The [Wednesday] Papers
By Steve Rhodes
The mayor's non-apology is all the rage.
"[F]or the first time in my life, I really don't understand what the heck you're talking about," John Kass writes. "No, really."
"In essence, Mayor Daley is sorry that he and his staff didn't figure out how to make the deal sound good before members of the public concluded it was a stinker," Mick Dumke writes.
"The words were right there in his script," Jay Levine reports. "Words that a lot of you wanted to hear Tuesday night about Chicago's parking meter mess. But Mayor Daley skipped over them.
"We are often called on to translate 'Daley-speak' and expected to report what he meant to say, rather than what he actually said.
"Tonight, we knew what he meant to say, we were given his prepared remarks. But when the time came to say, 'We screwed up', the words never passed his lips."
I wonder how the folks at the Sun-Times feel for having been duped - again - by Daley's media maestros.
"We totally screwed up" was their big front-page headline yesterday.
Daley never said it.
And yet, the Sun-Times bragged about its "exclusive" in today's editions. In fact, Maudlyne Ihejirika reported that "Daley had kicked off what became an hours-long gripe session for frustrated residents with a rare acknowledgement his administration had 'totally screwed up' the transition."
I wasn't there. But Rich Samuels' account on Chicago Tonight last night - and the accompanying videotape - backs Levine's version.
As does the Tribune account, by Dan Mihalopoulos:
"The mayor stopped short of an apology - a point noted by some critics in the audience. He also skipped over harsher language that was in the prepared remarks his staff gave to reporters - in that script he was to say "we screwed up the way it was implemented."
Prepared remarks are rarely news. And even less often something to brag about obtaining.
And then there was Daley's "press conference" earlier in the day. He was asked why he was apologizing now when he already did in the spring.
"I don't think you ever reported it, maybe," he said in a disingenuous tone.
As pointed out by Dumke - and me, thank you - it was reported plenty.
Given Daley's obsession with his media coverage, there's no way he missed it. He lied.
Then press secretary and baby-sitter Jackie Heard cut off the questioning.
Another despicable performance by a clearly despicable man.
Consider this scene, which Samuels played last night and is described here by Mihalopoulos:
"Carol Smith, an activist for the mentally ill, blasted the mayor for closing mental health centers.
"'Why should people who have mental health problems suffer because the administration screwed up?' she asked Daley. 'I want an answer right now.'
"Daley sat stone-faced for several seconds as many in the audience yelled for him to reply. Finally, the city budget director said the health commissioner, who sat at the front table with other members of Daley's Cabinet, would address the question. But he did not immediately answer, and Smith walked from the microphone."
Run along now and go play with your Olympics.
If you read nothing else today, this week, this month or maybe even this year, read this.
Majority Leader Durbin?
Zell vs. the Reader's Hedge Fund
The Celia Hensey Story
Please, no more.
Plus, beer prices are going up.
It just gets worse and worse.
"Interestingly, Wolf's appointment came in the same month that UBS agreed to pay the U.S. $780 million to settle civil and criminal charges related to helping people in the U.S. avoid taxes. Not to worry. UBS, an ailing bank with a pre-existing condition, had great insurance coverage. It was actually receiving $2.5 billion in a backdoor bailout from bailed-out insurance giant AIG."
The Beachwood Tip Line: Bail.
Posted on August 26, 2009
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