed"?

6. "A city would have to be a blithering idiot to not be able to put on an Olympic Games and have a surplus," says United States Olympic Committee Chairman Peter Uebberoth.

"In a true accounting of all the recent Games - you can't charge an Olympic Games in Athens for ships and airports and freeways, because you can keep using them - I would not ever be worried that Chicago would be financially unsuccessful."

Ueberroth is looking at the Olympics in a vacuum. Taxpayers have to live with the bills for the ships and airports and freeways that go along with any Olympic bid. A true accounting shows that Olympics rarely are profitable.

7. The Sun-Times editorial page credits Chicago's winning American bid in part to "plucky promises." Plucky promises like the ones the page was criticizing just a month ago?

8. The Sun-Times editorial board also praises Chicago's "can-do spirit," which is apparently lacking in Los Angeles.

9. If you have to prove you're world-class, you're not. L.A. just shrugged. They don't need anyone's validation that they're not just an overgrown backwater.

10. "Chicago will have to inform much of the world that there's more to this city than Al Capone and Michael Jordan," the Tribune editorial page says. I thought that's what Millennium Park was for.

11. The Spire will become the new global symbol of Chicago. I thought that's what Millennium Park was for.

12. "The city had formed a committee to investigate a bid for the 2008 Olympics but quickly rejected that idea," the Trib's Phil Hersh reports. "Mayor Daley later criticized the USOC for 'conning' cities to ante up $50,000 just to get into the competition.

"There was no such entry fee this time, although Chicago 2016 spent about $5 million in private funding on the domestic bid process. The bid committee already has raised $27 million for the international phase.Daley con job 50,000."

Anyone else see the problem here?

13. "Papers Leery Of Online Deals: Old-Style Media Can't See How Google, Yahoo Are Profiting."

See, there's this series of tubes . . .

14. "Gov. Blagojevich's administration hired Senate President Emil Jones' son for a $57,360-a-year state commerce job at the same time Jones emerged as the chief legislative advocate for a contentious new business tax pushed by the governor," the Sun-Times reports.

"A company owned by Senate President Emil Jones' stepson was awarded a no-bid contract to do computer consulting for the state in 2005," the Sun-Times adds.

"The Blagojevich administration rescinded its rule that the state's mental health chief be a medical doctor just before the wife of Senate President Emil Jones got the job," the Sun-Times reports.

Barack Obama describes Jones as his "political godfather;" Jones calls Obama "our son."

15. Madeline Haithcock bought and paid for.

Dorothy Tillman bought and paid for.

David Herro buying and paying.

The mayor buying and paying.

The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce buying and paying.

Pundit Patrol
* Debra Pickett rises from the ashes to the appear on the Tribune Op-Ed page to write this memorable line about discovering the existence of politics in her ward, the 32nd: "First, we'll figure out where our polling places are - wow, who knew there were public schools around here? - and how to complete our ballots."

You know who knew there were public schools around there? Parents who send their kids to public schools. Might want to meet some.

* "It scares me, as a professional pontificator myself, to see how little concern others pay to the realm of fact when coughing up their opinion," Neil Steinberg writes (fourth item) without irony or self-awareness. "People should stick to what they know."

So we shouldn't expect him to write about about politics, sports, or popular culture any more?

* Mary Laney is upset about a lot of things, but mainly she's one of a number of white conservatives who grudgingly say Don Imus's firing was justified but still feel a nagging sense of unfairness about the whole episode. It might be useful to explore those feelings in therapy.

* Eric Zorn was against the firing of Imus because he thought it would be a victory for mob rule.

Question: What if a Tribune columnist wrote what Imus said but management at first hesitated to act? Would public outrage that illuminated the gravity of the situation - and forced ethics onto a higher plane than corporate profits - represent mob rule?

* Back to Laney. At least those Duke kids had wealthy parents and lawyers to press their case. What about all the poor black men in jail who are also innocent? Talk about a contradictory culture.

* "In his world, decency is likelier to be rooted in skepticism than it is in the ardor of faith."

- The New York Times's Verlyn Klinkenborg on Kurt Vonnegut

In Today's Reporter
* Best Movie Posters Ever. See if your favorites are represented.
* The Cub Factor. Sweet Lou learns some hard truths.
* The Beachwood's 24/7 Alt-Country Internet Radio Guide. When you need to twang, we can help.

42. The Jackie Robinson Foundation.

The Beachwood Tip Line: The men's choir.


Posted on April 16, 2007

MUSIC - Who's Next In Chicago Rap.
TV - Tribune-Nexstar Deal Is Bad News.
POLITICS - Big Soda Hates You.
SPORTS - Harold vs. the Haters.

BOOKS - Wright Brothers, Wrong Story!

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Go Ahead, Eat Raw Cookie Dough!

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