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The [Wednesday] Papers

Not only did the "debate" between Pat Quinn and Bruce Rauner on Tuesday take place inside the confines of the Tribune's editorial board offices, but one of the Tribune articles about the debate is behind a paywall.

The privatization of political journalism. Yay, democracy!


This one is free, apparently:

"Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican challenger Bruce Rauner hammered each other on ethics, education and budget plans today during a free-wheeling face-off during a joint appearance before the Chicago Tribune editorial board," the paper reports.

"Sitting side by side, Quinn and Rauner repeatedly interrupted each other with sharp political attacks. Quinn slammed Rauner over business dealings at Rauner's private equity firm that have gone bad and questioned how Rauner could pay for his education proposals. Rauner lashed out at Quinn over a patronage-style scandal at the state's transportation agency and what he said has been a failed governorship."

Okay, here's where the traditional structure of news articles breaks down. Instead of a back-and-forth including such pre-written quips such as "The only difference between Pat and Rod is the hair," why not restrict the article to a fact-check? After all, you're supplying video, so you don't need to describe tone or demeanor or even, um, repeat what the video shows. The actual reporting should simply vet claims, and in so doing, really advance the story instead of repeating meaningless "barbs" - especially given that the attacks are almost wholly attacks we've heard repeatedly before.

For example:

Quinn argued Rauner engaged in "pay to play" as his former firm GTCR got pension business in Pennsylvania and gave political contributions to Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell, who said earlier this year he once put in a good word to help Rauner's private equity firm win pension business following Rauner's $300,000 donation to Rendell's campaign fund.

Rauner contended he never talked to Rendell about anything but education.

Now you're gonna make me do your job by Googling the Rendell story to see what we do, in fact, know about it.


Rauner contended that Illinois' credit rating has been cut 13 times "under your leadership," saying Quinn was "perpetrating the fraud of the people."

Is that number correct? And if so, how does it compare with other states over the same time period - and in other Illinois governors' administrations?


You can even fact-check claims like one candidate calling out another for issuing a series of vague proposals and always dodging details. It's just a fact that Bruce Rauner has done that. That can be a fact - because it's observably, reportably true.


By the way, the Tribune called Tuesday's event an "endorsement session." The Sun-Times called it a "pseudo-debate."

Get Off Rick Telander's Lawn
Um, like, elevator security cameras are social media and young hipsters with their parties are to blame for Ray Rice losing his Nike contract? Help me out, people.


At the time of this writing - 6:15 a.m. - Telander's column is the featured item on the Sun-Times's website.

In Illinois, Preschool Access Worst For Latinos
"Illinois was a state celebrated when, in 2006, it set a goal of providing free quality preschool to any 3- or 4-year-old whose parents wanted it," according to the Hechinger Report.

"But that never quite happened, the program title Preschool for All notwithstanding. Funding peaked at $327 million in 2009, with 95,000 children from low- and moderate-income families enrolled. Since then, budget cuts have wiped out the gains, and enrollment statewide dropped to 70,000 kids, targeting the neediest. Last year, the budget was down to $241 million. Annual spending per child declined from $4,018 in 2009 to $3,153 in 2013."

Devin Hester Is Ridiculous Again
And Jay Cutler is Jay Cutler again. In Fantasy Fix.

Bears Are Ridiculous Again
Our very own Jim "Coach" Coffman explains on WBEZ.


* Too Much Corn Is Bad For Deere.

Markets are perverse; in a world filled with hunger, "too much" corn shouldn't be bad for anyone.

* CNN Thinks 4chan Is A Person.

Among other recent inanities.

* New York Times: A President Whose Assurances Have Come Back To Haunt Him.

"President Obama has been undermined by his own statements, like the one where he said Iraq was 'sovereign, stable and self-reliant' with 'a representative government.'"

Also, when he lied about Tony Rezko.

* Apple PR Insider: 'You Have To Be Able To Control The Journalist.'

PR people, including those in politics, spend a helluva lot more time developing strategies to keep journalists from doing their jobs than journalists spend strategizing how to do their jobs despite the efforts of PR people. Journalists need to think more strategically about their interviews, their beats, and the way they do what they do. Or just be the chumps they usually are.






The Beachwood Tip Line: You, me and not Dupree.


Posted on September 10, 2014

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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