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The [Tuesday] Papers

"Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposal to toughen the city's dog license rules got the go-ahead Monday from a City Council panel," the Tribune reports.

"The Budget Committee passed rules requiring a person who has a dog in public to be able to produce a registration tag or face daily fines. The change, part of the mayor's annual management ordinance, will be considered Wednesday by the full City Council."

A) Show me your dog papers!

B) Vee haf vayz of making your dog talk.

C) Next: red-light camera dog crossings.

"If the person accompanying the dog can't produce the license, the official will be able to immediately issue a citation ranging from $30 to $200. The fines will continue each day until the dog gets a license."

Or until Rahm balances the budget - whichever comes first.


D) TV show idea: Dog Patrol 911!

Accountability is the watchword of the day, namely because Bears coach Marc Trestman doesn't seem to have any.

But every time journalists get on their high moral horse - particularly sports journalists, whose moral horse is the highest - I wonder if they see what goes on in their own house or simply choose to ignore it.

For example, Sun-Times editor Jim Kirk doesn't seem to feel the need to hold anyone accountable for Dave McKinney's resignation but Dave McKinney. And he and bossman Michael Ferro don't seem to feel that they are accountable to the reporting staff, which has petitioned for answers but so far, to my knowledge, received none.

The editorial board at the paper doesn't seem to think that they should be held accountable; they're a bunch of no comments, even as they moralize to every other institution in the city.

And no one in the Sun-Times editing chain is talking, despite allegations reported by Robert Feder that Ferro pressured them about coverage of the man who is now our governor-elect.

Is no one accountable?

So when Rick Morrissey writes a column headlined "Bears Fans Deserve Better Than This Clueless Crew," I can't help but simply substitute Sun-Times readers for Bears fans.

It's sort of like newspapers that have gone through bankruptcy wailing about the financial mismanagement of our pols. Times are tough everywhere. Nepotism? Check our local newsrooms. Corruption? You'll find that there too.

When I was young and more romantic about the newsrooms I hoped to work in someday, I imagined them full of people who were the antithesis of those found in Corporate America; that was one of the draws to a career in journalism. The journalistic worldview had no time for bullshit; we called others out for theirs, so surely would be self-aware enough to not engage in it ourselves. Boy was I wrong about that.

Now, I agree that Trestman's press conference on Monday was a disaster. Here's what I wrote to our very own Jim "Coach" Coffman in an e-mail about it:

"I've been a bit of a Trestman dead-ender, but listening to his press conference right now, well, he's lost me. I'm sad. I really liked the guy."

But when I read the Tribune's David Haugh complaining that Bears chairman George McCaskey should have fired someone to show "organizational accountability," all I can think about is all those Tribune Company chairmen who were never accountable to anything but their gilt-lined pockets as all measure of bad behavior occurred on their watches. And while I can't be sure what it's like now, I can say that when I was at the Tribune I encountered the most dysfunctional newsroom culture I've still ever encountered in my career. Trestman's blindness would've fit right in.

(And then there's the Tribune Company's ownership of the Cubs, a franchise famous for not holding anyone, especially its players, accountable.)

The guys on The Score all want accountability, too. Can we get some from Score owner CBS, too, then? Dan Bernstein writes in his CBS2 Chicago column that the Bears have "a weak, permissive culture devoid of authority and accountability."

Have you seen a CBS2 newscast? Hardly a show goes by without a multitude of simple errors, much less media sins of much greater consequence than misspelling everyone's name. Where is the authority and accountability? It's almost like Marc Trestman is the news director - which would probably be an improvement.

One of the loudest voices out there belongs to David Kaplan, who is on the radio - The Game, in the morning, though virtually no one is listening according to the ratings books - and the TV - on the Comcast Sports Network in the afternoon. Comcast! Talk about organizational failures.

Don't get me started about whatever anyone on NBC Chicago is saying. If you recall my experience there, you know there is no accountability there - all the way up to NBC's executive suites. If NBC ran the Bears and followed the formula that I saw, Trestman and Mel Tucker would have been promoted and given raises by now.

So yes, accountability. For everyone. 'Cause I'm not sure the Bears' organizational failure is the worst one in town.


I'm not really sure if I wrote that item the way I wanted to. I cut a lot out. I don't have time to really craft these things. I originally (favorably) referenced Bernie Lincicome and Bob Verdi. Also, the bottom line of the hapless Bears is still much better than that of those who cover them. Not defending the Bears, just sayin'.

Who's Accountable
The Sun-Times's website is not even 3-6.

Accountability In Justice
"Nine months after a nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, not a single cop has been disciplined for letting Richard J. 'R.J.' Vanecko get away for nearly 10 years with killing David Koschman," the Sun-Times reports.

You know who else wasn't held accountable? Bruce Raunocchio.

The Final Cut
I suppose sports allows us to experience a range of emotions about things that ultimately don't matter. But ultimately what does matter is what counts. Today is Veterans Day, for example. Are we truly holding anyone to account about those things?

See also:
* An Innocent Man, Tortured By The U.S., Asks The U.N.: Where's The Accountability?

* Is Obama Stalling So The Republicans Can Bury The CIA Torture Report?

* Obama Authorizes 1,500 More Troops To Iraq, Doubling Force.

* Obama's ISIS War Is Illegal.

* Pay Any Price: Greed, Power and Endless War.

"In a contentious divorce, Chicago billionaire Ken Griffin has said Anne Dias Griffin violated his rights by revealing that they went to a couple's therapy session days before their wedding," the Tribune reports.

Is this news?

Oh, I'm sure it will get a ton of clicks, but then again, so would naked photos of the erstwhile couple. That doesn't make it the public's business.

Use some judgement, please. Unless the goal is to exploit a rich couple's divorce for profit, which I think it is.


My view is that a reporter surely should keep an eye on all the legal filings - it's a chance to potentially glean some information about each Griffin's business practices and political relationships. That's in the public interest. Ken Griffin, in particular, bears scrutiny as an immensely wealthy hedge funder and one of Bruce Rauner's biggest backers.

But couples counseling? Please, let's keep our eye on the ball.


TrackNotes: A Show About Nothing
A mugging in broad daylight that nobody saw.

The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Metalucifer, Jaill, Gerald Dowd, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Starset, and Garland Jeffreys.


* Is Fareed Zakaria Accountable?

* The Death Ball That Zorn And Kass Presumably Refused To Watch.

* The Ross Perot Narrative That Won't Die.

* Problems At Chicago's Polls.


A sampling.




The Beachwood Tip Line: Gift cards available.


Posted on November 11, 2014

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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