Chicago - Mar. 19, 2022
Music TV Politics Sports Books People Places & Things
Must-See TV
Army Of Darkness
5 p.m.
A discount-store employee is time-warped to a medieval castle, where he is the foretold savior who can dispel the evil there. Unfortunately, he screws up and releases an army of skeletons. (
Weather Derby
Tribune: 51/37
Sun-Times: Ferro/McKinney
Weather Channel: 44/41
Ntl Weather Service: 54/43
BWM*: 82/12
Beachwood Bookmarks
K-Tel Classics
WKRP in Cincinnati
So You've Decided To Be Evil
St. Paul Saints
Nye's Polonaise Room
The Arcata Eye
Roadside USA
This Day In . . .
Onion History
Weird Al History
Baseball History
Beachwood History
History History
Spy Magazine History
#OnThisDate History
Under Suspicion
Find Your Towed Car
Cable TV Complaints
Freedom of Information
The Expired Meter
The Mob & Friends
Stolen Bike Registry
O'Hare Music Tracker
Report Corruption (city)
Report Corruption (state)
Scoundrels, State
Scoundrels, Federal
The Odds
Random Flight Tracker
Casting Calls
Cosmic Log
Buy Stamps
Beachwood Blogroll
A Handy List
Beachwood Ethics Statement
How We Roll
Today's Horoscope
Liberties will be taken.
Do We Sudoku?
No, but we do do moose stuff, and that can be anything you want it to be. Except Sudoku.
Losing Lottery Numbers
8, 25, 39
Daily Affirmation
I am open and receptive to new avenues of income. (
Knowing that a person may be unwittingly in danger of an assault imposes a moral duty to warn them.
Now Playing
Psychodrama/Marshall Law
Letters to the Editors
Tip Line
"The Papers" archive
Beachwood Link Buttons
Media Kit/Advertising

The [Wednesday] Papers

"Little League International stripped Chicago's Jackie Robinson West baseball team of its national title following a boundary remap that Little League International now says allowed the team to bring in star players from outside its boundaries," Mark Konkol reports for DNAinfo Chicago.

"Officials from the Williamsport, Pa.-based league awarded the title to the Nevada team Jackie Robinson beat in the championship game, suspended manager Darold Butler from Little League activity, and removed Michael Kelley, the top administrator from Illinois District 4, which oversees several leagues on Chicago's South Side."


Thanks to Anthony Spano for reminding me of this tweet from last August:


I haven't caught up with the coverage yet, but our very own Jim "Coach" Coffman, who is deeply involved in youth sports including the Positive Coaching Alliance, sent in his initial thoughts:

"One thing we can take away from the Jackie Robinson West fiasco is that it is way, way past time to stop over-hyping the Little League World Series. Just because ESPN devotes an insane amount of prime-time coverage to the event every year doesn't mean it is more important than thousands of other big youth sports events held in the USA every year.

"It will also be fascinating to watch how this story plays out. i believe it was obvious back in August that District 4 had cheated but when it was only neighboring suburban Little Leagues raising a ruckus, Little League believed they could call it sour grapes and just ride it out.

"Someone else must have ratcheted up the pressure in the last month (maybe the folks from Las Vegas?).

"Also, Jackie Robinson sure wasn't shy about running up the score against those neighboring Little League teams (they beat Evergreen Park 43-2) so maybe there's a little karma there (although holding down scores is tricky in baseball - you can't tell kids to strike out on purpose)."

Debating Rahm
For my real-time commentary on Tuesday night's mayoral debate, check out @BeachwoodReport; most of the tweets use the hashtag #cbs2mayor.

Now, on to the coverage . . .

"Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday coolly defended his record on crime, unemployment, education and contracting issues pivotal to black voters who put him in office but abandoned him in droves after he closed a record 50 public schools," Fran Spielman reports for the Sun-Times.

Once again I must wonder: Is she watching the same debates I am?

I've been awarding Rahm debate victories - despite my vehement disagreement with the content of what he's been saying - so don't get me wrong. I believe I'm observing objectively here.

What I saw last night was Rahm stumbling badly for the first time in the campaign, even losing his cool enough to equate the three reporters doing the questioning to his three teenagers at home.


Also weird: how Spielman reports on some of last night's direct attacks on Rahm.

"You've amassed a $30 million campaign war chest to rewrite history. Every ad that you've shown has been repudiated by the very groups you claim to help. What do you say to the people that your ads brag about and they say to you that you've screwed them?" Fioretti asked as live audience let loose a chorus of oohs and aahs.

Emanuel coolly and calmly stuck to his scripted talking points about his signature education initiatives.

"Four years ago, half the kids in the city of Chicago used to get a half-day of kindergarten . . . The kids paid the consequences because a lot of elected officials were complicit with their complacency. They allowed our kids to get a half-day of kindergarten," Emanuel said, apparently referring to Fioretti.

"Every child now . . . has a full-day of kindergarten, regardless of where they live. Every child no longer has the shortest school day or the shortest school year. Our community colleges are finally focused on giving people both jobs and careers. And we're gonna make sure that families do not go in the poor house trying to provide for their children a college education and a career that comes with it."

If you'll notice, Rahm didn't answer the attack. I don't know why he should get credit for that. And Spielman doesn't fact-check and clarify the attack - which is true in that groups like those who got the city's coal plants shut down are angry that the mayor is taking credit - or Rahm's response. She just prints his claims without vetting. Why not just hire stenographers instead of reporters, then? Might save some money.


"A lot of elected officials, including the one whose endorsement I just gladly received as well as the sitting U.S. Secretary of Education in the administration I once served, were complicit . . . and I also said nothing while supporting those gentlemen," Rahm added in an alternate universe in which he tells the truth.


