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The [Tuesday] Papers

To little apparent public reaction, the student newspaper at the College of DuPage published the now-infamous Muhammad cartoons on Friday, though the Chicago Tribune noted (in a brief report that I'm not sure even made the city editions) that the cartoons were hard to find on campus because "most of the free papers had been removed from distribution bins," a circumstance under investigation by campus police.

You can see the cartoons with accompanying explanation by the editors of the College of DuPage Courier in this PDF.

It might seem like the editors of the Courier are late to the party, but the cartoons are still the subject of great debate even right here in Chicago.

The Tribune, which has not published the cartoons, covered a panel discussion in late April at the University of Chicago about the U.S. media's response to the cartoon controversy, though the same panel was blogged more interestingly here by Scott Gordon, who has since become a Beachwood contributor.

Just last week, the McCormick Tribune Foundation Freedom Museum hosted a panel discussion on the matter as well that featured a member of the Tribune editorial board, two Northwestern University professors, and the executive director of Interfaith Youth Core. (Or at least they were scheduled to - I couldn't find evidence on their Website or anywhere else that the event actually ocurred.)

And on Saturday, the Tribune published a cartoon cleverly inserting the controversy into the silliness over the Spanish-language national anthem that was drawn by the Green Bay Press-Gazette's Joe Heller (yes, the Green Bay Press-Gazette has an editorial cartoonist but the Chicago Tribune does not). It went like this:

TV newscaster: Muslim anger over the Muhammad cartoons seems to have died down.

Joe Sixpack: Good! I just never understood why they got so worked-up over it!

TV newscaster: In other news, the Star-Spangled Banner was sung in Spanish today.

Joe Sixpack: That song is sacred!

David Blaine: Next
David Blaine: Immolated Alive
Blaine spends one week wrapped in cord, suspended in a giant glass container and repeatedly doused with kerosene. After a thorough soaking, he is lit on fire, thereby literally bathing mid-town Manhattan in his self-important glow.

David Blaine: Fried Alive
Blaine has himself repeatedly egg-battered and breaded over the course of a week, at the end of which he dips his left hand into a deep-fat frier and allows curious passers-by to pull his fingers clean off.

David Blaine: Leeched Alive
Recycling the giant fish tank used in Drowned Alive, Blaine spends a week wading in chest-high pond water stocked with 5,000 hungry bloodsuckers, including three ABC producers.

David Blaine: Depressed Alive
In light of the immolation, deep-fried amputation, and leech-induced blood loss, Blaine's final televised special sees him sealed in a sound-proof container for one week, howling tearfully at the injustice of it all. During a live, two-hour prime time special, Blaine beats his head against the side of his specially-designed box until he loses consciousness.

See also: David Blaine: A List

- Natasha Julius and Tim Willette

Todd's Turn
Mary Mitchell outlines today the delicate problem surrounding a Todd Stroger ascendancy to Cook County board president. See, this is what you get. Corruption for some means you have to allow corruption for all. And cynicism begets cynicism - the breeding ground for opportunism. In other words, neither the Madigans, the Lipinskis, the Hynes's, the Burkes, or the Daleys have demonstrated civic leadership. Or rather, they showed bad leadership by opening the door to this ridiculousness.

Which isn't to say I don't see the other side. Society is great at asking minorities and/or the poor to exhibit greater moral character than we expect of whites and/or the rich.

But there is also something wrong with the argument put forward by the Stroger people. Alderman Arenda Troutman is wrong to say that to not allow Todd Stroger to inherit a public office would be to employ a double-standard. The problem with Troutman and other Stroger supporters is that they are countering a double-standard with hypocrisy. Nobody wins in that game, except the cynical insiders. The rest of us - the taxpaying citizens - are once again the losers.

Pay Pal
Gov. Rod Blagojevich says he will veto post-election pay increases state legislators are angling for.

Pete Springsteen
In his print column today, Eriz Zorn extolls the virtues of Bruce Springsteen's new recording of Pete Seeger songs. On his Change of Subject blog, you can watch the video of "Pay Me My Money Down."

But after listening/watching, tell me if you don't agree that the Boss owe a little something to Billy Bragg and Wilco's two Mermaid Avenue volumes.

Zorn also replies to my mention of him in The [Political] Papers: A Colbert Report. I plan to respond in kind later today.

Geography Crisis Spreads to Adults
"An editorial Thursday on the shaky state of Americans' geography knowledge incorrectly suggested that North and South Korea are not on the same continent as Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. All five nations are in Asia."

- Tribune

Adults Stupid In Other Ways, Too
Two-thirds of Americans don't know all the words to the national anthem (when sung in English), reports say. And of the one-third who say they do, only 39 percent know the words that follow "whose broad stripes and bright stars." It's "through the perilous fight."

Most of those surveyed, though, could adequately describe the difference between an enchilada, a burrito, and a soft-shell taco.

And one in five Americans surveyed by the McCormick Tribune Foundation Freedom Museum say the right to own pets and drive cars are First Amendment rights.

Unlike the enchilada item, this is not a joke.

Drunk Tank
In more teenage alarmism, the Tribune opened its "The Spring Drinking Season" editorial yesterday with this: "Using powerful new imaging technology, scientists now suggest that the human brain isn't fully mature until the mid-20s."

Good grief. Is someone over there having trouble with their kids? Because the editorial page really isn't the appropriate place to work it out. Besides, as the saying goes, you're only young once, but you can be immature forever.

Cops and Robbers
Robert Feder asks whether Peter Karl should be profiling local murder cases for WMAQ-Channel 5 when he's also getting paid $468,000 a year to produce and host CrimeWatch, the biweekly crime prevention series for the Chicago Police Department that airs on various channels at various times to various people who find themselves watching involuntarily due to sheer inertia.

Wait a minute. Karl gets $468,000 of taxpayer money to produce and host CrimeWatch, the biweekly crime prevention series for the Chicago Police Department that airs on various channels at various times to various people who find themselves watching involuntarily due to sheer inertia?

The Beachwood Tip Line: A First Amendment right. After the thing about owning pets.


Posted on May 9, 2006

MUSIC - December In Chicago Drill.
TV - Don't Weaken Media Ownership Limits.
POLITICS - Another SRO Crisis.
SPORTS - TrackNotes: Mom.

BOOKS - How Stereo Was Sold To A Skeptical Public.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicago Footwork King's Bail Battle.

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