Chicago - Oct. 18, 2018
Music TV Politics Sports Books People Places & Things
Must-See TV
Army Of Darkness
5 p.m.
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. (
Weather Derby
Tribune: 51/37
Sun-Times: Ferro/McKinney
Weather Channel: 44/41
Ntl Weather Service: 54/43
BWM*: 82/12
Beachwood Bookmarks
K-Tel Classics
WKRP in Cincinnati
So You've Decided To Be Evil
St. Paul Saints
Nye's Polonaise Room
The Arcata Eye
Roadside USA
This Day In . . .
Onion History
Weird Al History
Baseball History
Beachwood History
History History
Spy Magazine History
#OnThisDate History
Under Suspicion
Find Your Towed Car
Cable TV Complaints
Freedom of Information
The Expired Meter
The Mob & Friends
Stolen Bike Registry
O'Hare Music Tracker
Report Corruption (city)
Report Corruption (state)
Scoundrels, State
Scoundrels, Federal
The Odds
Random Flight Tracker
Casting Calls
Cosmic Log
Buy Stamps
Beachwood Blogroll
A Handy List
Beachwood Ethics Statement
How We Roll
Today's Horoscope
Liberties will be taken.
Do We Sudoku?
No, but we do do moose stuff, and that can be anything you want it to be. Except Sudoku.
Losing Lottery Numbers
8, 25, 39
Daily Affirmation
I am open and receptive to new avenues of income. (
Knowing that a person may be unwittingly in danger of an assault imposes a moral duty to warn them.
Now Playing
Psychodrama/Marshall Law
Letters to the Editors
Tip Line
"The Papers" archive
Beachwood Link Buttons
Media Kit/Advertising

The [Monday] Papers

"Call it death by a thousand tiny wounds, just about all of which were self-inflicted," our very own Jim Coffman writes in Bear Monday. "The Giants did a few things right down the stretch of Sunday's showdown at Soldier Field, but mostly the Bears chipped and chipped and chipped away at themselves until they crumbled."

Cop Shop
I found it odd that the mayor made sure to say at the press conference announcing his pick for new police chief that Jody Weis was going to be around for a long time.

Neither of Daley's last two chiefs - Terry Hillard and Phil Cline - were on the job for long, and Cline and Daley's first police chief, Matt Rodriguez, had to step down because of scandal. The mayor's track record isn't good.

Was Daley trying to say that this time he's gotten it right - that this guy will last, unlike the others?

I was puzzling over this just as a faithful reader sent me a note with a take I wish I would have thought of myself: It's about the Olympics. Daley is signaling to the Olympic committee, the theory goes, that this is the guy who will be in charge come 2016. And that would explain such an odd choice: bringing in an FBI agent with counterterrorism experience at a time when the department needs institutional reform. Throw in the fact that Weis will also take over the second job of emergency response director (that's why he'll make $300,000) and it makes a fair amount of sense.

Whatever the mayor's thinking is, Weis is a strange choice and it still isn't clear what he has that the other candidates didn't. One thing is for sure, though: There is no good reason to think that Weis has been brought in to clean up and transform the department, even if he is an outsider. There simply isn't any evidence to support that notion.


"Weis should have ample street cred: He has deep experience with hate crimes, gang violence, use-of-force complaints and other core components of urban law enforcement in cities as ethnically diverse as Los Angeles and Philadelphia," the Tribune crowed in an editorial on Sunday.

That sounds like a stretch. He'd have more street cred if he had actually ever been a street cop (Weis is coming to us from the FBI office in Philadelphia). Experience with hate crimes? Since when did that become a pressing qualification? Experience with use-of-force complaints? Do elaborate, because I've seen nothing to indicate he'll bring a fresh approach to perhaps the department's number one issue.

Beyond that, are you telling me that the nation's best police departments didn't have any rising stars to offer? That reformers were nowhere to be found? That there is not a single person-of-color in the entire land who is the equal of Weis and who would be more equipped to mend the perpetually and justifiably damaged relations between Chicago cops and minorities?

We'll never know because the process was conducted in secret by Daley, who made a mockery of the police board that is supposed to screen candidates and recommend finalists but instead was batted around like a cat's plaything by our Mayor for Life.

And where has the media been? Uninterested in the dysfunctional process and predictably approving in the mayor's actions. A certain amount of this is instinctual: The media would have loved Daley's pick no matter who it was. It's not personal, Jody. The Tribune went so far in its editorial to praise the mayor for getting it right every time with his police chief picks, spotty record to the contrary.

The Sun-Times editorial page was even worse on Sunday, using its vast warehouse of wisdom to declare that "Weis has the experience to restore Police Dept. luster."

Really? How does the Sun-Times know?

And how can you restore luster to a department that never had it?

The Sun-Times cites the U.S. attorney in Philadelphia saying "Jody had an appreciation for getting a handle on street violence" as evidence.

Case closed. I'm sure the other candidates didn't have a similar appreciation.

The truth is that no matter who the mayor picked for the job, outside of Drew Peterson, the editorial boards would have written the exact same approving pieces. They always do.


The Sun-Times gets particularly knotted up in its own favorable comparison of Weis to outsider U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. "Unlike Fitzgerald, though, he won't be a detached third party working to change the system, but basically one of the guys."

So . . . not an outside reformer then?

It's doubtful Weis will be one of the guys, either, seeing as how he has never been a street cop (many of whom are not pleased with that fact). But if he was, that would run counter to the paper's vision of Weis as a man unencumbered by personal relationships - a notion that also conveniently leaves out the mayor who hand-picked him.

"His devotion to beat cops, encapsulated by his promise that 'I will have their back 100 percent,' raises the possibility he will continue the sorry tradition of slapping police who abuse their authority on the back when they need a kick in the rear."

So . . . not an outside reformer then?

"But when outsiders prove themselves winners here, whether in the football arena like Mike Ditka or the political arena like Barack Obama, Chicagoans embrace those individuals like one of their own."

What is this, high school? What a bunch of nonsense. On at least five different levels.

(Including the fact that the Sun-Times's owner, editor-in-chief and, I believe, its editorial page editor are outsiders - and not even proven winners.)

Meanwhile, we still have very little idea why the mayor picked Weis and what Weis plans to do.

"If a black president can serve all races, why can't a white police chief?" race scholar Neil Steinberg asked on Sunday.

Where to start?

A) We've never elected a black president - in part because so many white people think they won't be fairly served.

B) Steinberg's comfort with Barack Obama only illustrates his preference for people of color who don't discuss race.

C) Nobody said a white police chief couldn't serve all races. But we do have a sorry racial history here which includes the finding that the city had a de facto policy of torturing black suspects. The benefit of the doubt has been lost.

D) Like the editorial pages, Steinberg is asking the wrong question. The questions right now start with: Why Jody Weis? What is his plan?

The Beachwood Tip Line: The one and only.


Posted on December 3, 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.

Search The Beachwood Reporter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Follow BeachwoodReport on Twitter

Beachwood Radio!

Ask Me Anything!