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The [Thursday] Papers

Bill Beavers is a real piece of work. Todd Stroger isn't. See The [Stroger] Papers for our round-up and commentary.

1. Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th) shows she is savvier than some reporters and editors in town. "Unfortunately, there've been a number of deliberate media diversions to get public attention away from what's going on in federal court," she tells John Kass.

2. At least they're paying attention to Steve Stone in Pittsburgh.

3. The Sun-Times trumpets one group's findings that "Chicago has more green roof space than any other city in North America."

But shouldn't the measurement be a percentage of all roof space, rather than raw square footage?

I mean, I'm looking at this chart and thinking it sure must not be hard to edge out other cities in the top 10 such as Suitland, Maryland and Ashburn, Virginia.

4. Presidential signing statements.

5. "Twice a year, Michael Hasco visits McDonald's restaurants to observe how workers squirt ketchup onto hamburgers. He thinks there might be a better way to do it."

6. Bob Dylan is now in the Baseball Hall of Fame. This is how he got there.

7. "Can a Psychiatrist Really Tell What's Wrong With You?"

8. The pregnancy blog rolls along. Can't anyone make her stop?

9. The 10 most censored countries.

10. Suspended Cubs catcher Michael Barrett charted the game Wednesday from the press box. The Tribune was there.

"Barrett notes that Brewers pitcher Dave Bush has thrown eight first-pitch stirkes to the first eight hitters, all fastballs away.

"'Up here it's easy to see and I know the coaching staff knows,' he says, 'but when I'm playing the game, I wouldn't have a clue about that.'"

Isn't it his job to know? And more to the point, isn't it the coaching staff's job to make sure he knows?

11. I don't know how many Chicago Headline Club members showed up to have drinks with Jason Leopold last night, but I find the invitation the organization send out last week puzzling. Leopold is peddling a book, so I suppose it makes sense that he "offered" to have drinks with local journalists, but what's the Headline Club's interest, and is it really true, as Headline Club President Jason Jedlinski writes in the invitation, printed below, that "unlike Jayson Blair, the stories Leopold wrote were true"?

Does that include Leopold's now infamous report on the indictment of Karl Rove?

Salon isn't so sure, and various other media outlets have stopped doing business with Leopold. But for some reason, not the Chicago Headline Club.

This was the invite:

"Dear Colleague:

"The Headline Club often holds programs and workshops about the 'right' way to gather and report the news, following SPJ's famous Code of Ethics. But next week, you have the rare opportunity to hear from someone who strayed far from that path: stealing from an employer, lying to get information and burning his sources for a good scoop.

"Jason Leopold broke key stories about Enron and the energy crisis for Dow Jones Newswires, winning their Journalist of the Year Award. He is also a past president of the Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. But for most of his career, he was high on heroin, hiding a felony conviction and the fact that he dropped out of NYU.

"Leopold's memoir, NEWS JUNKIE, 'shows how a man once fueled by self-destructive impulses transforms his life, regenerated by love, sobriety and a new, harmonious career with the independent media,' according to the publisher. I was hooked by the first six pages, in which he details his betrayal of former California Gov. Gray Davis' press secretary.

"Next Wednesday, June 28, at 7:00 p.m., Leopold will speak at Transitions Bookplace, 1000 W. North Ave., Chicago. (It's easily accessible by public transit, notably the CTA Red Line, which stops two blocks east, at North and Clybourn.) After the event, Leopold has offered to go have drinks with Headline Club members and other interested journalists. We'll likely walk over to Weed's, 1555 N. Dayton St., which is a half-block south of the el.

"Unlike Jayson Blair, the stories Leopold wrote were true. It was the stories he told his family, editors, sources and competitors that were embellished and fabricated. You'll be surprised how long he got away with it!

"I hope to see you next Wednesday, and don't forget to check our website,, for other upcoming events. Early registration for SPJ's national convention, August 24-27 at the Hyatt Regency, closes next month.

"Best Regards,

"Jason Jedlinski, President, Chicago Headline Club"

The Beachwood Tip Line: Send secret indictments here.


Posted on June 29, 2006

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.

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