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The [Wednesday] Papers

The best part of the New Year's holiday just may have been the outdoor hockey game the NHL held between the Sabres and the Penguins.

How cool was this?

Test Truths
The best piece appearing in the local papers today is an Op-Ed in the Tribune written by a Delaware high school junior.

"There is, however, something more distressing about the SAT than the prospect of receiving a low score," Peter W. Fulham writes. "It is the ominous feeling that this primitive, overrated test is the best this country can do to measure the knowledge of its students. If the SAT is the culmination of American primary and secondary education, then we have a sad state of affairs.

"Students should be tested on their ability to solve real problems, to make innovative decisions, to think creatively. The crass, reductive approach of the SAT is counterproductive to all of these ideals."

Theme Meme
I'm not saying we were the first by any means, but in October our very own Julia Gray wrote "The Lost Art of the TV Theme Song."

Today's Trib runs a St. Petersburg Times story called "Death Of The TV Theme Song Creates A Void."

In fact, we've also already published Scott Buckner's "The Found Art of the TV Theme Song."

Just sayin'. I love our TV writers.

Season's Greetings
I think "O Holy Grill" was my favorite Beachwood holiday song.

Sun-Times Follies
Kicking off the new year just right!

* The paper is now boasting on its front page that "While The Other Paper In Town Raises Its Price, We're STILL ONLY 50¢"

But RedEye is free!

* January 1 cover story: "Love or Money in Your Future? Find out in Your 2008 Horoscope."

At least astrologers win one bet: The position of the stars will impact the decisions made by our city's newspaper editors!

* "We run stupid headlines because we think they're funny. We run maimings on the front page because we got good art. And I spend three weeks bitching about my car because it sells papers. But at least it's the truth. As far as I can remember we never ever, ever knowingly got a story wrong, until tonight."
- "Michael McDougal" in The Paper

Unless editors believe horoscopes are actually valid, aren't they knowingly printing something they know is not true?

* Why in the world would a newspaper turn over one of its pages to a press release of propaganda written by an aide but with the mayor's byline - you know, knowingly publishing an untruth again - particularly when that mayor won't answer most of the media's questions?

* Apparently the newspaper that endorsed Todd Stroger is immune to irony.

"'My mother always said democracy is the best revenge,' said Bilawil Bhutto Zardari, 19-year-old son of slain Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, after being named Sunday to replace her as chairman of the Pakistan People's Party," the Sun-Times said Tuesday in "Bhutto's Son Is Good Choice To Lead Pakistan Forward."

A) After all, the Bhutto family held a vote to decide who would rule the party
B) Who chose him, the Cook County Democratic Central Committee?
C) Especially when Bilawil's father, Asif Ali Zardari, is the hog with the big nuts.

Change We Can Believe In
"Shifting the focus from experience to change is a very useful strategy for Senator Barack Obama," Andrea Economos of Scarsdale wrote to the New York Times on Sunday (second letter).

"Were one to closely examine his record, one would find a pattern of absences that should make any American concerned.

"In his case, experience matters all too much."

Data Bank
The most interesting findings from the Tribune's fine "Who We Are Now" compendium in Sunday's Perspective section:

* 40 percent of Illinois babies are born on the Women, Infants and Children program. Forty percent! Wow.

* 24 percent of pregnancies are aborted. I didn't think the number would be that high. That's one in four.

* 18 percent of women report experiencing a rape or attempted rape.

* 4 percent of adults older than 20 have never had sex. I thought the number would be higher.

* Between 2000 and 2006, Chicago-area home prices have risen 16 percent while household income has decreased 10 percent.

Spin Room
"As Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan recently wrote of another all-but-coronated candidate: Hillary Clinton and her handlers mistakenly thought Iowa 'was a queenly procession, not a brawl,'" the Tribune editorial page said on Sunday. "'Now they're reduced to spinning the idea that expectations are on Mr. Obama, that he'd better win big or it's a loss.'"

Um, I thought Michelle Obama was the one spinning that idea.

In Today's Beachwood
* Merle Haggard and Dwight Yoakam take on Chicago.

* Maude takes on Walter.

* Jim Coffman takes on the Bears.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Hobo heaven.


Posted on January 2, 2008

MUSIC - Holiday Hullabaloo.
POLITICS - Bank Profits Soaring.
SPORTS - Chicago vs. Michigan, 1903.

BOOKS - Dia De Los Muertos Stories.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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