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 cant 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 subjectas 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 Tribs review of Tony Snows 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 havent 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 papers 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 Godbut at least we know who she is and that the Washington bureau chief is Lynn Sweet I think its the Tribs 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: Its a war on terror. She evidently doesnt think so, does she? This is the fatal big city newspaper syndrome wherein the editorial pages believes one thing, and dear little Ms. Allison, whos probably a year or two out of college the othereach 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, thats what it is, winning sympathy, isnt 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-welland uncomfortable because, well, this is a White House news briefing. Thats 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 Tribs 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 Tribs tower-ing corporatism. Well, he wasnt but it wasnt his fault. Theres 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 isnt 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 publishers 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 poultrythus 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 lakefronts 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 butcherbut, no, that would probably outrage Ms. Hunter.