Franks & HinzTodd Stroger and Ralph Martire Get Some Comeuppance . Wait-Wait, Dont Tell Us. You Dont Have ToWe Have Patrick Fitzgeralds Politics Figured Out...The Sun-Times, Liberal, Working Class: Just Ask Roger; Hed Know Cheryl Reed Evidently Gets Rid of Mark Steyn (for the Working Class) Michael Miner Again Pegs Big Jim Right.
Franks & Hinz.
Usually I have one liberal and one conservative on Shootout
or one Republican and one Democrat. Last Sunday I had two liberalsState Rep. Jack Franks (D-Woodstock) and Greg Hinz of Crains Chicago Business who as a good reporter does not have a party designation but who is an acerbic and pretty darned good independent critic of the bipartisan establishment
but, no doubt, a liberal as well. Result: while I worried that there would be only one side presented
there were two
with attacks on the Leftfeaturing sharp criticism for two personas, one powerful Dem politician and another philosophical big government liberal. And both did probably better than any two conservatives I could have found.
The toughest assessment of Todd Stroger as president of the Cook county board came from Hinz who agreed that Stroger was (a) incompetent, (b) lackadaisical about being held accountable because of the solidity of the bloc vote in Cook and (c) unenthusiastic about being president of the board at all but who just accepted it to please his father. Sure, I fed Hinz the choices but he enthusiastically agreed and said Stroger fit all three of the above. Not Jack who, I feel, needs the approbation of Stroger for his Hillary Clinton campaign.
And a searing assessment of Ralph Martire, the Op Ed contributor to the Sun-Times came from Franks
while Hinz demurred. Martire wrote last week that the problem for Illinois is that there has not been enough tax dollars to go around to satisfy social needs especially with regard to the pensions. Franks, chairman of a key House committee, powerfully and eloquently objected and stood up for the taxpayers. Hinz felt we have an obligation to provide the assistance the voters were informed of.
Nevertheless, it means that the candor of the show
when participants express what they really think
means that both sides are presented. Congratulations, guys for a terrific show.
Patrick Fitzgeralds Politics.
Ever since he became U. S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, many people
have been trying to deduce Patrick Fitzgeralds politics. An Irishman born to a lower middle class family whose patriarch was a Catholic Manhattan apartment house doorman may mean (a) a Reaganesque Republican, blue collar, possibly pro-union but with traditional family values or (b) a hard-shelled Democrat who believes the Republican party is less interested in people than in preserving the patrimony for Wall Street and entrepreneurialism. Which is it?
Fitzgerald started off in Chicago becoming a terror to George Ryan, a turncoat liberal Republican crook
well that could mean either that he felt Ryana big, puffed-belly blowhardwas the worst the Republican party had to offer and cherished an inner sympathy with those who defied him
or that the prosecutor was offended by the graft which had turned the Republican party in Illinois into a receivership for graft. Then when he moved against Daleys abuse of patronage, the view came crystal-clear that Fitzgerald was appalled at the bloated excesses of a Democratic machine in power since 1931 and inwardly wanted a change. By and large, conservatives felt he was one of them.
But all this came to an 180 screeching U-turn when Fitzgerald investigated the Valerie Plame leak. His conviction of Scooter Libby despite the fact that he knew the identity of the true leaker was all the time, seemed to make clear that he was unmoved by the patriotic selfless serving of a leader in the anti-terrorism war and wanted to Stand Tall in Georgetown. His being graded as mediocre by the White Housewhich flies in the face of his legal skillsimplied that the Bush people feel he is not one of them.
On and on it goes
but Saturday I submit that the answer came where we would least expect it. Fitzgerald appeared on the NPR radio show Wait, Wait, Dont Tell Me! taped in the Chase bank auditorium. He joked that by being on the show it was the only way he could get tickets to view it. Thats enough
we dont have to wait any more and you dont have to tell me. WWDTM (Wait, Wait, Dont Tell Me) is the essence of a liberal, snooty, affluent, wine and brie cheese show that features snide laughing up ones expensively cuff-linked sleeve at conservatives, traditional values and sports an upper class veneer of snobbery. A kind of self-punishing monitor of NPR (where I used to be a regular panelist under Bruce DuMonts direction at WBEZs Inside Politics) I have yet to hear
and I mean yet to hear
a criticism of any liberal action while Bush, Cheney and the entire Republican cast are skewered to the delight
of the studio audience.
