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The [Wednesday] Papers

1. The Jason Van Dyke Interviews.

"In his first interview in the nearly four years since the shooting, [Jason] Van Dyke spoke with the Tribune for about 40 minutes Tuesday at his lawyer's downtown offices. Occasionally looking at handwritten notes, he would not discuss the shooting or its aftermath," the paper reports.

Then what was the point of the interview?

"Instead, he brought copies of his commendations, suggested he was a political scapegoat and decried 'the bandwagon of hatred' on social media.

"With jury selection set to begin next week, he acknowledged a pressing desire to challenge the image many paint of him as a racist, trigger-happy cop who was indifferent to taking the life of a troubled 17-year-old."

And the Tribune was happy to help him fulfill that media strategy.

"Van Dyke appeared uncomfortable in the spotlight, often pausing for long periods and struggling for his words in an interview that was tightly controlled by his attorneys and the public relations strategist hired by his defense team. His lawyers requested questions to be submitted in advance, would not allow the conversation to be recorded on video and interrupted some questions to instruct Van Dyke not to answer."

Emphasis mine, because the Tribune should not have agreed to an interview on those conditions, no matter how badly it wanted to promote its piece as an "exclusive." The Tribune in this case was asked to act as an extension of the Van Dyke's defense team, and it complied. It's true that the paper peppered the piece with facts of the case unsympathetic to Van Dyke, but that was only abundantly necessary to try to balance out Van Dyke's fears, tears and proclamation of how good a police officer he says he was. Those unsympathetic facts, by the way, could have been presented anyway as a "curtain-raiser" to the upcoming trial, along with a refusal of Van Dyke to comment. Instead, the Trib made a very bad call. Journalists should never let the terms of an interview be so strictly and cynically set.


"Van Dyke heard the radio dispatches capturing the police activity as he and his partner drove to the scene. Six seconds after exiting his squad car, prosecutors say, Van Dyke opened fire.

"He emptied the gun within 15 seconds, according to prosecutors, and was reloading when his partner told him to hold fire. McDonald lay on the street for 13 of those 15 seconds, prosecutors said."

None of this has to be attributed to prosecutors - we can all see the video for ourselves and ascertain those facts. They are not in dispute and shouldn't be presented as one side of a "he-said, she-said."


After 16 shots, Van Dyke was reloading.


I assume Placko was under the same restrictions. No reason for this but clicks/ratings/ego.


Fox Chicago promoting this as "the first televised interview." Shameless.


Their headline: "Jason Van Dyke Speaks Ahead Of Polarizing Laquan McDonald Murder Trial."

What's polarizing about it? You could hardly get a more clear-cut case. And I don't remember a wellspring of people beyond the lunatic FOP fringe defending Van Dyke.


"On Wednesday, he spoke with FOX 32's Dane Placko for nearly an hour on a range of topics including struggling with suicidal thoughts, potentially serving time in jail and fears for his family's safety."

The same things he spoke to the Tribune about. I'm sure he looked at his notes and regurgitated his script. And Placko facilitated it.

2. The #Resistance Will Be Brewed.

"Despairing over the ascendance of someone he thought unqualified for the presidency, Hopleaf owner Michael Roper took to Facebook to declare his bar a 'Trump-free zone' on Inauguration Day. Not only would Trump's inauguration not be aired - Hopleaf has no televisions - Roper also would donate 10 percent of the day's sales to Planned Parenthood, a frequent GOP target," Josh Noel reports for the Tribune.

"A flood of sympathizers filled Roper's Andersonville bar, resulting in Hopleaf's busiest day since opening in 1992 - more than $7,000 ahead of the second best."

It turns out beer and politics - at least The #Resistance - mix.

In the Trump era, more than a few Chicago bar and brewery owners have worn their left-leaning politics on their sleeves. With an openness unseen in most corners of the hospitality industry, bars and breweries have openly worked on behalf of immigrant rights, gay and lesbian equality, transgender rights and even that third rail of politics, abortion.

