Cover Stories

The angry comments continue to pour in to the Chicago Reader’s website in response to its cover drawing last week of Barack Obama with the text “Don’t Screw This Up.”

Welcome to my world!

One thing I’ve learned over lo these many months is that you’ve either drunk the Kool-Aid or you haven’t, and if you haven’t you are, well, a traitor. Sound familiar?

And it’s not as if the Reader has been particularly critical of Obama; to the contrary. Nor is the cover text particularly negative, cynical, critical; instead, it captures and reflects an uneasy optimism that is perfectly appropriate and honest. For what it’s worth, I think it’s one of the sharper Reader covers I can remember, and it’s all the smarter in that the paper includes its alternate cover drawing of John McCain with the text, “Please Don’t Die.”

Bravo, Reader! I’m going to keep this one for posterity along with the Tribune, Sun-Times, and New York Times papers of Nov. 5.

*

Meanwhile, the Sun-Times is ballyhooing its cover by noting that Oprah said “”It was the best paper of all the papers in the world.”

Well, it may have been the only paper that didn’t use a photo from the Grant Park rally – you know, right here in Chicago – the night before. I don’t know if that was because of the paper’s outdated deadlines, but it meant that the cover was less than “news.” And I highly doubt Oprah surveyed the nation’s papers – much less the world’s – before declaring her preference for the Sun-Times. My guess is that that happened to be the paper she picked up, and it was the “best” to her in a metaphorical sense in that it declared Barack Obama “Mr. President.”

Which he is not and won’t be until January. But who needs facts when you’ve got Oprah?

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