The [Wednesday] Papers
By Steve Rhodes
"One superlative or cheery word followed another.
"Vibrant. Outstanding. Highly professional. Excellent. Beautiful. Pleased. Fantastic. Energetic. Dynamic.
"Listening to the top two officials of the International Olympic Committee's evaluation commission deliver a relentlessly upbeat assessment of its trip to Chicago, you would think there is no need for them to visit the other three finalists for the 2016 Summer Olympics."
- Philip Hersh, "IOC Evaluators Like Chicago's Bid"
Now, Philip Hersh is a veteran reporter specializing in international sports who knows more about the Olympics in his littlest fingernail than I'll ever know, but I'm willing to make a guarantee I have far more confidence in than the city's pledge that they won't have to tap their taxpayer reserve to cover the financial losses of hosting the Games: IOC members will issue just as cheery assessments in Tokyo, Rio and Madrid.
Of course, Hersh isn't the only offender. The Sun-Times built a story today around the head of the IOC evaluation committee calling Chicago's bid vibrant and strong - putting both words in quotation marks as in the headline "IOC Calls City's Bid 'Strong'."
In fact, the IOC member quoted also said "The bid is a strong one; so are the other three."
So the headline could just as easily have been "Chicago Bid 'Strong' Like Others."
The bigger news is that members of No Games Chicago actually got 30 minutes with six members of the evaluation committee. That's huge. And NGC came prepared.
"As Lori Healy and Ron Huberman of the Chicago 2016 Bid Committee silently observed, No Games Chicago discussed the poor economic situation Chicago is in as potential host city, with astronomical budget deficits on the city and state levels," the group said in a statement. "In addition, the notorious and publicly embarrassing corruption at various levels of Chicago and Illinois politics were discussed, as well as the long history of the mismanagement and cost overruns related to mega-construction projects, including Millennium Park, the Block 37 'super-station,' the CHA Plan for Transformation, Soldier Field, and more. No Games concluded their presentation by urging the IOC to read and consider Chicago Reader journalist Ben Joravsky's 'An Open Letter to the IOC'."
As Lori Healey and Ron Huberman of the Chicago 2016 Bid Committee silently observed!
UPDATE/CORRECTION 7:46 P.M.: No Games Chicago has corrected their statement to replace Ron Huberman's name with that of Chicago 2016's Director of Legacies Arnold Randall.
Now, my first reaction was that Mayor Daley probably blessed the meeting while instructing the IOC in how to co-opt - or at least tamp down - dissent.
My second reaction was that Daley is livid and asking Healy and Huberman how they could have allowed this to happen.
My third reaction is that, either way, No Games Chicago got the information delivered to the IOC that needed to be delivered. They were heard. You can't ask for much more than that.
You can see No Games Chicago's statement as well as other Olympic developments from Oprah, Roeper, Preckwinkle and Munson in "Goodbye IOC!"
Reporters should call Daley for comment.
Daley's Mental Health
Baby steps are for babies.
"We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly I have never yet engaged in a direct action movement that was 'well timed,' according to the timetable of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word 'Wait!' It rings in the ear of every Negro with a piercing familiarity. This 'wait' has almost always meant 'never.' We must come to see with the distinguished jurist of yesterday that 'justice too long delayed is justice denied'."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
The contractor: Castle Construction Corp.
"Over the past decade, the city has given Castle more than $140 million in contracts to build police stations, schools and other public buildings. Three weeks ago, the city Aviation Department awarded Castle a $4.3 million contract to make repairs to a parking garage at O'Hare Airport."
Both the firm and CEO Robert C. Blum were indicted.
Opening Week Jitters
The Beachwood Tip Line: Strong, vibrant.
Posted on April 8, 2009
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