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The [Wednesday] Papers

For our look at the primary results and what we think it all means, check out our Politics page.

Tell us where we're wrong on our Forums.

And to catch up on recent editions of The Papers, we have an archive just for you.

War Wonders
Doesn't the very fact that we're still debating the rationale for the war in Iraq inherently prove it has been a failure? If you're still debating a war three years in, you've screwed up.

Doesn't the very fact that the war is still going on with no end in sight prove that it has been a failure?

If you are debating whether a country has fallen into civil war, isn't it beside the point whether it is technically true or not?

Isn't it continued folly to ask, as CBS news anchor Bob Schieffer did the other night, that Sunnis and Shiites (and Kurds) come together as Iraqis, when there really is no such thing as an Iraqi per se, other than those people from these three groups who were artificially forced together when "Iraq" was created?

Isn't that a bit like asking evangelical Christians, Orthodox Jews, and Scientologists to come together and form a government?

And is Alan Simpson a horse's ass?

Georgie's Complaint
Veteran syndicated columnist Georgie Anne Geyer wonders why there was so little debate about the war nearly four years ago. She blames the American people.

Gee, I seem to remember quite a debate about the war. In fact, it took Colin Powell's appearance before the United Nations--one he has now apparently disavowed--to really sell the war to the doubters in the mainstream. I don't know where Geyer was, but in America there were grave doubts about this venture. Geyer must not have been have been able to hear the debate above the clatter of Washington's cocktail parties, where everyone was joking about Freedom Fries.

Geyer also says the worldview of Americans is "irrevocably blurred by the 80,000 new blogging sites launched every week."

As opposed to the mainstream media's clarity of thought.

Geyer, however, thinks that if more Americans read newspapers, maybe we wouldn't be in this mess. Yes, I can see how more Americans reading Judith Miller's stories in The New York Times would have altered history.

French Kiss-Off
"Anger focuses on a new rule championed by [French Premier Dominique] De Villepin that will allow employers to hire young workers for a two-year trial period and fire them during that time without giving a reason."

Sounds a lot like the Tribune's two-year "residency" program. So in other words, what's considered routine business at the Tribune causes massive riots in France.

- Don Jacobson

Letter to the Editor/Re: Englewood
Dear Beachwood:

Very good bit on "Barack's Bromides" and "Explaining Englewood" (The [Tuesday] Papers).

The solution to violence is complex (remember, a solution is a mixture). But that doesn't work well for sound bites. We need to paint a more realistic picture of violence in our communities, while working to build a sense of community, a desire for community, and a cohesiveness of community.

We need to replicate (or develop) programs aimed at lessening the tolerance for violence, the teaching of the consequences of violence, the expansion of reaction choices beyond the choice of violence. We need to promote community and personal values so that violence is no longer an act of first retort but an action of last resort.

These community and personal values are needed society-wide; they have atrophied. We must also aggressively work on the root causes of poverty and disenfranchisement. We and our government must meet our responsibility of a hand up to build up. No longer can violence be considered the problem of the other. To steal a line from somewhere: "He's my brother from another mother."

- Richard L. Keller, MD
Coroner, Lake County, IL

Decoding Dennis
The final installment of our series ripped from the pages of the Columbia Journalism Review, which says in its latest edition that Tribune Co. CEO Dennis FitzSimons is "the media world's most embattled CEO." The magazine goes on to parse FitzSimons's recent pitch to Wall Street analysts. The first installment can be found here. The second installment can be found at the bottom here. The third installment, also at the bottom, is here.
Once again, "Said" is FitzSimons, "Unsaid" is CJR's comment. "BR" is The Beachwood Reporter adding value.

Said: We're also redeploying resources and re-engineering processes, especially in publishing.

Unsaid: By way of example, FitzSimons mentioned Tribune's newly consdolidated D.C. bureau, and how it will save money whle simultaneously improving coverage of Washington "through greater collaboration." The former is a given, the latter is dubious. The number of journalists in this new bureau has been reduced, dramatically in some cases (Newsday went from 14 to five, for instance, while The Hartford Courant went from five to one). And the kind of journalism the nation needs out of Washington--investigative, explanatory--is both labor- and time-intensive.

BR: The Chicago Tribune has shown the rest of the company that the size of a bureau's reporting staff has no correlation with the quality of its work, so maybe FitzSimons is on to something.

Said: Our tradition of journalistic excellence isn't going to change.

Unsaid: After the Los Angeles Times won five Pulitzers in 2004--a record for the paper--the staff received bupkis from corporate on this historic achievement. Instead, then-editor John Carroll got word that the home office was displeased with the Times's revenues, and was demanding deep cuts. Carroll ultimately quit; Dean Baquet, his successor, will need guts and luck in the coming budget battles.

BR: FitzSimons vowed not to alter the company's notion of journalistic excellence, and obviously the Los Angeles Times didn't get the message.

Decoding Decrossword
Finding liberal bias and other oddities in The New York Times crossword: In Tuesday's edition, 1-Down was Bop, 3-Down was Strungout, 4-Down was IHOP, 20-Across was UpForAnything, 32-Across was Suitor, 41-Across was Sot, 45-Across was Pernod, 53-Across was ThePerfectFit, 67-Across was Erect, 10-Down was RedHot, 30-Down was Tosspot, 47-Down was ATrip, and 49-Down was Tesla. Throw in 17-Across (Perot) and 23-Across (CNN) and this thing looks like it was written while on a real bender.

In Today's Reporter
Check out the Hipster 101 playlist in Music.

Learn as much as you can possibly take about the Air-O-Space Sofa Bed in TV.

Stimulate your mind with 12 Lists you never would have come up with yourself. Because we're here to serve.

Use our primary Tip Line: It's the same one we'll use for the general.



Permalink

Posted on March 22, 2006


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Time For Royal Scroungers To Earn Their Keep.
POLITICS - More College Aid Going To The Rich.
SPORTS - Bears At Peak McCaskey.

BOOKS - Before Breitbart.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: New Fucking Frying Pan.


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