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The [Tuesday] Papers

1. Our world today.

2. Ald. Shirley Coleman (16th), who is also a reverend, did not return calls to the Sun-Times for its story about her financial relationship with a real estate consultant accused of fraud in several civil lawsuits. Coleman apparently asked What Would Jesus Do? and He said, "No comment."

3. The Beachwood Reporter's exclusive that Richard M. Daley is running for re-election was finally picked up by another media outlet, though the BR wasn't credited. "Mayor Daley is still pretending that he hasn't decided to run for a sixth term, but he's in - either that or new campaign manager Terry Peterson just stepped down from his job as CHA chief for nothing," the Sun-Times editorial page says today.

Wonder how long it will take for the Sun-Times news pages to break the story.

Meanwhile, the Tribune is pretending its still in the dark, too. A caption under a photo of the mayor on Monday said: "The million-dollar question is whether Mayor Richard M. Daley will run for re-election."

Really? For 50 cents I already read in the Tribunethat the mayor has tapped Peterson to run his re-election campaign, even if the paper refused to acknowledge that this means there is a campaign.

Even The New York Times last week refused to state the truth without the mayor's blessing.

"Mr. Daley declined this week to say whether he would seek a sixth term, despite indications that his political supporters were organizing for another campaign," the Times said.

Indications? He hired a campaign manager! And it's not as if political supporters are organizing without his direction.

You don't need the mayor to officially announce the sky is blue to make it true.

4. The Daley photo with the million-dollar caption accompanied a rare piece of fine work by the usually messy and incoherent Dennis Byrne, which he questions the media's assumptions about the mayor's control of the city's public schools and public housing - how he got it, if and why he wanted it, and what he's done with it.

Why do reporters assume it is a good thing to have the mayor - any mayor - control public schools and public housing? Why do they assume Daley's control has been a success - when the evidence is middling at best? Could it be because that's what Daley's handlers tell them? That the message has so successfully been inculcated into their minds that they no longer question basic assumptions?

5. According to state election board records, Daley's campaign fund is still paying Dana S. Herring $12,500 a month and AKP Message and Media $5,000 a month. That's A as in Axelrod.

6. Please try to tell me that The Beachwood Reporter's Fall TV Preview doesn't put every other preview out there to shame.

7. "Google CEO To Join Apple Computer Board."

Might make one wonder if the Tribune Company or the Sun-Times Media Group, as Hollinger is now called, ought to put someone from Google on their board. Or better yet, someone from Apple. Mmmm, iPaper . . .

8. "The nation's median household income rose slightly faster than inflation last year for the first time in six years," The New York Times reported last week, citing Census Bureau figures.

"The rise, however, had little to do with bigger paychecks - in fact, both men and women earned less in 2005 than 2004. Rather, census officials said, more family members were taking jobs to make ends meet, and some people made more money from investments and other sources beyond wages . . .

"While the economy has been strong by most measures for the past several years, its benefits have not translated into improvements in the standard of living for many people."

Meanwhile, the Tribune editorial page reports that, according to polls, Europeans want more vacation time. Not Americans, apparently, who, the paper says, are "more likely to wonder with profound bemusement as to what in the world we would do with all of that time on our hands. Take a second job, maybe."

God, it must be cushy being a Tribune editorial page writer.

9. Employee of the Month. (via Rick Kaempfer)

10. Patricia Craig and Mary Shulatz of Chicago, and Dorothy Brauweiler of Oswego want to know how much ComEd is spending on ads telling us our rates are going up. Good question.

11. Sun-Times radio listing: "10 a.m. - The Roland S. Martin Show, WVON-AM (1450): The host tackles hot-button topics that affect the black community."

The rest of us, too.

12. "Is Katie Couric Good Enough?" Apparently so. After all, "Couric landed an exclusive interview with President Bush." As opposed to, say, this exclusive interview with President Bush. I wonder how they do it.

13. "In the eight months ending last May, Justice attorneys declined to prosecute more than nine out of every 10 terrorism cases sent to them by the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other federal agencies. Nearly 4 in 10 of the rejected cases were scrapped because prosecutors found weak or insufficient evidence, no evidence of criminal intent or no evident federal crime."

Perhaps we've been terrorizing ourselves for five years.

14. Mary Laney is right. Appeasement doesn't work. It's time for the Sun-Times to cancel her column.

15. John Kass won't call her out by name, but he's talking about Sneed here. What say you, John Barron, editor of the Sun-Times? Do you condone her flackery?

16. This is kind of the problem with anonymous comments. Marketers and political operators already deploy anonymous commenters in viral campaigns. For all I know, Zorn and Roustubuot are the same person.

17. The Tribune editorial page blames the troops.

18. Aside from failing to adequately acknowledge that the public ownership model has utterly destroyed the newspaper industry, Phil Rosenthal's piece Sunday about the dangers of newspapers moving back to a private ownership model failed to mention the non-profit model that has worked so well for the St. Petersburg Times and a few other papers.

Rosenthal also wonders, for example, about the agenda a Yusef Jackson would bring to the table should he acquire the Sun-Times one day, as he would like. As opposed to what, the agenda of Tribune Company executives? Or the agenda of Conrad Black and David Radler, who owned the Sun-Times when Rosenthal was a reporter there? We know Radler stuck his hands all over the place in that newsroom, with nary a peep out of the staff and their editors, John Cruickshank and Michael Cooke, who are still there. Let's have a public accounting of Radler's influence on editorial matters, and Cooke and Cruickshank's appeasement; then we can move on to worrying about Yusef.

19. I'm not clear about whether these stories - "City Denies Feds Seized Data" and Feds Seize Records of Daley Aide" - are talking about the same records, but in any case racketeering indictments are just around the corner, aren't they?

The Beachwood Tip Line: Undeniable. And unindicted.


Posted on September 5, 2006

MUSIC - Lyric Opera Strike Settled.
POLITICS - USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Come On, Vic!

BOOKS - Chicago Book Haul: The Dial.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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