Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Personal Asides: Responding to Readers of This BlogAbout Flashbacks The Tribune Rudy Giuliani George Mikan Garrison Keillor Pope Leo XIII. And a Pop Quiz.
To all of you: thanks for taking the time to write and give all of us the benefit of your thinking about the issues covered on this Blog. David P. Graf takes issue with the fact that the Tribunes main problem is its eschewing of conservatism: The Tribune is in the mess it is because managements plans didnt quite work out. He says the WBs merger with its television stations was less than a success and all papers, not just the Tribune have been whacked by the decline in advertising and hence revenue. Plus, the Tribune lost in the courts on its plans for media expansion and that put it back to square one. I just feel bad for the regular people and reporters who work there. Its not going to be easy watching whats going to be happening to them as the Tribune goes through the breakup process.
Bob in PF takes issue with my slugging Garrison Keillor as a regular Op Ed columnist: Take another look at that photo of Keillor on your site, Tom. Do you recognize genius? In the 70swhen Im guessing that TV networks domination of media audience was at a high, this struggling writer didnt have to look in the mirror to follow his instincts to radio and he had the stuff to become a top earner in, of all things, public radio while adding rocket fuel to his career. Youve written about the need for a conservative paper in the market and its prospects. You ignore that within the lifetimes of your grandchildren, the growth of big city newspapers will be grotesquely stunted. Those financing these papers must see it, too, and are seeking ways to make more revenue with their internet editions. Content aside, if the owners of these papers dont harness the brains and instincts of Keillor, their audience will be shrinking. I offer only one solution to declining revenue and reqadership beyond increasing revenue from advertisers and readers of internet editions. Take a tip from Keillor. Solicit donations from your audience. Participate in fund drives.
Also on the Tribune. One more from Bob in PF: Tom, I frequently enjoy and am sometimes disappointed by all these Tribune columnists that you mention. But one of the main reasons I re-subscribed to the Tribune after a hiatus of several years is I like reading about the winning ways of the White Sox in the Cubs paper.
On George Mikan, the great basketballer and failed candidate for Congress from John Powers: Tom, George Mikan came out of that basketball powerhouse, Quigley Prep and brought us Ray Meyer, Andrew Greeley, Cardinal Egan and Mike McKaskey On my star-struck review of Rudy Giuliani. Lovies Leather: I have liked Rudy Giuliani. Although I dont really care for his stance on social issues, he seems to have accomplished a good agenda for NYC. He probably wouldnt be my first choice for president, but 2008 is still far off.. Well see. D. Thomas [about Guiliani): This guy is to the left of Topinka and yet you vehemently shun her and ogle over Giuliani. Come on, Tom, get real.
More on Giuliani from Leon Dixon: Rudys baggage train is so long that duh media would spend endless hours sorting through it all. I dont believe Mr. McCain was a hero. He was a POW in contrast with draft dodgers like Bill Clinton or Howard Dean. A uniform is preferred even if, ala Dan Quayle or GWB, it was a National Guard uniform. T. R.: Take the good with the bad, Tom. While Giuliani isnt a perfect Republican, he has leadership qualities that the Commander-in-Chief must possess. Much like Hillary, McCain swings back and forth depending on who he should appease on any given day.
Lot on Barack Obama whom I said is popular with white liberals because he looks like the perfectly acceptable black man they wouldnt mind their daughter marrying: kind of like Sidney Poitier, unlike a youngish version of John Strogera statement that got some mad and calling me a racist. Im not, just focusing on the white liberals habit of selecting acceptable black leadership to whites. Angered was Charlie Ramp who wrote: The idea that Barack Obama is popular because he is `a mulatto is one of the craziest things Ive ever heard. I sincerely hope the statement is some sort of political satire that has gone over my head and I dont have to conclude its racist tripe. First, its flat wrong. Obama doesnt look white. Theres no way he could be mistaken for a white man. Second, of all the factors involved in political popularity, why on earth would you focus on race and not the fact that hes handsome? Or the fact that he hs no real record so voters can largely project their own views on this blank slate?
