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The [Wednesday] Papers

All I have to say is this: I kept my reputation but where do I go to get my income back?

Actually, that's not all I have to say.

The tone in any organization is set at the top, as I reminded readers just a month ago. At the Tribune Company, that tone is officially adolescent. (See "The Year Tribune Company Became A Joke").

Was I right or was I right?

Perhaps most distressing, though, is that - to my knowledge - no one has been held accountable. Michaels will likely get the boot once (or if) Tribune emerges from bankruptcy, but not before he and his boys take the place for every bonus dollar they can fit in their G-strings.

As for NBC, everyone who was involved in the Michaels (and Michael Scott) debacle still has their jobs, as far as I know. The same goes for the boys in the corporate suite in New York. I wonder if the NBC Universal VP for Local News would have reacted differently if he had been a woman - or a man with a less protruding frontal lobe.

Somehow, I'm the only one who got hurt because I was the only one who did the right thing.

I'm not asking for a medal; that's how the world works. But Michaels and NBC put my very livelihood on life support. The least they can do is pay off my credit card debt.

*

Tribune employees are also responsible - they didn't speak up.

"A woman who used to work at the Tribune Company in a senior position, but did not want to be identified because she now worked at another media company in Chicago, said that Mr. Michaels and Marc Chase, who was brought in to run Tribune Interactive, had a loud conversation on an open balcony above a work area about the sexual suitability of various employees," the New York Times reports.

"'The conversation just wafted down on all of the people who were sitting there.' She also said that she was present at a meeting where a female executive jovially offered to bring in her assistant to perform a sexual act on someone in a meeting who seemed to be in a bad mood.

"Staff members who had concerns did not have many options, given the state of the media business in Chicago, the woman said. 'Not many people could afford to leave. The people who could leave, did. But it was not in my best interest to have my name connected to an E.E.O.C. suit,' she said, referring to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Indeed, there are no current E.E.O.C. complaints against the Tribune Company.)"

But poor people unwilling to endanger their lives by "snitching" are moral reprobates!

*

"In Chicago, Ms. Lipinski said, it became clear that Mr. Zell was not above using the newspaper as a tool for his other business interests. In June 2008, Mr. Zell approached her at a meeting, saying that The Chicago Tribune should be harder on Gov. Rod Blagojevich. She reminded him that the newspaper had aggressively investigated the governor and that its editorial page had already called for his resignation.

"'Don't be a pussy,' he told her. 'You can always be harder on him.'

"In a news meeting later the same day, she found out that Mr. Zell was in negotiations to sell Wrigley Field to the state sports authority.

"'It was hard to avoid the conclusion that he was trying to use the newspaper to put pressure on Blagojevich.'"

Now, to be fair: "Through a spokeswoman, Terry Holt, Mr. Zell denied he used the newspaper to business ends. 'From Day 1, Sam vowed never to interfere with the editorial content at any of Tribune's media properties, and he has always honored that commitment,' Ms. Holt said."

Or maybe that isn't being fair. I mean, who do you believe?

At the same time, Lipinski did Tribune readers (and employees) a tremendous disservice by keeping her mouth shut up to now. (Unless, perhaps, her silence was driven by not wanting to somehow interfere with the Blagojevich investigation; but even then.)

*

Our business, at its core, is about transparency and accountability. Many of us have made it a lifelong mission to inform the public about what goes on inside our institutions and halls of power. But the institutions that take on this responsibility - and in fact profit from it - are among the least transparent and accountable that we have.

Those of us so dedicated to the cause of journalism that we find it impossible to aid and abet the obvious corruption of our deepest values should be rewarded, not punished. It's fitting and proper that Tribune - and many of its institutional colleagues - ended up in bankruptcy court. I hardly think it is so that I - and those like me - may end up there as well.

Michaels Responds To Carr
Says story is all lies. See you in court!

This CEO Will Pay To See Breasts
Or How Not To Run A Media Company.

The Scrubbed Story
Reposted here.

-

Rahmedy Central
Lists about the next mayor that we started and aborted.

The Blue and Orange Kool-Aid Report
Offensive line charged with football manslaughter. Plus, Jesus.

Fantasy Fix
Not another Randy Michaels item, but this week's fantasy sports column by the awesome Dan O'Shea.

Dan has also brought his awesome Swings Both Ways to the Beachwood.

And don't forget our very own Agony & Ivy; and a special shout-out to Reading With Scissors.

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Always a good choice.



Permalink

Posted on October 6, 2010


MUSIC - The Week In Chicago Rock.
TV - Trump FCC Opens Corporate Media Merger Floodgates.
POLITICS - Offshore Leaks Database.
SPORTS - Beachwood Radio: Broken Bears; Cubs' 7-Year Itch.

BOOKS - Inside The Book Of The Dead.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Lakes, Cheese & You.


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