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The [Thursday] Papers

The Sun-Times puts Tribune Company on trial today for its egregious management of the Cubs, and who can argue with them?

But can you imagine if the Sun-Times had owned the Cubs lo these many years? The mind reels. The Tribune Company hasn't so much mismanaged the Cubs as managed them just the way they want to - which is to say in their own interest but not necessarily in ours. The Sun-Times would have just mismanaged them out of cheap stupidity.

Mirror Mirror
"The Trib Has Ruined the Cubs," the Sun-Times declares. And the Sun-Times has ruined the Sun-Times.

Rip Van Sun-Times
The Sun-Times is also stuck in the past complaining about "a Tower full of bean-counters" after an off-season in which the Trib has spent $300 million. You guys just get back from a long vacation?

Church Mice
Meanwhile, it's the Tribune that has the story on its sports front about the TribCo's continuing desecration of Wrigley Field. The outfield doors will now carry advertising. For the Under Armour apparel company. Which, by the way, features Alfonso Soriano as spokesman. So that's how they're going to pay for him.

Wrigley hasn't had ads on the outfield walls since the 1930s, but Blunk says not to worry about the picture-perfect tableau being ruined by an itty bitty ad.

"Yes, it's a Norman Rockwell painting everyday," Cubs marketing director Jay Blunk told the Trib. "But that Norman Rockwell painting takes millions of dollars each year to maintain and keep at the standards we like to keep."

So . . . you have to ruin the Norman Rockwell painting to save it?

"It's a beautiful place and it draws people, but then again, it does limit your revenue steams and is quite expensive to maintain," Blunk says.

So . . . it draws people but limits revenue streams so you're going to make it less attractive in order to make more money? Kind of like cutting back on newsroom staff and retrenching your newspaper's offerings in order to increase circulation?

And we wonder how the Tribune Company found itself on the auction block.

Pull Wrigley's Plug
Just tear the damn thing down. It's too painful to watch this slow, lingering death. It's over. You ruined it. Move on. It's what you want anyway.

Cop Block
The Sun-Times makes an interesting (and commendable) endorsement in the 7th Ward today, eschewing both Darcel Beavers and Sandi Jackson in favor of 25-year police veteran Ron David.

Ward Heeler
Unfortunately, the paper then turns to the 8th Ward and endorses Michelle Harris, who was installed as Todd Stroger's replacement, "because this is one of the few wards where some residents actually brag about the level of city services they receive."

So . . . it's a good thing that the Daley Administration delivers city services based on the clout of the Stroger family? And Harris has had what to do with that exactly in her short time in office?

Abe Franken
An announcement speech way better than Obama's.

This Is Our Country
Unpaid Trust Fund Taxes Are Serious Business.

Heart of Dixie
On the heels of the Dixie Chicks' showing at the Grammy's, take a look back at Beachwood film critic Marilyn Ferdinand's take on Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing, which was screened at the Chicago International Film Festival last October.

Steno Pad
"To say Inspector General David Hoffman is trying to make an example of Cioch to show that it's a new day at City Hall is an understatement," Fran Spielman gushes, in today's dispatch from the Daley campaign headquarters.

Obama Time
Michelle Obama says this is "his time" and we dare not get in her husband's way.

Dear Leader
"What we need right now is a leader," Michelle Obama says, citing Obama's eight years under the thumb of Emil Jones as leadership beyond that of anything - as Lynn Sweet points out - that, oh, Bill Richardson showed as U.S. Secretary of Energy, ambassador to the United Nations, a staffer on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 14 years in Congress, and governor of New Mexico.

Real World Obama
Only in politics, Michelle Obama tells Sweet, "would insiders dare to look at those accomplishments and dare to have the audacity to say he is not ready."

Right. It would never happen when considering, say, corporate CEOs, pro quarterbacks, or political columnists. Not of it's "their time."

Duck Pond
Hockey Nights In America With the Quad City Mallards.

Car Pool
"[CTA Chairwoman] Brown complained that she saw four CTA buses broken down on the street, with passengers inside, while she was driving home from work on Tuesday."

