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The [Monday] Papers

Trying to catch up from National Bikini Journalism Week.

1. "President Vladimir V. Putin, angered by American plans to deploy a missile shield in Eastern Europe, formally notified NATO governments on Saturday that Russia will suspend its obligations under the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, a key cold war-era arms limitation agreement," the New York Times reported on Sunday.

We're deploying a missile shield over Eastern Europe? When did that happen? And what, Western Europe is chopped liver? Not to mention, um, us?

Boy, you start paying attention to local TV news and you miss a lot.

2. Challenging the thesis that Wrigley Field is part of God's plan.

3. People are who they are. Conrad Black has been a cheat all his life.

4. Thank you, Carol Slezak. I mean, how exactly are Brian Urlacher's text messages news?

5. "When we hear bootlickers praising and defending the powerful in the city that works, we might remind ourselves what lubricates the machinery that runs it, those little guys who get ground up, guys like Jim McTigue."

6. "Several sources close to the Cubs have told me Sosa was not the only Cubs player who used a corked bat, at least not in 2003," the Trib's Fred Mitchell reported last week.

"On the night Sosa's bat exploded for all to see, officials from Major League Baseball notified the Cubs organization during the game that they had one hour to get rid of any other corked bats of Sosa's in the team's clubhouse before they came down to inspect his arsenal of bats.

"More than 70 marked corked bats then were extricated quickly by Cubs personnel from the clubhouse, about a third of them belonging to other players."


More than 70 corked bats were removed?

About a third belonging to players other than Sosa?

And what's with MLB giving the Cubs an hour to dispose of the evidence?

Paging Bud Selig!

7. Obstruction of justice indeed seems to have become our national pastime.

8. The city's best quasi-legal fishing spot.

9. When it turned out Tank Johnson wasn't legally drunk in Arizona, I too had to wonder if the Bears acted prematurely when they kicked him off the team - though I also think he should have been given the boot long ago.

But then I read the reporting done by the Sun-Times's Greg Couch last week and understood where the Bears were coming from. Couch did what any good reporter - but no one else as far as I can tell - ought to do in a case like this: He read the police report.

* "You know the finger-to-nose test?" Couch wrote. "You stand there, eyes closed, feet together, arms at your sides, index fingers pointed, and touch your nose? Johnson couldn't do it. He couldn't touch his nose. He couldn't stand with his feet together.

"'I observed his eyes were red, bloodshot and watery,' [Officer Andrew] Bates wrote in the incident/investigation report. 'He had a moderate odor of alcohol on his breath. He swayed in a circular motion approximately 1-2 inches while he stood in front of me."

* "[Johnson] told police several times that he hadn't had any alcohol, though the blood test suggested otherwise."

* "If you believe the report, Tank told Bates he was a football player and tried several times to get the officer to let him go. Johnson went from stalling, to panicking, to this:

"'Terry was very concerned about the effect of his arrest, on his career,' Bates said in the report. 'After the fingerprinting, Terry asked for an opportunity to meet with Police Chief Tim Dorn to discuss the case.

"'I provided him with contact information and advised that the Chief typically worked regular business hours. Terry pointed to the blood sample and requested, Don't do anything with that until I talk to the Chief.'"

10. "[Emil] Jones has said that he has a talented, highly qualified family. Period. And that when it comes to contracts, he has no knowledge of his stepson's business dealings."

What, his son doesn't say, "Hey dad, I just got a huge contract today!"

I mean, they don't discuss his work at all?

And if they don't, shouldn't they have come to an agreement ahead of time about handling state business?

Smell Test Grade: F.

11. "Now, while mired in a deadlock, a juror mentioned that he had been told that some foreign press suggested they were too stupid to understand the complicated case against [Conrad] Black, the onetime media tycoon charged with looting the Chicago Sun-Times's parent company."

Not just the foreign press (second item).

12. Annotated Sneed.

"I have been a journalist for more than four decades in a city known for its gritty, no-nonsense reporting."

Really? And how long have you been doing what you do now?

"It's a town that once fed four healthy newspapers."

I'm pretty sure it was six or eight, but who knows, I haven't lived here as long as she has.

"It is still the repository of cutting edge journalism and the home of two major inkwells."

Cutting edge journalism? What, like this and this?

"This paper, my newspaper, suffered mightily at the hands of men who were paying more attention to their pocketbooks than the livelihoods of their employees."

And she did everything in her power to stop it.

"The soul of our newspaper has not been sullied. That can only happen through shoddy journalism."

That one's way too easy.

Sneed must not realize there is an appeals process, given how carefully she managed to flatter the Blacks in her column right up to the time the verdict was delivered.

13. "A real rock 'n' roll theme park would, of course, be built mostly around the other two-thirds of the holy troika: sex and drugs. I'm thinking of something like the Rock 'n' Roll Smackdown ride, basically a water slide shaped like a giant syringe in which the flume riders play the part of the smack, being shoved down a progressively narrowing plastic tube and then flying out the skinny end into a red-colored pool representing Jim Morrison's bloodstream."

The Beachwood Tip Line: Seek vengeance.


Posted on July 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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