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A discount-store employee is time-warped to a medieval castle, where he is the foretold savior who can dispel the evil there. Unfortunately, he screws up and releases an army of skeletons. (tvguide.com)
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The [Monday] Papers

"Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner denied that his two-day tour of the state last week had anything to do with the 2018 election, but it was pretty darned clear that he and his team were tuning up the band for the big show down the road," Rich Miller writes.

"Campaign funds not only paid for the tour, but political money was used to promote in it advance. I'm told Rauner's advertising on social and online media served more than a million impressions in the days leading up to the fly-around."

Rauner's denials that he was actually campaigning were just the kind of standard disingenuousness that he's exhibited from the start of his first campaign, even as he claimed, in a bid for our approval, to not be a politician. And perhaps he isn't - he obviously isn't one who knows how to govern - but let's not forget that the same kind of disingenousness is how one succeeds in the private sector as well. Besides the fact that he's a politician.

At least the media didn't buy it. But did they serve citizens well when acting like pointing out the obvious was an act of political insight?

Miller doesn't think so, and I agree.

"Much of the Chicago-based print media focused on the fact that Rauner denied he was campaigning while obviously campaigning. But they never put that into the broader context of the governor's habit of saying one thing (cheerleading the Senate's grand bargain) while doing another (killing the Senate's grand bargain)."

In other words, the media failed - again - to point out Rauner's longstanding pattern of, well, lying.

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Miller:

"Channel 7, the most-watched television station in Chicagoland, ran a purely positive piece.

"I want all of you to have a better future, I want your children to have great schools, and I want your salaries to go up," Rauner said during the Chicago station's report.

"There was no mention of the fact that none of that has happened since he became governor, and there is no foreseeable time when any of it will happen as long as we have this perpetual gridlock."

Indeed, Rauner's "messaging" seems stuck on repeat; we've heard it all before, and before, and before. Word for word. Meanwhile, the state has sunk into its fiscal quicksand on his watch, and real people have been badly hurt.

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"Rauner also appeared via phone on several talk-radio programs during his tour and faced mostly softball questions from conservative hosts. Even conservative activist Dan Proft, who has sharply criticized the governor on his radio program since the start of the year, allowed Rauner to endlessly rattle on about his main talking points, duct tape and all, without much of a peep."

Nobody really likes House Speaker Michael Madigan, the governor's chief adversary in the budget battle of wills, but Rauner is the governor, the buck stops with him, and it's jarring to see him act as if everything is perfectly fine, with no seeming sense of urgency, besides fightin' the system with a smile in between stops at downstate brewpubs and high school basketball games.

Taxing Women
"Though attendance fell well short of January's women's march, the downtown Tax Day protest rally demanding President Donald Trump release his tax returns drew a large number of protesters who marched half a mile to Trump Tower on Saturday," the Tribune reports.

That's a weird comparison/angle. Did anyone really think the Tax Day rally would rival the numbers of January's women's march?

"City officials didn't provide a crowd total for the march, but organizers estimated between 2,000 and 4,000 people piled into Daley Plaza . . . The big turnout for the peaceful assembly was no doubt aided by temperatures hovering around 80 degrees along with sightseeing tourists and shoppers strolling the Loop."

No doubt! As every event in the city was no doubt aided. Why such a grudging report?! Sheesh. Even a turnout of 2,000 is more than I expected.

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"While [organizer Taran Singh] Brar had hoped for a massive turnout to rival the 250,000 who attended Chicago's women's march, the California native and documentary filmmaker said he was overwhelmed by social media's capability in drawing such a crowd."

If that's where the lead angle came from, you might as well write that the protest fell short of its goal by 246,000 people. That might theoretically be accurate, but it wouldn't be true.

Jumbled Juxtaposition
"Although St Louis has the highest murder rate per person in the country, the city eclipses both Chicago and Seattle in popularity among millennials," the Economist reports.

What does a city's murder rate have to do with popularity among millennials? Some media members still seem to assume that cities with high murder rates are war zones where no one is safe anywhere, when the truth is that even in St. Louis, like Chicago, the violence is taking place in concentrated areas while the rest of the city is, basically, "normal."

Millennials moving to Chicago to enjoy its finer attributes, for example, aren't moving into Englewood and accepting the tradeoff. Let's understand both the nature of our cities and the nature of the problem at hand, which is that swaths of the city are designed to attract millennials and swaths of the city are left to rot. That's the only real comparison to make.

An Old American Story
From the Washington Post: "How the Wisconsin home to the oldest GM plant tells the story of America."

To wit:

"In this excerpt from 'Janesville: An American Story,' meet the residents of Janesville, three-fourths of the way from Chicago to Madison. Their livelihood depended for nearly 90 years on the automaker, but after the last vehicle came off the assembly line in 2008, Janesville emerged from the Great Recession into an uncertain future."

Again: The media continues to act as if the hollowing out of America is a new story, when I've been reading about it - in actual newspapers! - since the 1980s. Update the narrative, please.

*

Also, again, I hate the term Great Recession. It sounds like the economy went through a "natural" downturn. I was once told that overseas the term Global Financial Scandal is used frequently. Let's not forget what really happened. Naming it, and therefore reinforcing the truth in people's minds, is vital.

Bump Dump
"Before David Dao got dragged off United, there were the Kluczynskis," Ben Joravsky notes for the Reader.

"The jury was out for five hours . . . When it returned, it had awarded $4,000 each in actual damages and $200,000 in punitive damages.

Just FYI, that $4,000 would be $11,165 today; the $200,000 would be $558,250. Always use an inflation calculator to enhance reader understanding!

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From the Beachwood sports desk . . .

The White Sox Report: Not Irrelevant
Rebuild, baby, rebuild.

SportsMonday
Is in pre-production.

The Cub Factor
Is over. There really is no Cub Factor anymore. Last year's championship washed the conceit away. I'd like to start a replacement Cubs column, but no one has volunteered for the job, and I don't have the time to fill in this season.

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Chasing Tastier Tortillas
"A growing army of 'heirloom corn' fans, from celebrity chef Rick Bayless to food giants like ConAgra to a group of dogged Mexican scientists, are aiming to unlock the ancient ingredient to bring tortillas with better flavor to the high-end foodie market while boosting sustainable local economies."

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The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Is in pre-production.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

But this is why Andrew Sullivan is so beloved amidst the media cognoscenti; he's so "contrarian."

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"Usually they gloss up the lies in ways we can all find acceptable while maintaining our well-compensated roles in the political theater."

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As I was saying (again) the other day . . .

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Pull your weight.



Permalink

Posted on April 17, 2017


MUSIC - The Week In Chicago Rock.
TV - Trump's Disastrous FCC Chair.
POLITICS - Filing: Walmart CEO Made $22.4 Million Last Year.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Pace Pantsed.

BOOKS - America, We Need To Talk.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beachwood Photo Booth: Bus Stop.


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