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The [Tuesday] Papers

Still awaiting the next installment of the Sun-Times saga involving its hinky endorsement process and unanswered allegations that owner Michael Ferro pressured editors over their coverage of Bruce Rauner; that installment, teased by his Crain's colleague Greg Hinz, is expected from Rich Miller of the Capitol Fax Blog.

In the meantime, you can catch up with my analysis that irrefutably shows the Sun-Times is not being straight with you - and quite frankly, isn't very bright - on The Beachwood Radio Hour #28: The Sun-Times Is A Hot Mess.

Among the highlights: The Sun-Times's shifting and conflicting explanations of why they got back in the endorsement business; the paper's broken promise to readers about their process; and the weaselly shiftiness of publisher/editor Jim Kirk and editorial page editor Tom McNamee.

The Great Suburban Sell-Off
According to Robert Feder, the Tribune is buying all of the Sun-Times's suburban papers.

This is shocking because it was widely believed - and I think pretty much proven - that the suburban papers were the only ones making money. So what's the deal? Some possibilities:

A) The Sun-Times is hard up for cash. Very hard up.

B) The Sun-Times owes a shitload to the Tribune for printing and distribution and this is the only way they can meet that obligation.

C) Michael Ferro is an idiot.

D) Ferro's group is getting ready to cash out.

I would vote for all of the above.

Two Broken Clocks Twice A Day
"Facing off for the final time in the contentious race for governor, Gov. Pat Quinn decried 'savage cuts' in a Bruce Rauner budget, while the Republican challenger repeatedly branded the Democratic chief executive a 'phony' and a 'failure,'" the Tribune reports.

Those are the only truths the candidates told all night - they are both right on those counts.

But you can stop reading the Trib right there; for the best analysis on the planet, check out @BeachwoodReport or just peruse the hashtag #ilgovdebate.

So Long Stephanie
City Treasurer Stephanie Neely Exits As She Entered: A Tool.

And yet, Bruce Rauner is super pissed Pat Quinn didn't put her on his ticket.

Legacy Habits That Won't Die
Here's another example of how traditional newspaper story structures do a disservice to readers.

Midway through "Chicago Blows Through Police OT Budget By $23 Million," the story abruptly shifts to an increase in cable taxes and then to a series of other tacked on items. That's a how a "meeting story" is written. It doesn't have to be, though. A chart of agenda items and discussion thereof might work. Or simply separate items as blog posts. (I've been saying for years: Every beat a blog.) Even a series of bullet points, for godsakes. It's almost as if the paper doesn't care if anyone reads these stories (and they are written that way too). Stop being so bored by the news; it's contagious.

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It's almost as if reporters (and editors) are just checking boxes instead of envisioning folks actually reading their work. How can you better convey what might seem to you to be mundane budget hearings you think no one cares about? Here's a clue: Everybody cares about how their tax dollars are spent; everybody cares about their safety; and everybody who has cable or wants cable but can't afford it cares about cable bills. Making a trifecta of hot-button issues that make people's blood boil is quite a feat.

Cop Shop
By the way, we shouldn't assume it would be better to hire more full-time police officers instead of running up overtime. For one thing, no one is really talking about the actual long-term costs. Those costs would be worth it, of course, if lives were saved. (Just like other social service spending we never talk about that saves lives.) But as counter-intuitive as it may seem, there is no proven correlation between the number of officers on a police force and reductions in crime. And even if there were such a correlation, crime is trending downward (I hate to tell you for the umpteenth time) - and neighborhoods where crime is the worst are already pretty saturated with cops. It's an important discussion to have, but we're still having it fact-free.

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See also:
* Chicago Homicides & Police Personnel.

* Police Staffing In America's 5 Largest Cities.

* More On The Police Manpower Debate.

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Exclusive! Bears Edge Patriots In Epic Ending!
Get the scoop with most excellent commentary here!

Millionaires Not So Sweet On Halloween
Going as Scrooges.

The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Hunters, Uh Bones, Ultimate Painting, Angus & Julia Stone, Pomplamoose, White Fence, Eddie Motta, Satan, Blue Dream, Yelle, The Ladies & Gentlemen, Coven 13, The Glitch Mob, Skrillex, Gaslight Anthem, Alkaline Trio, and Plumb.

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BeachBook
* Russia Investigates More Than 200 McDonald's.

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TweetWood

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Debatable.



Permalink

Posted on October 21, 2014


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Media Sexism And Weinstein.
POLITICS - Illinois' Dirty 34.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Action Jackson.

BOOKS - Chicago History Museum Card Catalog Going Digital.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: War Of The Rainbows.


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