Tag Archives: Sun-Times

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.

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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 I don’t know if that was because of the paper’s outdated deadlines, but it meant that the cover was less than “news.”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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The Favorite Son?

You’d think the question of who the major Chicago newspapers would endorse in the presidential race would be a no-brainer. After all, both the Tribune and Sun-Times have been overwhelmingly favorable in their coverage of the Barack Obama, even if each has also broke the occasionally critical story about the hometown hero.

But the Sun-Times has a recent history of mysterious and disingenuous endorsements and the Tribune hasn’t endorsed a Democrat for president since, well, ever. And even if the majority of both editorial boards prefer Obama – certainly the case at the Sun-Times – each board could be overruled by either its editor or, more likely if necessary, its publisher.

Let’s try to read the tea leaves anyway.

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Barack Bits

1. “Barack Obama wore a flag lapel pin during the first debate and John McCain did not, for those who monitor patriotic accessorizing,” Zay Smith notes in his Sun-Times Quick Takes column today.

Maybe both candidates were trolling for crossover votes.

2. “Forty-six percent of American voters are still unable to correctly identify Barack Obama as a Christian,” Smith also writes.

Yeah, but that’s a higher percentage of Republicans who identify John McCain as a Christian.

3. “The people of Cook County need a state’s attorney who is ready to run the office now, not someone ready to learn on the job,” the Sun-Times writes today in its endorsement of Anita Alvarez for Cook County State’s Attorney.

Experience will be much less important when the paper endorses Barack Obama for president – just as it was when the paper endorsed Obama over Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary.

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Web Smear

The Internet has been around a long time now – long enough to threaten the survival of many newspapers, including the Sun-Times – and yet, the traditional media still largely has a cornpoke view toward the dangfangled technology. And these are the people begging for your trust and patronage?

Consider the editorial “Web Enables Obama To Confront Rumors Head-On” in the Dim One today.

By that title, you’d think this would be a piece appreciating the use of the Web to combat scurrilous smears – a tool not available to, say, those smeared by Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s; or to poor Edmund Muskie in 1968, who, like Hillary Clinton, never really cried; or to Nixon’s enemies in the 1970s and Michael Dukakis in the 1988 campaign and so on.

But no. This, instead, is another tired rant against the Internet. Let’s take a closer look at the complete lack of rational thinking emanating from the geniuses at the Sun-Times.

“For several weeks, a scurrilous rumor about Michelle Obama has wafted through the blogosphere with an awful stench.”

Note the correlation of the blogosphere with a place reeking of an awful stench. How does that explain Rush Limbaugh and Bob Beckel?

Maybe the Sun-Times ought to rail against the radiosphere and TVsphere.

“But you didn’t hear about it in this newspaper for the best of reasons: Not a shred of evidence said it was true.”

The Sun-Times no problem publishing a Christopher Hitchens column a few months ago, though, stating as fact that Bill Clinton was a rapist. (And where is the S-T’s outrage at WTTW for allowing a local author to state that Bill Clinton “is dating” on Chicago Tonight recently without proof?)

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And This Is Your Brain On Drugs . . .

This ad appeared in both the Tribune and Sun-Times today. It’s effective if you don’t have a brain. This, indeed, is Daley Bicentennial Plaza – if you’re taking a photo from behind the entrance to the parking garage. You might as well take a picture of a Children’s Museum exhibit from behind a pillar to get a sense of how dense its officials must think we are. Or perhaps a photo of its public relations team behind checks so big they obscure their faces.

Daley Diatribe

Mayor Daley went off on one of his typical tirades against the press over the weekend, this time over editorials against the proposal to move the Children’s Museum into Grant Park.

“They’re advising me what to do with the city and they’re going right in the tank,” he said of the Tribune. “I love that. The Sun-Times is there, too. This is unbelievable. They’re giving us advice constantly on how to run the city, [while] their stock is going down.”

Maybe the fortunes of newspapers would be different if they employed illegal patronage armies. And it’s true that the Sun-Times’s inability to manage itself doesn’t give its advice a lot of credibility, but when is the last time it was in federal court . . . er, scratch that.

“[The Tribune is] selling Wrigley [naming] rights. They want to develop the whole area, tear Wrigley Field down and build high-rises.”

Huh? Did I miss that proposal?

“I wish the Tribune gave $10 million,” Daley said, noting Allstate is donating $15 million to the new museum. “I mean, they’ve got their name down at the ice rink. That’s alright. McCormick. Give me a break.”

Point for Daley, although last I heard the Tribune editorial page doesn’t run the McCormick Tribune Foundation.

But does the mayor believe the newspapers shouldn’t run editorials until they get their stock up?