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The Week in WTF

It's always nice to return home from vacation and encounter the WTF Moments that occurred while you were gone.

1. Walter Jacobson, WTF?

In a Channel 2 commentary this week, Jacobson scolds U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald for the timing of the Blagojevich trial - during the summer run-up to fall elections - and, thus by dint of reality forced into the discussion, making Democrats look bad for having turned Illinois government into a pawn shop.

Of course, Fitzgerald asking the judge to delay the trial until after the elections - as Jacobson suggests - would be railed at as political, as well as potentially subjecting us to six more months of reality TV appearances by Team Blago. And as a practical matter regarding federal court schedules, Blago and his lawyers have had a little something to do with the timing of the trial too. And what about Judge James Zagel's calendar? Part of the conspiracy?

WTF! Democrats are being treated unfairly by a plotting Fitz - the same guy who put George Ryan in prison? Put big ears on Walter and send him down the hole with Alice.

2. Sun-Times, WTF?

"Information for this article was gathered on a research trip sponsored by South African Tourism."

This is the old theory of travel journalism: It's not really prostitution if I tell you up front it's prostitution.

3. Corporate Journalism Lie No. 254, WTF?

Cutting 12 percent of your staff will not "jeopardize quality?" Then you must have really been mismanaging all these years! Your job should be the first one to go!

Newspapers have been telling the same lie for years. "Just because we cut 30 percent of our newsroom staff (and most of the people who can remember life before Bill O'Reilly) it doesn't mean our journalistic quality is diminished." Only true if they add "we already suck!" Or maybe the lie runs deeper. A newspaper that is not obsessed by instigating justice in the Jon Burge tale of horrors, for example, is not much of a newspaper. A newspaper gets an honest reputation for what makes it angry. So angry it wants to spit venom. Burge's reign apparently doesn't make the papers very angry. And broadcast? Even less so. Maybe there's quality left to diminish.

4. Mark Kirk, WTF?

It's about time. Mark Kirk has become the recent darling of progressive media as the "Congressman Who Makes up Things." He's told some whoppers, even making the French look like blood thirsty pirate-hunters based on his inside knowledge from the Pentagon. The French tale, which he told as a way to verify his inside-the-Pentagon bona fides, was so apocryphal as to be a total delusion. Previously there was the military award fakery. Now Kirk has his own Swift Boat attackers. Worse, Kirk's mixed skill at separating fact from "fact-like statements that are sort of not true" is not only embarrassing, it might even be illegal.


David Rutter is the former publisher/editor of the Lake County News-Sun, a Sun-Times Media property. He welcomes your comments.


Also by David Rutter:
* The Lords of Ireland.

* Speaking of Notre Dame . . .

* Scheduling Notre Dame.

* Spade Robs Farley's Grave.

* Gov. Fester.

* Black Talks, Zell Walks.

* Roeper's Games.


Posted on June 11, 2010

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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