Thursday, May 18, 2006

Personal Asides: Outraged Moralist Marin…Tony Snow as Seen by, Well, One Allison Benedikt…the Awful Starchy Whiteness of the Trib all Before We Get to the Foie Gras.


The Sun-Times’ outraged moralist, Carol Marin writing again about the story she broke two years ago concerning the union leaders’ kids who got city jobs? She can’t find anything worse in our society to complain about? ...You should scroll down and look at the interesting economic colloquy on immigration with Liam doing two part stories on taxing illegals in response to John Powers and a discussion between Powers and Jim Leahy on the subject—as well as a piece by Mike Butler zinging Dick Durbin (appropriately)…Then a bit of erudite theology on the King James version by Will…and a few additional points on immigration from Jason…

The Trib’s review of Tony Snow’s performance at his first White House briefing was written by somebody who has the perspicacity of a 14-year-old, written in fey feature style by one Allison Benedikt (no, I haven’t misspelled it: Benedikt). As always with the Tribune which has a deadly corporate bureaucracy, no one is readily identifiable except for John Kass (superb), Eric Zorn (pretty good) and Mary Schmich (pretty good). Who, for example, is its Religion Editor? Do we have to go to the paper’s corporate directory and thumb through its pages to find out? Is Rick Pearson the Political Editor? At least the Sun-Times tells us their Religion Editor is Cathleen Falsani who is devoted to telling us what Dusty Baker thinks about God—but at least we know who she is…and that the Washington bureau chief is Lynn Sweet…I think it’s the Trib’s stultifying corporate mentality that stymies me.

Ms. Benedikt thinks Tony Snow was rather boring repeating “that old White House sweeps-week favorite, `Let me remind you: It’s a war on terror.’” She evidently doesn’t think so, does she? This is the fatal big city newspaper syndrome wherein the editorial pages believes one thing, and dear little Ms. Allison, who’s probably a year or two out of college the other—each given equal weight. She also has a disconcerting world-weary tone that finds Snow has won more sympathy for his bracelet denoting his near-fatal colon cancer than President Bush has for anything Bush has said. My, that’s what it is, winning sympathy, isn’t it? See how she writes like a Valley Girl talks? “It was a jarring moment, at once moving because, well, the guy had cancer” well-well-well—“and uncomfortable because, well, this is a White House news briefing.” That’s a bad imitation of Tom Wolfe concluding “the guy was pretty unflappable.” This gal Allison is, well, pretty awful.

Which leads one to speculate about the Trib’s very proper starchy white appearance. When Mike Royko switched over there from the Sun-Times there was a feeling that he would not be as good, rather subdued by the Trib’s tower-ing corporatism. Well, he wasn’t but it wasn’t his fault. There’s something about a humor columnist and witty urban commentator appearing in those deadly white pages that drains the juice out of the language. When Royko was in the old Daily News, a paper where the ink would come off on your fingertips as you turned the pages, he fit, somehow. Royko in the Trib never seemed to be comfortable.

Switch now to the Sun-Times’ food section where its editor doubles as a Saturday commentator, dishing up conventional wisdom and run-of-the-mill liberalism when she isn’t concentrating on Hispanic doings. The subject is foie gras which is a liver pate most generally used in French restaurants. The issue, of course, is pro-life vs. pro-choice. Since the Sun-Times in its desire to appeal to the hip cannot afford to make a comment that is not pro-abortion (a law reinforced by the publisher’s stridently feminist wife who writes under the moniker of Jennifer Hunter), the metaphor is strained. But the issue, launched by Charlie Trotter, is that ducks and geese have to undergo terrible torture and foreshortened life spans because of force-feeding that makes their livers more tasty. Trotter, who teaches cooking on Channel 11 (naturally) feels that suffering is a terrible thing to visit on poultry—thus this trendy guy is pro-life, wishing to extend the lives and spare the lives of poultry from torture…while Chefs for Choice believe everyone has a right to make the decision for themselves. The rigidly politically correct, ultra-liberal Democrat Joe Moore, alderman of the lakefront’s 49th is a pro-lifer where it affects geese and ducks but an absolutist pro-death where the issue is human life and partial birth abortion.

The spat begs for some fun but of course the Sun-Times cannot play. The food writer, a Sandy Thorn Clark, makes the comparison between the seriousness of fighting crime and supporting more money for education which she says the council should be concerned with. Were she to have mentioned the loss of human lives by abortion she would likely be either chastised or fired as was Denny Byrne, their very good editorial page columnist, a number of years ago for daring to have a different view from the marketing decision that pits the newspaper to the side of feminism.

At the very least, Ms. Thorn Clark could have written that the issue belongs between a goose and her butcher—but, no, that would probably outrage Ms. Hunter.

1 comment:

  1. Senator Jeff Sessions indicates over 217 million new immigrants are possible before 2026 under the current bill up for debate:

    Protestors are demanding full immediate amnesty:

    Karl Rove's / JBT's / Bob Kjellander's favorite candidate for Senate in 2004 does what he does best (no not run for election) by offering his take on the immigration debate.

    One final point - In Ann Coulter's column she discloses the best plan (from Peter Brimelow) I've heard to date.

    " illegal immigrants be told they have two months to leave the country voluntarily and not have their breaking of our immigration laws held against them when they apply for citizenship from their home countries — or not leave and be banned from U.S. citizenship forever."