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The [Wednesday] Papers

1. Michael Cooke is back as editor-in-chief of the Sun-Times (more on that in time) and has told staffers he wants more "attitude" in the paper. It's cheaper than more reporting.

2. "It's a joke. It's written on a 9th-grade level."

That's a union guy talking about the firefighers exam in a Sun-Times story written on the 6th-grade level.

3. "After months of controversy, the world's largest retailer opens its first Chicago store today, and those who work there say they couldn't be happier," Shamus Toomey writes in the Sun-Times - where else? - this morning.

Wal-Mart hasn't traditionally advertised much in newspapers, but the Sun-Times is trying really, really hard to get its business. They discounted this story to the 4th-grade level.

(Is this what Cooke means by "attitude"?)

4. Amid a series of revelations that have left the governor a shriveling mess, Ramblin' Rodney found time to tell the Sun-Times about his campaign against, well, against either phony charges on your, um, phone bill, or charges that are just hard to understand. I'm not sure which. I mean, is the governor saying those regulatory line charges and such are trumped up? Like you, I've long suspected that they are. But I'd sure like to see the evidence. Maybe he oughta ask state attorney general Lisa Madigan to take action.

"The cynic might point out that cell phone companies have been doing this for years, and the governor is only moved to act now, five weeks before an election," writes Neil Steinberg, breaking the story this morning. "But cell phone companies and their hidden fees are so annoying, I bet we'll take whatever help we can get, for whatever reason it is offered."

Or at least Steinberg will take whatever help he can get, for whatever reason it is offered.

5." Terror Report Contradicts Bush."
- page 40, Sun-Times, 36 pages after the exclusive front page report in which the dentist in a case involving a five-year-old patient who wound up in a coma expressed his distress.

"Bush Denies War Incites Terrorists."
- page 1, Tribune

Mix and match and you've got a real newspaper on your hands.

6. "Ex-State Supreme Court Justice."
- page 77, Sun-Times

"An Independent Political Mind."
- page 1, where it ought to be, Tribune

7. Michael Cooke is back on the job for just a few days and I'm already wondering how he keeps his job.

8. "What's fascinating is that critics who peel young Stroger's skin are often the same folks who, by their silence, excuse the more massive patronage abuse and corruption under Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and serve as cheerleaders for his Olympic dreams."
- John Kass

9. Kass's last two columns, about Constitution Party gubernatorial candidate Randall Stufflebeam and his Green Party ballot-mate Rich Whitney, have inspired me. If you've really had enough, vote Stufflebeam or Whitney. Seriously, I would love to see either of these guys in the governor's chair if the alternative is, as Kass says, Topinkavich. Unless you're betting on Pat Quinn ascending to the throne after the feds bag Rod. It's a gamble, but it's the only reason left to vote for Baloneyvich.

10. Really, if you've had enough, vote Stufflebeam, Whitney, Peraica, and, for now, Bill "Dock" Walls, who at least has a cool name, until the field of mayoral challengers fills out. Really. Do it. Please.

11. On one side of the debate, Mahatma Gandhi, Pope Benedict XVI, St. Francis of Assisi, the Prophet Muhammed, and, by the way, Paul Harvey. On the other side, Ald. Bernie Stone, Ald. Burt Natarus, and Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Just sayin'.

12. Maybe the foie gras debate ought to be decided by which side has the fewest laughingstocks among its supporters.

13."After reading Monday's Sun-Times, I have to ask: Who makes the decisions for the placement of what is considered news in your paper? Page 4 contains a 'news item' about former President Clinton being so-called 'Testy on [a Fox] TV [interview]' and Page 5 features a full page about a Highland Park church being rehabbed into a home for a lawyer's family, but a reader has to dig in very deep to find a real news item of importance, buried on Page 38 under the dubious title 'Democrats batter GOP with report,' about the recent intelligence report that states that the Iraq war has been feeding terrorism. This report was the leading story on BBC News Sunday night, but here in the United States, at least as far as Chicago is concerned, it rates well behind a news interview, church rehabs and 'Laurie Dann' appearing in MySpace. That says a lot about your paper and explains a lot about the American voter."

- Janet C. Burke, Elmhurst. letter to the editor, who is Michael Cooke

14. "[T]he Daley [Olympic] plan has one function only - to hold together until next year's election."

- David Roeder (third item), wondering, unlike his colleagues, how the Games will really be paid for, and if you can really plunk a 95,000-seat stadium into a park, later to be reduced to 10,000 seats, and not ruin the park.

15. "Experts say retailers have covered every inch of ground in the suburbs, where land prices are lower and opposition tamer, and now are looking for new growth," Sandra Guy writes in her Sun-Times Wal-Mart story.

So wait - you mean the suburbs are full for big-box retailers? So the city is their only option in Chicagoland, regardless of, um, wage ordinances?

16. "The situation can be a double-edge sword: The company hires local residents, but many cannot afford to raise a family on the salary offered or save for retirement," Guy writes.

So wait - are you saying that having a handful of poor people in impovershed areas simply becoming poor people living in impovershed areas who also work for the enormously profitable Wal-Mart isn't a great economic development plan?

17. The Tribune editorial page's war contortions continue. Can't you just say you were wrong and Howard Dean was right?

18. At least they believe it.

19. Mary Schmich still hasn't gotten the news that the Inner Self Cafe spontaneously combusted 30 years ago and was replaced by a record store called Death Carnage.

20. "We want to make this a global city so you get the Olympics and, with the construction of O'Hare International Airport, you're making this a global city," Daley said.

The guy's been in office for 17 years and we're not a global city yet?

21. "If we get [the Olympics], it certainly would create foreign exposure with global attention. It would be a huge opportunity to get the Chicago message out to the world," says Tom Bartkoski of World Business Chicago.

Um, the message that we're open for business, Tom?

"Not everyone knows what a great business location it is and how great of a place it is to live and work. The Olympics - as with Sydney in 2000 or Tokyo in 1964 - has the potential to be a real image maker."

I thought that's what the half-a-billion dollar and growing Millennium Park was for. (Tokyo 1964?)

22. If you've ever stood on this swath of land, which indeed has a sweet skyline view, well, it's hard to disagree.

Maybe the mayor stole his Olympic idea from the wrong challenger.

23. Spot the Beachwood Reporter contributor who learned English by watching Cubs games in this article.

24. Global cities don't care if some schmuck thinks they are a laughingstock.

25. Baltimore Sun employees ask Tribune Company to show them some respect. I don't know, why should they get special treatment?

26. Apologies for the late posting again today, I was up all night trying to come up with three more reasons to read to help out their marketing folks. I couldn't.

The Beachwood Tip Line: 101 reasons and counting.


Posted on September 27, 2006

MUSIC - The Week In Chicago Rock.
TV - Sinclair-Tribune On Life Support.
POLITICS - Border Infants Called To Testify.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Jabari Parker Grinds Our Gears.

BOOKS - Green Books Are Back.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Pilcher Park Now A Nature Reserve.

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