Thursday, August 3, 2006

Personal Asides: Nothing Like this Sun-Times Headline to Greet Your Impressionable Young Kids in the AM…Publisher’s Wife Likes Talking Dirty…Censure Durbin Tally Stands at 1,514


“So, Why Do Men Fall Asleep After Sex?...” asks the banner-line of the Sun-Times yesterday, the streamer headline directly beneath the paper’s logo…showing what’s important to the newspaper which goes to the newsstands and homes where singles, impressionable children and senses-prone adolescents read it. Which has as editor-in-chief John Barron, who is responsible for selecting what goes on the front page and supervising the graphics…the brother of the man Francis Cardinal George has selected to evangelize Chicagoans, if not to the Catholic faith, then to Christianity, Father Bob Barron. Father Barron, who was an assistant pastor at my church in Park Ridge, teaches the authentic doctrine about sex including the proviso, passed on to theologians from Augustine, that there must be a morally good reason for any action that brings about or encourages sexual stimulation…which can be prompt what theologians including Father Barron call “an occasion of sin,” spurring a lapse into the concupiscence that ther Apostle Paul said excludes one from the kingdom of heaven.

So, should editor Barron be controlled by the strictures preached by Father Barron? No, but the chiaroscuro contrast is there. It’s not unfair (but is unfashionable) to point out that everyone has a responsibility to avoid scandalizing the young: …newspaper editors as well as, say, accountants…The first order of business ought not to be the marketing of newspapers that exploit prurience, which, in cultures less debased than this one, editors have been loathe to do. In important ways, the Sun-Times has beaten its opponent to the news punch. Regrettably, it also has beat it in the race to flaunt tawdry soft-porno to make headway on the newsstands. That headline was abominable. And John Barron is responsible.

The Publisher’s Wife.

Jennifer Hunter, the wife of Sun-Times publisher John Cruickshank, John Barron’s boss, writes some of the paper’s unsigned editorials as well as a signed column evidently that is keyed to a segment of the market as all other of the paper’s columnists are: Debra Pickett to the young single or newly married…Neil Steinberg to the upscale with-it, newly affluent young males…single guy (though over 40) Richard Roeper to the more beer-guzzling pop movies fans and girl-ogling males…Cindy Richards to the “with it” feminist moms who push Planned Parenthood…Bill Zwecker to the bug-eyed about Hollywood trash glitterati…Mary Mitchell to African American women, with emphasis on rooting for black women. But to get to Ms. Hunter, the publisher’s wife…

Her marketing segment is to evidently politick 40-something feminists, single and married who look at their husbands or boy-friends dozing by the TV and think idly about whether or not to cut and run. Yesterday she spent her space mooning about why older guys run around with younger women when there are so many eligible women Hunter’s age who are unattended. Deep and profound, what in a tabloid where news space is at a premium? In her six-hundred-fifty words the publisher’s wife says that these middle-aged women should run around with young men “and play the same game” the grey-haired old men with protruding guts do. And of course Hunter has to practice the obligatory vulgarisms for the newspaper that bills itself as “The Bright One.” She has drawn the picture of how older men can be both unattractive and impotent but she has to get as prurient as the front page streamer, describing as ideal the man “who still has his hair, no gut and doesn’t need a lift from Viagra.” Isn’t that lovely. Mrs. Cruickshank?

Censure Durbin.

The tally is at `1,614 having lost a day because the web-site went on the fritz. But it’s still pretty good with no attention paid except from this Blog and some allies. The news blackout is on. But more good news on the way.

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