The quest is completed. Patrick Fitzgerald is a blooming species democratus liberalas elitist snob, superior, condescending, patronizing
Democrat in deep blue hue, probably pro-Obama with a hidden desire to STIG (Stand Tall in Georgetown). That wasnt hard at all.. No one
and thats no one
can listen to the snide gaffawing of the announcer and players with the liberal cheers of the crowd without turning it offwhich means that weve finally pegged the elusive Mr. Fitzgerald. The rest of the pattern can fall into place nicely: a Catholic, personally pro-life but who like the Hynes family, the Madigans and the Daleys respects Roe v. Wade until it is repealed
reveres the Kennedy mystique
heterosexual but who supports gay rights probably one step short of gay marriage
wants more affirmative action
who feels the Iraq War was the wrong war at the wrong time
who worries about global warming
heedless of embryonic stem cells. There: that wasnt tough, was it? All because of his favorite radio show. If you listen to NPR enough to have a favorite radio show
especially that elitist one
youre not a conservative, baby.
Liberal but Working Class?
Just once Id like to be able to fathom what Roger Ebert meant when he told Conrad Black thatto quote Michael Miner of The Readerhe couldnt understand why readers in a staunchly working-class town like Chicago had to choose between two Republican papersmeaning the Sun-Times and the Tribune. I guess when youre so far left as Roger, there is a yawning gap between a paper that has endorsed abortion and gay marriage (which it did under Black) and a paper that endorses abortion and fudges to and fro between civil unions and gay marriage, asking at the very conclusion: who knows?, which is the wobbly Tribune. Endorsing either of the major partys presidential candidates doesnt really tell the story. And Miner winds up his piece by saying that if Cheryl Reed, the new editorial page editor of the Sun-Times has any question, she should ask Roger. He knows.
Does he? Mike Royko did; Dan Brown doesbut Roger Ebert?
God help us
and with true sympathetic deference to Roger who is fighting cancer
if he were only as good a film critic as mythology holds (which means hed be the equal of Joe Morganstearn of the Wall Street Journal or have the encyclopedic tastes of Terry Teachout in film as Teachout has in the entire field of the arts)
itd be worth asking him something
including how to position a liberal, working class paper. Liberal, eccentrically so, Roger is who has loved to go to Cannes to cover the film festivals blasting the U. S. as part of his coverage of the working class.
The horrifying answer is Ebert is not and was never particularly good at film criticism despite the inflated buzz that acclaims him a genius in that department. He has rotten taste, is uncourageous enough to forebear asking the moguls for something better to clean up their deplorable taste, is a toady of the industry for which service he got the Pulitzer prize as most others do through alignment with the prevailing leftward tide of the media with the same kind of fawning obeisance that the Nobel people gave their prize to the worst ex-president in history, Jimmy Carter. His wife, Chazz, has been notable about cashing in on special arrangements through affirmative action, convenient since she is African-American
all without a murmur from the press because she is black and he is the reigning super-white, guilt-ridden liberal.
As Miner brought up, the Sun-Times did endorse Todd Stroger
for which it seemingly apologized. Had the paper been truly working-class, it would have supported Tony Peraica
but the fact that Tony is pro-life would violate the canons of liberalism now, wouldnt it?
While were at it
the newly designated working class newspaper has long had a liberal columnist
one of many
who writes about what is called the Chicago wayTom McNamee--who replaced an eloquent, conservative truly blue-collar scribe who truly celebrated working-class in plays and columns, Mike Houlihan. McNamee yesterday defended Jeffrey and Sara Hutsell, the Deerfield parents whose son hosted a Homecoming Party in their basement on Oct. 18, 2006 where drinking occurred on their watch after two teens were killed. They were convicted by a jury, may serve a year each in prison and face ruinous civil suits for their negligence. But in this working class newspaper, McNamee thinks they have suffered too much for their negligence.
