The [Monday] Papers
1. Chicago is another Detroit. In Bear Monday, our new weekly feature recapping each Sunday's debacle from here through the rest of the season.
2. The Sun-Times laments this morning the fact that three boxers in town for the World Championships are missing because it might hurt Chicago's chances of landing the 2016 Olympics.
If I understand correctly, the boxers - two from Uganda and one from Armenia - have escaped to freedom. Way to go!
Shouldn't we be cheering that?
In fact, I don't understand why this isn't top-of-front-page news. Didn't these boxers defect? Shouldn't we support that? Run, boxers, run!
The Sun-Times's Roman Modrowski also lamented the missing boxers in his "Sunday Drive" feature, calling the Chicago 2016 effort one of the week's Misses.
"[I]t seems things aren't going well for our Olympics bid. And it's for things that aren't our fault. People sometimes die during marathons, and boxers defect. The perception isn't very positive."
Yes, it doesn't look good when our security is so sloppy that people escape their bondage.
"I don't think anyone likes the fact that people take off," Chicago 2016 chairman Pat Ryan told the Sun-Times.
Mr. Putin, rebuild that wall!
"But keep it in perspective: It's less than a handful of people out of 700."
Thank God the rest of them have to go back to their tyrannical homelands. Their captivity is good business for Chicago.
Then again, we're also being held captive. "Local officials are refusing to detail what city services are being used to stage the [boxing] event."
That's because no public funds will be spent on the Olympic effort, remember?
Memo to boxers thinking about defecting: The Sun-Times will turn you in, but there's always room for you at Beachwood HQ.
3. There is only one acceptable way to own a Ramones T-shirt. A former writer for Beavis & Butt-head explains.
4. The Sun-Times wrapped up its week-long series on missing people in Chicago without any justifiable explanation for its overblown effort.
In the series' first installment, the paper thundered that "The number of people who go missing in Chicago and around the country staggers the imagination. In Chicago alone, 20,022 people were reported missing last year. That comes to 54 people, on average, reported missing here each day. Nationally, more than 800,000 people were reported missing last year."
Yet, in Thursday's installment the paper acknowledges that "In Chicago, 20,000 people are reported missing each year. The vast majority of cases - 98 percent - are solved, largely because missing individuals often want to be gone, and eventually return home."
So the newspaper devoted a five-part series to a "crime" in which 98 percent of the cases are solved and not really crimes at all.
If my math is correct, that means that 400 cases a year are legit. And even that sounds high. Are 400 people really abducted in Chicago each year?
The Sun-Times also ballyhooed the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, whose scary statistics don't hold up under even the skimpiest of scrutiny.
In fact, The Denver Post won a Pulitzer in 1985 for its investigation exposing the "missing children epidemic" as a sham.
"Most of the so-called abductions were runaways or children taken in parental custody disputes,USA Today noted.
"There was a vanishingly small number that were actually missing through a stranger abduction," investigative reporter Lou Kilzer told On the Media in 2002.
The Sun-Times has a few fine reporters, but overall its rigor in its reporting is akin to that of college freshmen who have yet to complete their first serious class.
Or maybe the Sun-Times knows all that but decided to exploit missing children anyway to boost circulation. How ironic.
5. This is better.
6. John Kass returned Sunday to the case of Mike Mette, the Chicago cop who got himself into trouble in Iowa and is on his way to serve a five-year prison term there.
To read Kass, you'd think Mette was really getting a raw deal. But is he telling you the whole story?
Go back to the last item - Kass's Cop - in this column, and decide for yourself.
7. If anything, Kass's gripe ought to be with mandatory-minimums.
8. The Sun-Times's Maureen O'Donnell interviewed Rev. Al Sharpton and more than half of the transcript published on Sunday was about the Tawana Brawley case. I'm not thrilled with Sharpton's role in the Brawley affair, either, but that was 20 years ago. Why not ask about Mayor Daley and the current state of the Chicago Police Department? That's why Sharpton is here.
9. As I've written before, Sharpton has moderated more thoughtful discussions of the Chicago police and the mayor from his radio show in New York over the last year than anyone locally, particularly from the white-owned media, which largely ignored (with the huge exception of the Reader) the torturuous reign of Jon Burge for years, and continues to let the mayor slide.
10. "The mayor will 'substantially reduce' his proposed $108 million property tax increase," the Sun-Times reported last Thursday.
"Asked whether the largest property tax increase in Chicago history could be eliminated entirely, he said, 'If I said that, then you'd [say] Mayor Daley is a big liar.'"
So the mayor is spitefully forging ahead with property tax increases to deny the media the chance to tell the truth.
World Series Note: Now that Clint Hurdle's Colorado Rockies have been swept, what will their manager do now? Beachwood readers know the answer to that: Listen to some alt-country (third item).
The Beachwood Tip Line: Pipeline to freedom.
Posted on October 29, 2007
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