And then this:

Four years ago Mr. Mayor, you promised to make Chicago a safer city. Four years later, there have been 10,000 shootings in Chicago, 1,800 homicides. Do you feel any personal responsibility at knowing that all of these things happened on your watch and you failed to keep your promise to hire 1,000 additional police officers?" Garcia asked.

Once again, Emanuel stayed cool and stuck to the script.

"Too many kids in the city of Chicago have had their childhood stolen because of gun violence when they should hear the sounds of laughter," the mayor said, using a line he repeats often.

"We are fighting gun violence. It's been part of my life, my whole life, fighting to make sure I take on the NRA gun lobby and make sure that our streets are safe. And I do bear, and everybody bears who's an adult, an accountability to give our children back their" childhoods.

Rahm may have stuck to the script, but he looked anything but cool when he did so - and the restless live audience wasn't having any of it. Then again, Rahm's audience wasn't the South Shore denizens at the debate site but those watching at home.

And oh, he didn't answer the question again. That's supposed to be a demerit in our business, but Spielman has apparently never gotten the memo.



The Emanuel campaign is confident the mayor managed to get through five debates - all of them crunched into a tight, two-week window - without allowing his opponents to draw blood or prove themselves to be a viable alternative at a time when Chicago faces enormous financial challenges.

"The other candidates have shown themselves to be without ideas or solutions," said an Emanuel campaign adviser, who asked to remain anonymous.

"Fairly obvious to anyone watching. At some point, you have to say more than, 'Rahm stinks.' None have done that."

Did the adviser ask to remain anonymous because they were so embarrassed they were allowed to get away with saying something like that to a major metropolitan newspaper while remaining anonymous?

Or was the adviser really Spielman? Because it might as well have been.


The Tribune's account is weird in its own way, giving away the top of its story to a lame mayoral campaign attack on Chuy Garcia that came in a press release - and isn't new.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is lodging pay-to-play allegations against a challenger over a $1,500 campaign contribution even as the mayor has faced sharp criticism for raising millions of dollars from a pool of elite donors who have received some form of benefit from City Hall.

Before the final debate of the campaign Tuesday night and at two recent candidate forums, Emanuel and his campaign aides have taken aim at Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia for accepting the contribution from a red light camera company the day before Garcia voted to allow suburban River Forest to install one of the firm's cameras near county Forest Preserve land.

Given the Tribune's massive investigation of the nexus of Rahm's donors and City Hall actions, this attack is a laugh. Also, $1,500?

And the Trib does note:

Emanuel's hammering of Garcia's $1,500 contribution comes after a Tribune investigation found that about 60 percent of the mayor's roughly 100 top donors who have contributed $14 million to his campaign have received some form of benefit from City Hall. The benefits have ranged from city contracts and city approvals for massive developments to pension and legal work and help with federal regulators.

But it's hard to see how the paper allowed Team Rahm to not only put the Garcia attack - which Garcia has repeatedly defended pretty persuasively - not only into the bloodstream of its coverage as if it's valid or has some equivalency to the paper's findings about the mayor's administration, but as the lead to its debate story when Rahm tried everything he could to avoid raising the charge himself. He couldn't even look Garcia in the eye when he finally did, forced by moderators to ask a question of another candidate instead of looking at the camera and addressing the viewers at home.

That's when Bob Fioretti had the line of the night, and really, the campaign; Team Fioretti quickly memorialized it on Twitter due to the response:

That line does not appear in the Tribune article.



"We made sure we changed the culture in city government," said Emanuel, who left the forum without taking questions from reporters afterward as the other four candidates did.

After a debate last week, Emanuel twice was asked to discuss the Tribune's findings, but he would not directly answer the questions.

Rahm may have actually bled ordinary patronage hiring from city government, but he sure amped up the kind of secrecy we've seen for decades.



Emanuel did speak to an issue raised in the Tribune investigation that showed how the mayor has used his influence in Washington, D.C., to boost his campaign fundraising. In that story, the Tribune detailed that Emanuel flew on a private jet with trading firm executives who have donated nearly $370,000 to his campaign to meet with federal regulators and lobby against regulations that would have cost the firms millions of dollars.

"The decision being made was going to determine whether the industry that's here in Chicago would leave and go to New York," Emanuel said of the meeting with federal regulators. "That industry is worth about 30,000 jobs and huge economic opportunity to the city of Chicago."

Emanuel did not answer whether it was appropriate for him to fly on the private jet with the trading firm executives or accept campaign contributions tied to the companies.

Right. Rahm missed - purposely so - the point.

Also, he's blasted Fioretti - rightly though ironically so, in my book - on supporting TIF funds for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Fioretti's response: They were going to leave.


Barbara Byrd-Bennett Caught In Another Big Fat Lie
Remember the tale CPS told about pulling Persepolis from its bookshelves? About as true as a Brian Williams account of flying over Iraq. In Local Book Notes.

Meet Chicago's Worst Deadheads
Plus: Lydia Loveless remembers Shania Twain. In Local Music Notebook.


* The World's Largest, Most Beloved Laundromat Is In Berwyn.

* The $10 Home In Geneva That Nobody Wants.

* China Man Pawns 283 Pairs Of Jordans.

* Brian Williams Was Never A Field Reporter And Wanted Jay Leno's Job.


A non-debate sampling.




The Beachwood Tip Line: Operators standing by.


Posted on February 11, 2015

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.


Search The Beachwood Reporter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Follow BeachwoodReport on Twitter

Beachwood Radio!