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The [Thursday] Papers

Memo to Cubs fans: Please Stop Believin'.

Toy Story
I was struck by a couple of oddities in the Tribune's lead front-page story this morning, "Toymaker Knew About Lead."

"In researching its records after inquiries from the Tribune, Jim Leonard, the company's chief operating officer, said Schylling found a June 2002 test report showing that the Thomas & Friends top contained lead paint on its wooden knob," the paper reports.

The company researched its records at the Tribune's request? As if it has a civic responsibility to be reasonably transparent about its operations?

For all I know, they fought the Trib tooth-and-nail and they're royally spinning, but on the face of it, it looks like Schylling, a family-run operation doing business around the globe, stepped up in the face of shameful past conduct.

After the test that found lead paint on the top's wooden handle, the company switched the handle to plastic. But it did not recall the wooden-handled tops.

"Asked why the company did not recall the toy at the time, Leonard said, 'I can't answer that . . . I had just started here.'"

Leonard, the chief operating officer, said that? You mean this hasn't been routed through a PR professional whose job is to obscure the truth?

Again, Schylling is guilty of, well, endangering children. They're wearing the black hat. It was just nice to hear even a little bit from someone in a position of responsibility.

It's too bad it's so unusual that it jumped out at me.

Pork Rinds
"Most rank-and-file lawmakers rejected the idea that so-called 'member initiatives' are dangled by legislative leaders or Gov. Rod Blagojevich as a quid pro quo for their votes," the Tribune reports. "But a number of legislators said they think the only way to ensure they will get their district allotments is to support a full-year spending plan expected to be voted on Thursday."

So quid pro quoish.

Delivery Rout
Is this a step toward becoming a one-newspaper town? Or to a dreaded JOA?

The Tribune Company is set to begin delivering the Sun-Times and 10 of its sister suburban papers.

Tribune does have a massive distribution network at its disposal. How 'bout dropping off coffee and donuts with the paper too?

Tower Failure
Do you think this morning's piece about a video "captivating" viewers is the Tribune editorial board's way of saying, Hey, we've heard of YouTube! in light of this embarrassing revelation first noted here?

Daley Dose
The mayor says the Chicago police are "not out of control."

Isn't that the problem? That this is just the way they operate?

Tony's Trial
A federal judge on Wednesday told the lawyers in the Tony Rezko case to shoot for a Feb. 25 trial date. Which is good news for Barack Obama. Under the scheduled to take the witness stand next week in his own defense. Now we know why Lombardo's lawyer, Rick Halprin, delayed his opening statement. Halprin can lay the groundwork to try to rehabilitate and introduce his client and aim for finding one sympathetic juror who can hang the case. Seems to me that's the only chance he's got, given the evidence we've seen so far.

Circus Act
Speaking of Clowns, the increasingly weird and distressingly desperate front page of the Sun-Times features the content-free arrival of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in town to make a movie.

At least they haven't tracked down some Chicago guy named Brad Pitt and asked him what it's like to share his name with a celebrity. Yet.

Hey, if you really wanna milk this thing, get creative. Why not try to enlist Jolie in a Chicago cause with big freakin' headlines like:

* "Save Chicago's Kids, Angelina! TIFs stealing from their education"

"Angelina: Help Save The CTA!"

"Please Find Out, Angelina: Who Hired Angelo Torres?"

Or better: "Angelina, Buy Our Newspaper!"

Sticker Shock
Seems to me the "Save Darfur" sticker did its job; it reminded a columnist and his readers of the horror still underway.

Kung Fu Et Tu
So an exchange between congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and a Nebraskan congressman got so heated that Junior asked the other guy if he wanted to step outside the Capitol and settle the matter.

But here's the good part:

"[T]he matter has received quite a bit of attention on Capitol Hill and in Omaha, Neb.," Mark Brown writes. "It might have never filtered back to us here, though, if it weren't for some eye-opening photos of Jackson demonstrating his kung fu moves, which became fodder Tuesday for the bloggers."

Because pokey old Chicago can't exactly be expected to cover its congressional delegation, even if one of its members threatens to clock the distinguished gentleman from the great state of Nebraska.

Role of a Lifetime
I am so game for this. Who's with me? Angelina?

Reply to:
Date: 2007-08-05, 11:46PM CDT

I'm a film maker about to make a short zombie film and I'm looking for some one to collaborate with me. Not to help with my film but to make their own. I plan on putting a DVD together with my zombie film along with 3 or 4 others and sell them. The zombie films can be completely different then mine or they can have similiar plots or they can tie in directly. In fact if you want to tie your film in directly, I think that would be a lot cooler. I'm shooting my zombie short next week or so. I'm going to ask anyone who is doing a film to have it be no less then 15 minutes long. Ours is only going to be 20 minutes, but with three or four others it will be worth buying in a DVD. Before shooting the film I will ask that you clear the script with me and get the paper work done for it so we can distribute it. There will be percentages involved. Thanks!

Mmm, zombies. Seriously. Who's with me?

The Beachwood Tip Line: Undead or alive.


Posted on August 9, 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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