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The [Monday] Papers

I usually don't watch the Grammys, but I happened upon it in the early-going and . . . was that Morris Day and The Time doing "Jungle Love"? It was, complete with the valet-with-the-mirror bit and all.

Um, what time is it? Because I thought we were somewhere in 2008.

I mean, I love Morris Day and the Time, but c'mon!

And then I saw Prince handing out an award - you're better than that! - and thought, maybe it was part of his deal that he got to bring his buddies along.

* I don't know, if I was Amy Winehouse I might have refused to descend into self-parody and sing the otherwise-fine but overexposed "Rehab."

* "Foo Fighters turned into a mediocre progressive-rock band when they decided to gussy up their set with an orchestra," Greg Kot writes in the Tribune.

Turned into?

"The mix of three-chord hamburger and string-laden syrup was as unappetizing as it sounds."

* Jim DeRogatis called the Foo Fighters "bloated and bombastic."

* DeRo's beginning . . .

"The Grammys celebrated their golden anniversary as America's most prestigious music awards Sunday night, and as is often the case with the live telecast from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the show seemed to drag on for at least 50 hours."

And end.

"But then again, for the 50th year in a row, nominees and viewers at home alike all deserved better than the Grammys gave them."

Choose any five records from Chicago labels like Bloodshot, Touch & Go and Thrill Jockey and you're likely to have five better records than those deemed the best by the Grammy grannies.


The Grammys are to music what daily newspapers are to journalism.

Change Bank
The Sun-Times reports in "Ripping Stroger Backfires On Candidates" that local voters showed no appetite for "change" last Tuesday despite Barack Obama's overwhelming victory at the top of the ballot.

Elsewhere in the paper, though, Laura Washington argues that "Obama's mantra of change came through loud and clear in local races," though her evidence is awfully thin; Washington points to a statehouse race featuring an Obama protege who won with 33 percent of the vote against four other candidates, and the Democratic primary victory of Anita Alvarez in the Cook County state's attorney's race.

Alvarez, however, was not a "change" candidate; she was labeled along with the other career prosecutor in the race as "Status" and "Quo."

The "change" candidates in that race were Ald. Howard Brookins Jr., whom Washington notes was an early favorite based on the notion that he "would slide in on a massive Obama turnout in Chicago's black wards" (and who was endorsed by Jesse Jackson), and reformer Larry Suffredin (who was endorsed by Jesse Jackson, Jr.).

In fact, as Abdon Pallasch reports today in "How Did Hillary Win Key City Wards?", mayoral brother John Daley attributes Alvarez's victory in his 11th Ward, where Obama was on the palm cards, to Hillary Clinton's coattails. Clinton won the ward.

The lakefront wards that went for Obama, Pallasch found, also went for Suffredin, while the African-American wards that went for Obama went for Brookins. Maybe Obama's coattails actually split the "change" vote locally.

Bob's World
Nationally syndicated Sun-Times columnist Bob Novak once again shows his disdain for actual facts by recycling the myth of the so-called Bradley Effect, which posits that white voters tell pollsters they prefer the black candidate in a given race so as to not betray their bigotry and then vote white. The name derives from Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley's unexpected loss in 1982 for the governorship of California.

The only problem is that the Bradley Effect doesn't exist.

"If the idea that voters lie to pollsters is unfounded or at least exaggerated, what happened in Tom Bradley's gubernatorial race in California in 1982?," Tom Rosenstiel wrote in 1989 when he went back and examined the contest.

"Several polls, including The Los Angeles Times Poll, showed Bradley winning handily. With a week to go, Field's California Poll showed Bradley ahead by seven points.

"One problem, which cropped up again Tuesday, was that pollsters overestimated minority turnout.

"Field and others expected it to be about average, 20 percent. But since Bradley chose to run as a mainstream candidate, not mobilizing his base, minority turnout was only 15 percent.

"Another factor was the failure to measure undecideds.

"And when exit polls failed to predict [Republican] George Deukmejian's victory over Bradley, that was partly because pollsters had not anticipated that relaxed restrictions on absentee voting would cause a rise in that segment of the vote, and that it would go 80 percent Republican."

(This article in The Public Opinion Quarterly found that "Bradley's background did not stimulate an unusual level of racially motivated behavior.")

Besides, it doesn't make sense that a Bradley Effect would exist in a Democratic primary. In a Harold Washington-Bernard Epton race, sure. But would Hillary Clinton voters really fake support over the phone for Obama out of fear of appearing racist?


It has served the Obama campaign to retail this stuff to pundits, however, just as they did after New Hampshire with an eye to South Carolina. And we saw what happened there.

Wronging Wright
The Tribune reports today that Obama's pastor, and inspiration for the phrase "Audacity of Hope," the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, is retiring, but fails to mention that Obama disinvited Wright from his presidential announcement speech in Springfield and told him to take a low profile during the campaign.

Iraq Illusion
The Sun-Times plays up an AP report that "Iraqis Quit Al-Qaeda In Droves" but fails to mention that Al-Qaeda makes up less than two percent of those who are shooting at us, according to a Congressional Research Service report from September. (Not to mention the fact that Al-Qaeda wasn't in Iraq until we got there and drew them in.)

World Class Sex
"Not All Cultures Do It Like We Do."

Radio Daze
"Radio is a dirty, unscrupulous business in most cities, but Chicago sinks into the gutter with alarming regularity," Jay Mariotti writes persuasively.

Mariotti is also on to something when he says that Sam Zell looks frighteningly like the infamous Billy Goat.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Capture the flag.


Posted on February 11, 2008

MUSIC - Britney's IUD.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - Locked Out And Loaded.

BOOKS - Foxconned.


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