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The [Monday] Papers

Rod Beck was one of the greatest, joyous characters ever to don a Cubs uniform. He captured the imagination of a city - and not only this city, by the way. The loss of such a memorable, colorful, and down-home regular guy deserved front page coverage. Instead, both papers buried the news of his death at age 38.

If our local newspaper editors want to return to their home planets now, that would be fine with me.

The Cub Chill Factor
The Beachwood's Marty Gangler explores the difference between the real temperature of the Cubs and the "feels like" temperature experienced by their fans.

Terror Cell
"Another big fight broke out during Saturday's game, but Bob Howry said it was small potatoes compared to Friday's brawl in the upper deck," the Tribune reported (second item) in an obscure part of its paper on Sunday.

"They just threw a lot of beer today," Howry said. "[Friday] was more haymakers. A guy grabbed a girl by the hair and threw her down three rows. I was like, 'Wow.'"

Um, is it just me or does this sound like news?

Gaseous Emissions
Richard Sandor, CEO of the Chicago Climate Exchange, accuses the Tribune in a letter to the editor today of "missing the point" in its recent report comparing the mayor's green rhetoric to the reality of the city's increased in greenhouse-gas emissions.

The point, apparently, is to report what the mayor says, not what he does.

Corruption Pays Off
"The Daley administration doled out more than $13 million in legal fees to politically connected law firms from Jan. 1, 2006, through mid-May of this year, thanks to federal corruption investigations, the long-running Shakman case, and the police torture case against former Lt. Jon Burge," the Sun-Times reports.

"A large chunk of [Burge-related] fees went to Dykema Gossett PLLC. The 2004-2006 Sullivan's Law Directory lists the firm's 'government relations professional' as William Lipinski, the former Southwest Side congressman and longtime Mayor Daley ally."

Endorsements Pay Off
"Chicago lawyer-businessman William Daley, a leading supporter of Barack Obama's Democratic presidential campaign, used a monthlong business trip to Asia to address the Illinois senator's supporter in China," Robert Novak reports.

"Former Secretary of Commerce Daley met Obama backers in Shanghai and Beijing. They told him they could raise half a million dollars for the senator's campaign."

Sandor said critics just don't get the point of Obama's grass-roots movement.

Hall Monitor
"The Sorich case exposed chronic, criminal acts at the core of Daley's administration," the Tribune said in an editorial on Sunday.

"But we endorsed him anyway."

Head of the Fish
Federal judge Wayne Andersen says that the city's inspector general, David Hoffman, has "shown independence 'from the normal chain of command' in the Daley administration," the Trib edit notes.

Instead of fixing the command, we'll just work around him.

"Letting City Hall police City Hall would amount to an unlearning of recent history," the Trib says.

Maybe we should just get a new City Hall.

Babbling Bradley
The Tribune's Washington bureau chief is impressed with the big ideas in Bill Bradley's latest book, which opens with the never-before-thought-of revelation that "Politics is stuck."

Among the incredible ideas Bradley boldly puts forth: longer school days, more early-childhood education, better funded pensions, a reduction of defense spending, and more energy efficient cars.

Wow, what a fresh thinker!

"He has one big criticism for his own party, namely the 'fear of thinking big,'" Tackett writes. "Heard much like this from any of the actual candidates?"

Why, yes. Only all of them.

Next week: Making fun of Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul. You're supposed to just think big, not actually say big things out loud.

Semper Lie
The Marine honor code apparently doesn't include honesty.

Oh Hendry
"Give manager Lou Piniella credit for righting a wrong that was firmly planted in the Cubs' mind before their first sit-down with Soriano in November - heck, even before Piniella signed on as manager in October," Chris De Luca writes.

"'Look, it's probably something that we shouldn't have done, in retrospect,' Piniella said Saturday of the Soriano-to-center plan. 'I mean, I can't really tell you why we did it. I don't want to tell you why we did it.'"

A) We thought he was fast enough to play the entire outfield by himself.
B) We thought we were signing some other guy named Soriano.
C) We thought the team would be sold by then and we wanted to play a joke on the new owners.

That's Neil!
Neil Steinberg spoke with Judy Baar Topinka about Rod Blagojevich.

"I wish I could share the dirt - and really, our lunch was like one of those vacuum cleaner commercials where the canister of filth is upended on a white carpet," Steinberg writes. "But there are libel concerns, and I wouldn't want to get any of the troopers feeding gossip to Judy into trouble."

Whoa! Libel concerns? Troopers feeding gossip to Topinka? What the . . . ?

First, it would be extremely difficult to libel the governor - or even those around him. Second, troopers are feeding gossip to the former state treasurer? For godsakes, why?

Finally, if any of the great dirt you got over lunch that you can't share with your readers is valid or relevant, Neil, please pass it on to the real reporters at your paper. But don't play coy with crappy little secret smears that you share over lunch with a public figure. (And your job, by the way, isn't to protect troopers - or Topinka.)

The Beachwood Tip Line: Apply directly to your forehead.


Posted on June 25, 2007

MUSIC - Holiday Hullabaloo.
POLITICS - Bank Profits Soaring.
SPORTS - Chicago vs. Michigan, 1903.

BOOKS - Dia De Los Muertos Stories.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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