Radio Inc.
"For those of you keeping track at home, listeners are now referred to as 'consumers,' disc jockeys are referred to as 'content,' and now there is a term for 'anything other than sales,' and it sounds like a sales term too. Still wonder why radio sucks?" Rick Kaempfer writes in his Media Notebook today, reacting to changes at the Loop and Q101.

Debra's Done
Pickett quits.

Barack Backlash
Now from the right.

* B.O. magazine, by Fox News' version of The Daily Show, in Inernet preview.

* "Jonathan Livingston Obama," by Ann Coulter, whom I absolutely hate to give the time of day to, and I find her highlighting of Obama's middle name in this piece vile, but who actually has some undeniably funny lines too.

Am I wrong to link to her?

Dreams of Obama
By the time this is done, he might wish he had kept a low-profile and run a stealth, grass-roots campaign instead of going the big-money celebrity route . . . or held off on announcing for another six months.

Falsani Fridays
Cathleen Falsani is also leaving the Sun-Times.

CORRECTION 2:26 P.M.: Cathleen Falsani is leaving her beat at the Sun-Times but will continue to write her Friday column as well as two books she has agreed to write for Zondervan in the next two years. Details here. Apologies, I goofed.

"While we believe Republican Tony Peraica is a qualified and experienced candidate who would be dedicated to reform, we fear his agenda would founder on the rocks of the county's Democratic domination, paralyzing his tenure. We therefore endorse Democrat Todd Stroger, the 8th Ward alderman and the son of the former president," the Sun-Times editorial board wrote last October. "We recognize the reality that if change is going to happen in this Democrat-dominated body, it's going to come from within the Democratic party.

From today's paper: "An unlikely, bipartisan alliance of commissioners, surrounded by union officials, offered a budget that would wipe out many high-level jobs held by politicians and their friends and relatives . . . their alternate budget came in response to County Board President Todd Stroger's budget plan, which would wipe out thousands of front-line jobs while preserving many higher-paying positions."

Junior Partner
"Stroger Backs Off Plan To Dilute His Power."

It doesn't matter; he's already irrelevant.

In Todd's Head
Do you think maybe he wishes he had just stayed in his safe and warm job as alderman?

Face Time
Stroger is reportedly growing a goatee to make himself look older. Memo to Todd: It's not your baby face that makes you look immature and incompetent, it's your behavior.

Daley Dose
"Mayor Daley 'turned a blind eye' to torture under onetime Police Cmdr. Jon Burge and conspired to cover up a pattern of police brutality, lawyers charged Wednesday."

Daley's response: "Mayors get sued every day."

Message: I don't care.

Phone Home
"Former AT&T Exec To Take Over State Higher Ed Board."

Line charges added to tuition bills.

Race Bait
Mary Mitchell asks today why some black lawmakers are supporting Hillary Clinton instead of Obama. Maybe she should ask the same question about about black support of Daley. The answer cuts two ways.

Sticker Stunt
Miguel del Valle pulls a campaign stunt and Fran Spielman writes it up just the way he wants.

Unasked question: Miguel, if you're elected city clerk, is this how you're going to spend your time - calling up currency exchanges and cracking down on those charging an extra twenty bucks? I mean, we all think that's wrong, but is it really the top of your agenda?

Clout Court
These are judges, people.

World Court
"The United States and Britain ranked as the worst places to be a child among 21 wealthy nations, according to a report by UNICEF released Wednesday. The Netherlands was the best, it said, followed by Sweden and Denmark."

Take that, blind American arrogance.

"Could it be that the Obama team did not want a splashy endorsement session with Blagojevich because of the scandals surrounding the governor and a controversial donor they share, the indicted Tony Rezko?" Lynn Sweet asks.

That didn't stop a splashy endorsement session with Daley. But I guess they're picking and choosing which corrupt public officials to align themselves with in public and which ones they'll just take money from behind closed doors. It's the new politics.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Clean out your closets.


Posted on February 15, 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.

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