Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Personal Asides: At Least One Rationale for the Amy Jacobson Dip in an Alleged Killers Swimming Pool News Flash: The Sun-Times is Returning to Our Liberal Roots!
A friend reminded me and now that I think about it I agree with him theres a good explanation for the story that broke yesterday about Channel 5 NBC Chicago reporter Amy Jacobson swimming in a backyard pool of Craig Stebic, the estranged husband of a missing Plainfield woman and not the one that the wise-guys are smirking about. I dont know Jacobson or Stebic, of course, but it strikes me that the difficulty which got Jacobson fired amounts to the difference between boys and girls. Ill bet the $15 Timex watch Ive been wearing since 1989 that she is a hotdog journalist who has been trying to get a national news break by cozying up to the family.
The difference between boys and girls in the news industry is this. A guy journalist can fraternize all he wants with Stebic, have a beer with him and probe his inner thoughts, hoping for the guy to make a slip and allow him to break the case. Dangerous but its done a lot. In Minnesota there was a wife killer named T. Eugene Thompson who was walking around free while the authorities were trying to put together a case against him. In that interim a friend of mine from a wire-service a hotdog ingratiated himself into Thompson good nature and would have drinks with him, sympathizing with his predicament but all the while listening for any clues that would give my friend a national story. The difference here is that Jacobson is a woman an attractive one from all available evidence and was probably doing the same thing.
While fraternizing with a murder suspect is, if not common, at least not unheard of in the news business among guys, it is evidently a no-no when a female reporter seeks to become chummy with a murder suspect for the reason that she is a female and he a male. Yes, swimming in his pool is rather extreme but essentially I will bet this was her intention. I dont think she should have been fired because of ita simple reprimand would do. And this hiring a Northwestern journalist professor to look at the tape and talk about ethics is over the top. The only ethics involved should be not to get paid or reimbursed in any fashion for pursuing a story.
If you tell me otherwise and Im wrong, you can have the 28-year-old Timex.
The Return to Liberalism for the Sun-Times.
To a newspaper reader with no sense of history or contemporaneousness in essence one who is like the central character in Groundhog Day the announcement by the new editorial page director of the Sun-Times that henceforth the newspaper will be liberal and of working class roots will seem strikingly innovative. But to those with a sense of history beyond the day before yesterday will find Cheryl Reeds testimony as full of holes as limburger cheese.
First of all, the idea that liberalism is a new departure for the Sun-Times is outrageous. Its forebear, the Chicago Sun was created by Marshall Field III as a liberal counterweight to the conservative Tribune. The Chicago Times was always a liberal, Democratic paper. When they were combined .after the Sun found it couldnt compete with the Tribune alone the collaboration became a worthy if not entirely successful competitor. It was a liberal paper for almost all its life except for a brief interregnum when Rupert Murdoch bought it and had to sell it shortly thereafter for economic reasons. Since then the paper has been outwardly liberal. During the time it was run by the two crooks, it was less liberal but still markedly differentiated from the Trib.
After the two crooks, the paper took such a leftwing turn as to jar ones neck out of its socket. And this during the Steve Huntley reign as the purported ahem conservative editorial page editor. There wasnt a single issue that Huntley espoused as editorial page editor that wasnt liberal. Not a single one. It endorsed gay marriage, pushed abortion and lefty social issues to the farthest extreme. Now Huntley tells us he has been a conservative all along with the exception of abortion but his editorials and selection of Op Eds could have fooled us. Let us say that the food editors views on economics and runaway free immigration dont mix well with even certain tenets of responsible liberalism. Father Greeleys views about God being a woman his dissent from the Church he publicly flouts to the edification of the papers liberals are never conservative and often weird. Jesse Jackson writing that whitey has to do more to help him and his fellow victims is not only abjectly liberal but denunciatorily so insisting that whitey has to do more to help us poor blacks!
And now the paper is going to strike off on another tack and become gasp liberal?
That is why this writer has continued to accurately describe it during the Cruickshank-Cooke era as the Democratic partys newspaper of record. It has become the uptown edition of the Reader once sans the soft porno, now with it thanks to Brother Cooke. And Ms. Reed tells us that she is now going to make it a liberal paper! Messrs. Cruickshank and that arbiter of good taste Cooke told her not to be conservative. Well, she wont shell be liberal. But pray tell what will you do to distinguish it from the Huntley regimeendorse out and out infanticide, make homosexual appreciation mandatory in the schools an income tax hike and an immediate pull-out from Iraq? How can she do that and reflect the blue-collars who by all odds have been the ballast of traditionalist society?
Ms. Reed has an impossible assignment. If she wants to make it a working class newspaper instead of the version of the National Enquirer which thanks to Cooke it is today, shell run into trouble if she makes it more liberal. Working class is not liberal. Rhapsodizing over who has mammary enlargements is not working class. If she will make it working class, she should hire a full-time columnist like the paper once hadDennis Byrnewhom they let go for unspecified reasons in their so-called conservative mode. She would have the paper endorse working class, union-oriented issues, but also traditional social ones, probably take a conservative tack on immigration, lead a fight to lower property taxes for the working class in Chicago, oppose Daleys abuse of TIFs and give a searching look to the Olympics boondoggle by taking a look first at what it did to and for Atlanta and a greater emphasis on tougher crime control. Thats working class stuff, Ms. Reed. The stuff youve inherited is white wine and brie.
Your prescription suitable for Groundhog Day cant work. Youll be back to peddling paperback steamy romances before the leaves start falling. If youre lucky.