Monday, July 24, 2006
Personal Asides: Tribune Editorials and Op Eds--Now Some Editorials Have a Bit of a Bite and the Sun-Times Huntley has a good Op Ed While the Tribs Chapman Apes Buchanan The Trivia Question
Editorials and Op Eds.
Recently there has been a marked improvement in Tribune editorials. Rather than drifting off into inconclusion, some of the most recent ones have been showing up with a point of view. Take the one Saturday which warned the City Council not to fool around with Wal-Mart in a stagy effort to hike the minimum wagepointing out that the giant company is fully capable of moving on and out. Very good.
Another had a bit of the old bite. That was the piece that reproved two secularists in the West Town area of St. John Cantius church for kicking about the nightly ringing of the venerable churchs bells and getting the citys EPA to crack down on the basis of noise pollution with the result that the bells will cease ringing at 9 p.m. rather than 11 p.m. You will say this Blog likes that one because it is a parishioner of St. John Cantius and youre right. But still the editorial had bite, citing that the church had been in place for 108 years and the cowards who protested are still anonymous. Yet another was The Dance of the Dinosaurs which lampooned the Cook county Democrats for picking Todd Stroger. This Blog disagreed with the one on embryonic stem cells but it had a point. One yesterday was a little more on the weak and vague variety, saying that the UN should focus on perilous nuclear research and development which is idealistic in that it imagines the weak UN will do anything about it. Dont wring your hands about what the congenitally impotent UN should do, Trib: prescribe what should be done by bypassing the UN which as an organization is meaningless.
Over at the Sun-Times, Steve Huntley, the editorial page editor who, if they would let him be on his own would be outstanding, had a great Op Ed, evidently not suitable for an official editorial but good nevertheless for the peacenik Democratic newspaper of record to run: a well-written analysis that points out a cease-fire with Hezbollah wouldnt bring Midwest peace.
Back at the Trib, its so-called libertarian columnist, Steve Chapman hits Israels slam-back at Hezbollah to wail that by defending itself Israel only makes the situation worse. Meaning Israel should hunker down and take the rockets. Hes sounding more like Pat Buchanan and the paleos every day. Also at the Trib, the purpose prose writer Eugene Kennedy who astoundingly described the late Richard J. Daley as reminiscent of an ancient Irish chieftain, writes lovingly of the late Earl Bush, Daleys press secretary who passed up a bribe but neglects to tell us of the deal Bush accepted with restaurants at OHare which landed him in trouble.
You should shut off your search engines but, frankly, I dont think search engines would help you here. The only thing that would help is if you had spent your lifetime remembering old stories from Hollywood. For some reason I have. Here goes.
Joe Frisco was a famous stuttering comedian in the thirties. Truly afflicted with a stutter, he had used it to good financial effect on the stage and played some cameo roles in the early movies. He was also an inveterate junky for the horses. One day he was at the Santa Anita track when he saw Bing Crosby, then worth conservatively more than $100 million, perusing a scratch sheet. Joe walked up and hit Crosby for $20, saying that if he won on the next race hed pay the debt promptly. Crosby frowned, pulled out his wallet and peeled off a twenty with great reluctance since Crosby was the tightest singer-actor in memory with his own money. Joe took it and played it on a long-shot. Surprisingly, the long shot came in paying 10 to 1. Joe ran upstairs to where Crosby was sitting. Now Crosby was conferring with the chairman of Kraft Foods and other Kraft executives after just having signed a big contract for renewal of the Kraft Music Hall with Bing Crosby one of the hottest shows on NBC radio. Joe tossed a twenty on Crosbys lap and saidwhat?
Since it actually happened, its a priceless Hollywood story which has been used every time the late Joe Friscos name comes up.