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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."

Nice, mayor.

Run along now and go play with your Olympics.

"In August 1979, I took my last drink," Roger Ebert writes in an instant classic. "It was about four o'clock on a Saturday afternoon, the hot sun streaming through the windows of my little carriage house on Dickens. I put a glass of scotch and soda down on the living room table, went to bed, and pulled the blankets over my head. I couldn't take it any more."

If you read nothing else today, this week, this month or maybe even this year, read this.

Beverly Hills
Glow Putt Paradise.

Majority Leader Durbin?
It could happen.

Zell vs. the Reader's Hedge Fund
Which is worse?

The Celia Hensey Story
The face of the CPS admissions scandal.

I have nothing original to say about Teddy Kennedy. But I do remember this Styx song, and I still don't know what to make of it.

Eddie Vedder sang the 7th-inning stretch at Wrigley last night and then composed an inane song about the Cubs while in the broadcast booth with Len & Bob.

Please, no more.

Forget Favre
He'll never play a down against the Bears this season, predicts our very own George Ofman.

Clearance Sale
"As many as 10,000 retail stores will close nationwide this year, led by clothing stores, electronics and food-and-beverage stores, and department stores, in that order, a study released Tuesday shows," the Sun-Times reports.

Plus, beer prices are going up.

It just gets worse and worse.

Barack Bush
"It looked like it was business as usual for President Barack Obama on the first day of his Martha's Vineyard vacation, as he spent five hours golfing with Robert Wolf, president of UBS Investment Bank and chairman and CEO of UBS Group Americas," Amy Goodman reports. "Wolf, an early financial backer of Obama's presidential campaign, raised $250,000 for him back in 2006, and in February was appointed by the president to the White House's Economic Recovery Advisory Board. Economic recovery for whom?

"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

MUSIC - Millions Of New Guitar Players.
TV - "One America News" is AT&T.
POLITICS - When Wall Street Came To My Mobile Home Park.
SPORTS - Tonyball, Bears On The Run, Eyes On The Sky & More!

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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