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The [Monday & Tuesday] Papers

Federal prosecutors alleged in a 98-page court filing Monday that aides to Mayor Daley engaged in "massive fraud" to get around a federal court order prohibiting political hiring and erased computer files and shredded documents in a cover-up as investigators closed in.

The filing is the latest development in the case of four City Hall aides scheduled to go on trial next month in an investigation that in many ways resembles the case that put former Gov. George Ryan in the dock.

The story quite appropriately leads both the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times; the details of the filing strike at the heart of the Daley Administration and heightens further the unlikelihood that somehow the mayor who reputedly tracks every pothole in the city was oblivious to how hiring worked at City Hall.

And yet, not only is there no comment from Daley in either paper, there is no "No comment" from Daley in either paper. There is also no evidence of even an attempted phone call to the mayor, much less any evidence that any reporter tried to track him down or even stood by his car and waited for him, as many young journalists are taught to do.

Do we not even try anymore?

The Hardest Part
The Tribune does show evidence today that it is bored and out of ideas.

Burke's Law
A faithful and astute reader (who has good reason to prefer anonymity given his occupational proximity to those in the political arts) noticed this quote in yesterday's column by new state supreme court justice Anne Burke, who was originally appointed to the Appellate Court despite being deemed unqualified by the Chicago Council of Lawyers: "I was also elected in 1996, don't forget, so people voted for me as well."

Our faithful and astute reader points out that Burke ran unopposed in both the primary and general election that year, the only time she faced voters.

"Elected" can be such a technical term in Chicago.

Like a Good Neighbor?
The median sale price of a home in Chicago over the last 15 years has risen from $115,000 to $330,000, according to a Rubloff marketing booklet tucked into one of the Sunday papers.

I assume wages have kept pace and Chicago is still a place where the middle-class can live comfortably, much less the working class and poor.

Otherwise I would have read about the impact of this extraordinarily wracking transformation of the city's very character in the local papers.

Particularly in light of the Tribune's report last month (no longer linkable) stating that renters in Chicago are "facing dramatically higher rents as the housing boom has swept away old buildings and turned others into expensive condominiums."

Beyond that, Cook County is losing about 3,400 rental units each year, according to a Harvard University study cited by the Tribune.

"We are taking one step forward and two steps back as gentrification in some neighborhoods and continued deterioration in others leads to the removal of vitally needed lower-cost rental housing," Joint Center director Nicolas Retsinas told the Tribune.

But given that these changes have largely occurred over the last 15 years, that's old news to readers of the local newspapers, which have thoroughly explored the most fundamental facts about the city's changing neighborhoods and the way Chicagoans live. Right?

All Hail the Par-King
How cool was the photo accompanying this story in the Sunday Tribune magazine? You'll never know if you don't have the print edition, because it is not reproduced online. It was a 1960 shot of the Prudential hole from the Par-King miniature golf course in Morton Grove, featuring a replica of the Prudential Building in downtown Chicago. Christ, they should have posted a whole gallery.

This is apparently no substitute for the Par-King.

Stones Drones
Did you see that Chinese authorities censored songs with suggestive lyrics at a Rolling Stones concert in Shanghai on Saturday? Makes you glad to be living in the USA, where we would never do anything like that.

"It's sort of a way for rich people to go slumming."
- Greg Couch of the Sun-Times on the new Batter's Eye Lounge at Wrigley Field

"In New York's tabloid newspaper war, revenge is a dish best served boldface."
- New York Times story about the tabloid wars there

Recommended Reading
Bush has even lost Kass.

Who smells a disaster in the making?

The Katie Card
If you have to debate whether someone is a real journalist, they probably aren't. In the case of Katie Couric, justifying her new gig hosting the CBS Evening News by recalling her early days as a local TV news reporter is a stretch that no real journalist would even begin to contemplate.

And it's only about gender to the executives who hired Couric for her perky girliness. Nobody would have questioned the credentials of Lesley Stahl, Christiane Amanpour, or even our very own Carol Marin, just for starters. So why buy into the "debate"?

Couric's new position is the latest intrusion of marketing values into the newsroom, but news people seem like the last ones who want to talk about that - including the Tribune editorial page, which says Couric's hiring is "not some Hail Mary pass to salvage a losing team."

Because nobody would mistake the last-place CBS Evening News for a losing team.

In fact, that's exactly what it is - a Hail Mary pass to salvage a losing team.

But if Couric really wants to be taken seriously, here is a place for her to start.

What Would Judas Do?
What's next, Brokeback Bible?

Larger Truths
It's time once again to play Headlines/Counterheadlines with Beachwood Headline Affairs Desk Editor Tim Willette.

Mental Patient Charged With Threatening President: 'National Security Gone Berserk'
President As Threatening As A Mental Patient: 'National Security Gone Berserk'

Mental Patient Charged With Threatening President: 'National Security Gone Berserk'
Top Brit: Nuking Iran is 'Completely Nuts'

Bush's Approval Ratings Lowest Ever: Poll
Bush's Intelligence Ratings Lowest Ever: Test

Source: Bush Okd Leak But Left Logistics Up to Cheney
Source: Bush Okd War But Left Logistics Up to Cheney

Huge Alcohol Cloud Spotted By Astronomers
Cubs Win Home Opener

Motorola Parks Car Unit
Motorola Car Unit Stripped

Canada's Pot Plan Goes Up In Smoke
Canada Bogarts Pot Plan

$13.4 Billion Deal Gives Lucent A French Accent
Lucent Receives $13.4 Billion French Tickler

New York Tries Yet More Ways To Fix Schools
New York Ignores More Ways To Fix Impovershed Students

U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait Of Iraqi Discord
GOP: Media Paints Somber Portrait of U.S. Study

Note From Beachwood HQ
We're slightly distracted this week due to activity on the business end of this venture, but we've got a raft of new material to post and I hope to get some of it up later today. So stick with us. If you are not completely satisfied after 30 more days, you get your money back.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Help us paint a somber portrait.


Posted on April 11, 2006

MUSIC - Spring Awakening Wake-Up Call!
TV - Exclusive! Rahm's New TV Gig.
POLITICS - The Political Odds UPDATED.
SPORTS - NHL: CTE Not Our Fault.

BOOKS - Stan Lee, Flawed Hero.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: I Am Iron Man.

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