Chicago - Oct. 11, 2019
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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. (tvguide.com)
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The [Thursday] Papers

"Once upon a time in America, Toni Morrison wrote in Beloved, her masterpiece, the presence of a black face in a newspaper would induce something close to horror in certain readers," Dwight Garner writes for the New York Times.

"That face wasn't there for any happy or noble reason. It wasn't even there because the black person had been killed or 'maimed or caught or burned or jailed or whipped or evicted or stomped or raped or cheated,' because those things didn't qualify as news. The purpose of the photo had to be more unusual.

"Over the course of her long and exceptional literary career, which included the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993, Morrison, who died on Monday at 88, brought a freight of news about black life in America (and about life, period) to millions of readers across the globe. Much of this news was of the sort that, in terms of its stark and sensitive awareness of the consequences of racism, opened an abyss at one's feet and changed the taste of the saliva in one's mouth."

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"The second lesson came a few weeks later, while on temporary night assignment for a week or two at police headquarters in Hyde Park, near the university," Seymour Hersh writes in Reporter: A Memoir of his City News days in Chicago The process had quickly become familiar: hang around with other reporters; ingratiate yourself with the desk sergeant; buy him all the coffee he wants; help him, if he asks, with last week's Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle; and wait for the radio to sound off. Late at night comes a report of a deadly fire in the black ghetto a few miles to the west, with many victims. Off I go.

"A shabby wooden frame house, twenty or so blocks north of my dad's cleaning store, was a pile of embers by the time I arrived. A cluster of bodies, wrapped in white sheeting, was lying in perfect order on a small lawn. They were wrapped in size - daddy bear, mommy bear, and three or four little bears. I was horrified. A distressed fire chief - or was it a cop? - told me that the best guess was that the father had gone berserk and set fire to the home, killing his wife and children, if they were his wife and children. I asked a lot of questions, but essentially got nowhere, though someone - perhaps a neighbor - gave me the names of those thought to be the dead, and some details about the family, if that was the family lying under the sheets.

"What a story, I thought, but I knew how much I didn't know. Still, I had to get to a pay phone and dictate what little I knew to rewrite. It was, I thought, a story that could end up on the front page. As I was yapping away, Mr. Dornfeld, he of the sometimes muddy boots, cut in on the call. There are traumatic events we remember all our life, and I remember every word he said: 'Ah, my good, dear, energetic Mr. Hersh. Do the, alas, poor, unfortunate victims happen to be of the Negro persuasion?" I said yes. He said, "Cheap it out." That meant that my City News dispatch would report the following, give or take a phrase: 'Five Negroes died in a fire last night on the Southwest Side.' It might also have included an address.

"I thought, having worked for years in a family store in a black area, that I knew a lot about racism. Dornfeld taught me that I had a lot to learn.

"There was one final lesson to learn just before I would go off for compulsory army training, after only seven or so months on the job at City News. It was my shameful, but unavoidable, involvement in what we now call self-censorship. I was back on overnight duty at the central police headquarters when two cops called in to report that a robbery suspect had been shot trying to avoid arrest. The cops who had done the shooting were driving in to make a report. Always ambitious, and always curious, I raced down to the basement parking lot in the hope of getting some firsthand quotes before calling in the story. The driver - white, beefy, and very Irish, like far too many Chicago cops then - obviously did not see me as he parked the car. As he climbed out, a fellow cop, who clearly had heard the same radio report I had, shouted something like, 'So the guy tried to run on you?' The driver said, 'Naw. I told the nigger to beat it and then plugged him.'"

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Blago Bullshit

Just an egregious job by Maggie Haberman and the New York Times.

No wonder so many find it so easy to believe Blago got a raw deal. The charges involving the Obama senate seat were easily the weakest. I wouldn't have even cared much if Blago was acquitted of those. It's the rest of the indictment that sent him to the pokey for so long - deservedly so.

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As an aside, let's not forget that Blago was utterly incompetent.

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Content-free statement taken seriously and tweeted out by esteemed local political reporter.

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It's not the first time the media has embarrassed itself covering Blago's travails. Can they get anything right?

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National media also forgetting - or ignorant of - Patti's role in her husband's schemes.

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Ivanka Wanka
Here's veteran Chicago Sun-Times reporter Lynn Sweet taking seriously Ivanka Trump and an unnamed White House official reading from a prepared statement. Really?

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A different approach by Jezebel: Ivanka Trump Learns How To Dog-Whistle.

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David Berman Was Alive And Living In Chicago
"David Berman, the reluctant songwriter and poet whose dry baritone and wry, wordy compositions anchored Silver Jews, a critically lauded staple of the 1990s indie-rock scene, died on Wednesday. He was 52," the New York Times, among a raft of others, reports.

"His death was announced by his record label, Drag City, which released music by Silver Jews and Berman's latest band, Purple Mountains."

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Highly recommended - for both fans and those unfamiliar with is work: This July interview with The Ringer.

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ChicagoReddit

Chicagoans without cars: from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

NHL Worst Plays of The Year - Day 25: Chicago Blackhawks Edition.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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Memo to New York Times (and every other newspaper out there): Hire more interesting people.

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The Beachwood McRibTipLine: Dropping rhymes.



Permalink

Posted on August 8, 2019


MUSIC - 25 Years Of Defiant Chicago Roots.
TV - The Real Climate Crisis Hypocrites.
POLITICS - How It's Playing In Russia.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Ross's Job To Lose.

BOOKS - What We Do To Whistleblowers.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Doomsday Chicago 2019.


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