The latest effort is among the broadest: seven Chicago-area breweries banding together to support an American Civil Liberties Union voting-rights initiative called People Power. While voting rights might not seem to be a partisan issue, it is; according to the People Power website, the effort is a response to "an ongoing assault on voting rights" from "the Trump administration and its allies."

Chicago-area breweries Alarmist, Burnt City, Hopewell, Metal Monkey, Middle Brow, Sketchbook and Werk Force have all brewed beers named People Power that will be available through Election Day, Nov. 6. Ten percent of sales go to the People Power campaign.

Five of the breweries - Hopewell, Middle Brow, Sketchbook, Werk Force and Metal Monkey - will tap their People Power beers 6-9 p.m. Thursday at Links Taproom in Wicker Park (1559 N. Milwaukee Ave.). The breweries will contribute merchandise, bottles of beer and tours to a silent auction also benefiting the ACLU. They are among 75 breweries in 31 states that have joined the project . . .

Since the rise of Trump as a political force, Spiteful Brewing has made a beer called Dumb Donald, featuring a label bearing an unmistakable likeness of the president. 5 Rabbit Cerveceria made a beer (and posters, T-shirts, stickers and buttons) whose Spanish name suggests Trump do something anatomically impossible to his own hair. The Green Lady bar in Lakeview dumped all MillerCoors products after Pete Coors, who sits on the company's board of directors, co-hosted a fundraiser for Trump. Alarmist Brewing celebrated Valentine's Day by donating $1 for every pint sold to Planned Parenthood.


3. Lane Tech's Breakfast Club.

"Lunch at 9:50 a.m.? We had to do it, Lane Tech High School officials told parents critical of the new time, because an influx of new students were too much for the school's cafeteria to handle," Block Club Chicago reports.

At least call it brunch.


"Lane's not the only Chicago school sending some kids to lunch before 10 a.m., the school noted to parents."

We're not the only ones being ridiculous!


"Lane Tech and Chicago Public Schools did not respond to questions about why the new lunch period was added."

Maybe they were . . . out to lunch. #Sorry

4. Willie Wanka.

"Mayoral candidate Willie Wilson said repeatedly Tuesday that he thinks Mayor Rahm Emanuel 'should be locked up' for unspecified 'white-collar crimes," Mark Brown reports for the Sun-Times.

"Wilson revealed recently that he voted for Trump in the 2016 election, although he no longer is willing to talk about it."

Maybe Wilson thought had nothing to lose.

And as a wealthy person, he was (mostly) right.


Wilson also voted for Bruce Rauner.

5. Horse Course.

Our very own Jim "Coach" Coffman responds to Item 5 in Tuesday's column:

"Is the solution to the horse-drawn carriage deal to have them operate in Lincoln Park, Grant Park and along the south lakeshore?"

Perhaps it is!

Or, here's a radical idea: Close downtown to civilian car traffic and only allow horses, buses, bikes, scooters, cabs and emergency vehicles.

But then again, I kinda hate that idea ... congestion and chaos is part of what a great city is about. Maybe contract the horses out to Uber for downtown ride-sharing!


New on the Beachwood . . .

Beto O'Rourke's NFL Comments Have Gone Viral
National Dems are giddy, but will it play in Texas?



Chicagoetry: Ten Angels Too Many
I am not a man of faith!




Peoples gas has been training people in front of my house for over a month... from r/chicago





"Lego abondance Perdu Post-Apocalypse City | multitude Des Briques Chicago 2018"



Dunkin' Begins Droppin' Donuts From Its Name.


Hardee's Launches New Froot Loops Donuts.


Oreo Launches New Hot Chicken Wing And Wasabi Flavors.


A sampling.





The Beachwood Tronc Line: Uncode, decode, recode.


Posted on August 29, 2018

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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