Let me point out what I think I said before: the Sun-Times is a very good newspaper in its news reportage of the Chicago area. What bothers me is that it is being edited like a theme park. A theme park recreates a time that is supposed to be fun:. Wild West Town, Nineteenth Century Town. The Sun-Times has decided that it will be the hip newspaper and so has sprinkled various columns throughout written, often, by semi-literate youth to build up the hip image. That has played hob with its regular coverage. As Ive mentioned before, Cathleen (with a C) Falsani is the Religion Editor who knows nothing about religion, which she demonstrates frequently. But shes hip. One column purportedly on religion blasted Bush on the war without the slightest theological reference (understandable since the lady doesnt know theology). Last week Ms. Falsanis column informed us that she is edified because her mother and father smooth in restaurants.
Ms. Falsanis picture is of a youngster who looks for all the world like one who has barely stopped popping her gum. This is a reporter the paper sends to Rome when the conclave elects a Pope? About Lynn Sweet I have no more complaint because the paper recently decided to be a harshly partisan one in the mode of the early 20th century. Being liberal is hip and Sweet, the Washington correspondent, is admirably equipped to cover liberaldom. Neil Steinberg, now that he is back with us, is obviously supposed to be the hipster feature-writer who shows us how young men think. Richard Roeper is supposed to show us how young bachelors think, although hes pretty long in the tooth. Father Greeley is supposed to instruct us on how a priest can be hip. Carol Marin carries the title political columnist, but shes not that: shes the middle-aged hip Common Cause-style outraged moralist, writing an attack on Bush because one Arab she knows feels he has been wrongly suspected (and she agrees). Laura Washington is the hip black woman who cant help being a Democrat because its not hip for blacks to be anything else. Mary Mitchell is another hip woman who equates black aspirations with the Democratic party. No independence for them. Theyre crafted to fit a hip stereotype.
Debra Pickett is the hip young married and she presides over the Smart Girls Book Club. A few conservative syndicated columnists are sprinkled and there you have it! How to be hip. Despite all that, the overworked, underpaid news staff is neither hip nor non-hip but very good and deserves a Pulitzer for investigatory journalism. Its there if you can get around the hip.