One thing about the working class McNamee that caught my eye in this newly-designated working class newspaper is a crack he made about talk radio. But even on talk radio, where stupidity and anger go together like peanut butter and jelly, he wrote. Typical upper crust snob. What would he know about talk radio?
Well, as it turns out, quite a bit. Years ago Brother McNamee co-chaired a talk radio show on WLS, home of the blue-collars where stupidity and anger go together like peanut butter and jelly
and struck out. Hes just no good, said the blue-collar station program manager to me as we watched him struggling with no calls due to his affective liberalism, what can you do with these liberals who arent all that smart but think theyre smarter than the folks calling in?
Defending the flagrantly irresolute, non-responsible high roller Deerfield parents, thats the working class icon McNamee for you. If they expressed contrition I never heard it. I think they lied to save their skins. Didnt their own kid testify against them?
Working class columnists for a working class newspaper? Is it the preppy wise guy New Yorker Manhattan type, Neil Steinberg, lefty on almost everything
anti-Iraq, anti-Bush, pro-abort, pro-gay rights? I dont think so. Is it the picture of Dorian Grey
the youthful Richard Roeper, long in the tooth as he cruises past 40
well-past 40: the bachelor icon? Another lefty. Is it Rick Telander who mixes lefty politics in with his sports? Is it the publishers wife, Jennifer Hunter who tells us breathlessly how many Republicans are switching over to the Democrats without checking that they were Democrats in perpetuity and suckered when they described themselves as anguish turn Democrats? Is it the food editor, Sue Ontiveros, who sides with Hispanic illegals?
Working class where its religion columnist an ex-Wheaton college evangelical, a former Catholic, covers her topic by whooping ding-dong the witch is dead when Jerry Falwell expired. Real working class, that.
Some day were going to wake up and the uptown edition of the National Enquirer will be gone. What a loss for the working class of Chicago
and the wretched twosome, far worse for the city than the two crooks, Black and RadlerCruickshank and Cookewill be scuttling like the small furry animals trying to leave the Titanic in the movie of the same nameso frenetic they ran over your shoes.
Cheryl Reed: Nixing Mark Steyn for the Working Class?
The former book editor who wants to return the Sun-Times to its working class roots has evidently scrubbed Mark Steyn as columnist. Probably the most vivid political commentator in the press today who slugs heavily against the elites, Steyn has been missing in the Controversy section of the Sunday Enquirer for the past two weeks. Atta girl, Cheryl; we wouldnt want intellectual diversity to soil the paper.
Thanks, Michael Miner
for pointing out in Hot Type for The Reader that the convictions of Conrad Black and David Radler did not vindicate the blowsy ex-governor Jim Thompson who snoozed while the two crooks ran away with the store at Hollinger. Miners summation was terrific.
His Elephantine Pomposity said on the radio that the jury had found Black and the others guilty on counts where it was clear the non-compete transactrions were hidden from the audit committee and acquitted them on some other counts based on transactions that went to the audit committee but with a false explanation. In other words, says Miner, where Black and Radler hit their scheming in plain sight in documents Thompson `skimmed they got off. Vindication? Thompson implied that since the documents were filed a year or two later, it didnt matter if he only skimmed them since it all came ou the same. We later sued and got the money back so we were in the same position.
Miner asked:Does he [Thompson] think that notwithstanding the collapse of the company and notwithstanding ther millions of dollars that Hollinger has paid out in legal fees, its all the same to the Hollinger shareholders whether they got the millions of dollars Black and Radler siphoned off when the deals were made or years later? And what about the $50 million settlement two years ago after shareholders sued Hollinger on grounds that its board of directors had been asleep at the switch. Should Thompson take credit for that windfall?