Taking a neutral position is Mike Fiasco who says if Barack is popular perhaps its not that hes only part black at all but is half black and raised by his white mother in a white culture. If it feels racist only to reflect on his black heritage, doesnt his white heritage also make him great? Interesting.
On the gentle reproof I gave Mary Schmich of the Tribune by implying shes boring, David P. Graf writes: Did you read Schmichs series on Cabrini Green? Maybe Zorn isnt your cup of trea but hes no dummy either. Why so free with the slams? And, Tom, you are selling Obama way short look far more like a White Guy than he does (which isnt surprising) but Obama is a breath of fresh air in politics. Id like to think that he and Reagan couldve been good friends if not ideological soulmates. Could you say the same of Reagan and other Dems like Pelosi? Greg Blankenship adds that Obama is presidential timber all right because he did have the gall to state on the Senate floor in a debate on whether voters should show an ID before voting that the reason such measures were unnecessary was because there is no vote fraud in the U. S. And Bob in P.F. feels that Barack made stronger comments against the Iraq War when he was running than he does as a Senator today.
On my criticism of the Tribune, from Patrick McDonough: I really enjoyed this article. While I agree with much of what you wrote, I think the editorial staff tones down some of the staff writers oat the Tribune. Tribune staff writers such as Gary Washburne, Laurie Cohen, Todd Lighty and Mihalopoulos have powerful knowledge of events but might not be allowed to write how they feel because the paper might be scared of lawsuits. Fran Spielman has excellent sources and she seems to be trusted to write as she wants. I do not think the Sun-Times interferes with her. I also think the Chicago newspapers have come a long way in not blindly accepting the Daley administration spin. Also go to my web-site where we honor you. www.chicagoclout.com Thanks, Patrick.
On Flashback featuring Augie Andresen. Bob in PF: Tom, no regrets about it but I just spent close to $30 on Jonathan Alters `The Defining Moment about FDR but am enjoying your memoirs here just as muchmaybe more since theyre freeas Alter describes Roosevelts rise and the first 100 days By the way, are you familiar with Leo XIIIs encyclical? Alter had a brief mention of it: `[New York Governor FDRs] secretary of state in Albany, Ed Flynn, an educated man who was more than just the boss of the Bronx, began a series of conversations with FDR about Pope Leo XIIIs encyclical which shocked the world with its insistence on the natural rights of workers to form unions and receive a just wage. Soon FDRs speeches began to strike these more liberal notes, quite [opposite to the] reigning conservative orthodoxy of the Democratic party. Think that encyclical would go over big with NAFTA supporters or all of us enjoying [cheap products made by exploited workers living] in the dorms subsidized by Wal-Mart and others overseas contractors and subcontractors?
Your thoughts are welcome, even when they carry a zing! To Bob in PF: One cant be a Catholic as old as I am without having been exposed to Leo XIIIs encyclicals. No one could graduate from St. Johns in Minnesota, the heavily pro-Democratic Benedictine place where I was an undergraduate, without knowing Leo backward and forward. Gene McCarthy ran all his races on the philosophy of Leo. Leo, who reigned from 1878 to 1903, was the oldest pope, dying with full faculties at age 93, wrote Rerum Novarum in 1891 supporting democracy, the just wage and the right of unions to organize but also condemning socialism and Communism. Leo decided to make accord with liberalism which was everywhere ascendant, making a clear division between his predecessor Pius IX, insisting the intellectual battle could be won and the faith would triumph in the end. I know youre an opponent of NAFTA but I cant tell you what Leo would think since trade was not very expansive in those days.
Its anyones guess where hed be on free trade. On one hand Leo favored workers rights, laying down the law to business to be just. On the other hand, he favored economic reform that would help small business and farmers whom he realized would be allies against the radical left. I suppose if we brought Leo back here and had him read the eloquent tracts you write, hed agree because workers were the big thing with him.
Pop Quiz: Who was the singerbefore Elvis hey-daywho performed, leaning over backwards as if he was in great pain, singing Cry! and The Listen White Cloud that Cried? Im sure Frank Nofzinger will know. His name was Johnny something. I cant remember his name myself.
I know no one who reads this Blog cheats, Frank and wouldnt think of going to Google. Would you?