The [Tuesday] Papers
This is just sad to watch.
The immediate decline of the Sun-Times under the return of Michael Cooke to the editorship is not only embarrassing, but effective in doing what its competitor finds so hard to do for itself: Making the Tribune look like a damn good newspaper.
Just compare today's front pages - and for the sake of this discussion, discount the myriad design flaws of a Sun-Times getting not only stupider by the day, but uglier. The big story at The Bright One? "EXCLUSIVE: Children & the Net: State Must Do More To Protect Kids From Online Sex Predators, Blagojevich and Topinka Say."
Candidates vow to protect the children! Only in the Sun-Times! Stop the presses!
Of course, the gubernatorial candidates had a debate last night and that didn't make the front page. Instead, we get fantasy plans for Internet police squads on an issue that has nothing to do with this election. Not only that, it appears that Gov. Blagojevich's people peddled their plan to the paper, which then got a response from Judy Baar Topinka, and that's their exclusive.
If you can stomach it, let's move on. "The Bad News? It Could Get Worse" the paper blares about the Cubs. I don't' know what that really means because the Cubs finished with the worst record in the National League, but it is the Cubs. But the paper never tells us how it could get worse. Maybe a better idea would have been a photo of Dusty Baker leaving town, or of the leading candidates for his old job - you know, the day's news.
Oh, what's this over here? "Attention! Chicago Fat Cats . . . We're Gonna Get You!" Well, this could be good. The Sun-Times investigative reporters are going to embarrass some rich people.
Um, no. It's a call deep inside the paper for photos of your "chubbie kitties." What is this, the Jefferson High Bugle?
To make matters worse, the Tribune's front page today is pretty much a perfect mix of stories, images, and graphic elements. The governor's debate; the horrific shooting at an Amish school (that didn't make the Sun-Times front page); Dusty Baker; an advance in the congressional sex scandal that the Sun-Times plastered on its front page on Monday with war-size headlines and today falls to a couple wire stories on page 24; and an important story about rising housing costs that puts Chicago second in the nation in the dubious rankings. You know - news.
At least the Cubs clean house every few years. If only the Sun-Times had a similar commitment to pretending not to be such losers.
1. Detroit: up 24.1 percent.
The upcoming mayoral campaign will be dominated by talk of corruption and ethics reform, as it should be, but what we won't hear about, unfortunately, is just what kind of city the candidates want us to live in.
AVC: How did Chicago affect the band's beginning?
On Saturday, the Tribune reported that Chicago Housing Authority Terry Peterson "resigned last month amid whispers inside City Hall that he would manage Mayor Richard Daley's re-election bid. With Daley yet to announce his intentions, Peterson was reserved about that possibility, saying he was entertaining 'a couple of offers.'"
Apparently those were offers of where he wanted his desk in the new campaign office. This morning, Fran Spielman purveys the mayor's spin that he hasn't decided whether to run even as she writes that his campaign manager getting down to business. "I don't believe the mayor would have had me come over here just to waste time doing this," Peterson told her.
But to the local press corps, it's not true until the mayor says it is.
Invisible Justice League
So George W. Bush will leave office at least 0-2.
In other news, "Bush On Short List For Next Cubs President."
It's almost as good as Todd Stroger pledging to restore trust in Cook County government last week and then ducking behind a curtain and running from questions. Had enough?
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Posted on October 3, 2006
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