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The [Wednesday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes

When I first heard the news that the city would shut down North Michigan Avenue for Oprah, it didn't strike me as out of line. So traffic will be fucked-up for a few hours. Big deal.

But three days?

I didn't realize until this morning that the shut-down will last that long.

Three days.

My God.

The mayor, as usual, was incomprehensible in his defense of the move.

"I wish we could do this every day in Chicago," the mayor spluttered.

Do what every day, tape an Oprah show downtown?

"It's very, very important. What other cities do it?"

Um, Peoria? I mean, isn't it kind of a small-town thing to do?

"Take New York City. Take Los Angeles . . . For the filming industry, they do this every day, unfortunately."

To be very frank, that makes no sense.

"I wish your media outlets would do something like this. Hello?"

Um . . . huh? You mean you wish the Tribune Company would broadcast, say, CLTV from Michigan Avenue? And you would shut down the street for that?

"This is a great opportunity for us. It's called film production."

I think it's called a TV show.

But whatever. Unfortunately.

Five-Ring Circus
On the other hand, the mayor's spluttering has served him very well when it comes to the city's Olympic bid.

Just think: If the mayor had announced at the outset that he would back the bid with a blank check from taxpayers, the bid might not have even gotten out of the gate.

Instead, he lied.

And obfuscated.

And deceived.

And re-jiggered his propaganda machine.

And now the city council - which had previously agreed to cap the city's liability at $500 million - is poised to sign off on that blank check.

Truly, Obama should have put Daley in charge of health-care reform. We'd all be at our doctors offices right now loading up on meds and scheduling elective surgeries.

Mr. Daley, you are a dark figure whom history will study for a long time.

"Amid the questions and criticisms of Chicago's Olympic bid, one aspect often gets overlooked," the Sun-Times editorial page says today. "[T]he potential benefits to this city of hosting the Summer Games here in 2016."

Why yes, come to think of it, I haven't heard much about the potential benefits of hosting the games here!

Where has the media been on this?!

"There are, of course, the thousands of jobs for Chicagoans that will come with a successful bid."


"And the boost to Chicago's international reputation - essential for drawing tourists and businesses."


"And perhaps most importantly, the sea change tha twill come to the near South Side with a successful Olympic Village development."


"Reasonable people can debate the dollar figure of those benefits, but that there will be a positive impact shared by generations to come seems certain."

Based on . . . what? Pat Ryan's visit to your boardroom yesterday?

"As a newspaper, we can't state it more clearly: We are enthusiastically behind the Games coming to Chicago in 2016."

And that's why your reporting sucks so bad.

Trial Balloon
Exclusive! Richard Roeper in the first balloon ride off Navy Pier! With photos!

What a wank.


"I'll use the same description I employed in 1995 when I was the first person to officially ride the Ferris Wheel: It's very cool."

Well, the Navy Pier people certainly know who to go to for their exclusives.

Speaking of exclusives, Sneed's got one today too.

Seems the first thing Betty Loren-Maltese bought upon her release from prison was a set of false eyelashes.

And that's not all.

"Betty is anxious to get to work . . . and after two bus rides in 120-degree heat to a library to use their computers, she encountered a long computer line," Anne Kavanagh, er, a source added. "Two of her Cicero friends are sending her an iPhone."

Wanna pipe some PR into the Sun-Times? There are multiple apps for that. They're called the phone extensions of the paper's columnists.

Debbie Downer
Cook County Commissioner Deborah Sims flipped her vote on Tuesday to defeat a half-penny rollback of Todd Stroger's sales tax.


"This is a decision I made talking to my God."


In July, Sims co-sponsored a measure to do the same thing she just voted against.

God must have been busy that day.

Park Challenge
"What happened to Challenger Park's ice rink and recreational fields?" the Tribune asks today.

"Park district officials say they don't know."

Stealth Stimulus Lobbying
Another Obama promise broken.

Season of Discontent
We've been spared.

Let's Play None
The Cubs-Sox tilt on Thursday is a make-up game, but George Ofman says we need to make up some excuses to call the whole thing off.


The Beachwood Tip Line: God-like


Posted on September 2, 2009

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