Monday, June 2, 2008

Personal Aside: Quick Comments on the Media


o I wonder if anyone is just a Catholic to Sneed and not a “devout Catholic.” Every time she refers to a Catholic it is with the prefix “devout.” Now the latest “devout Catholic” to surface in her column is Conrad Black. This “devout Catholic” is teaching American history to prison inmates where he is quartered while his fans are trying to get him pardoned by President Bush. What other clichés does she use? Judy Baar Topinka is always “irrepressible”…that’s another. The buckshot…the backshot…the upshot…the downshot. All the same I read her every morning.

o Horrors! Carol Marin is “so mad at Mike Pfleger!” She’s mad because he’s spoiling Barack Obama’s chances to get elected. She’s going to hold her breath `til she turns blue! Honestly, the job of a political columnist is to bring some insight to the political news not just schoolgirl gushing about her preferences. To think she commands a virtual monopoly on political news in the media…her column in the “Sun-Times”…her prominent position on Channel 5…and her domination of Channel 11…all for the same supine lefty visceral thought processes with no intellectual basis except feelings. Religion for her is just a social service conduit, nothing more. Listen to her: Msgr. Jack Egan (devotee of Saul Alinsky) would be so mad at Mike Pfleger! And Sister Connie Driscoll would too! But still and all, the chancery doesn’t appreciate Mike Pfleger because he’s an activist. Being vocally left is one thing—and could be even a good thing if she brought insight. My own favorite lefty is Frank Rich of “The New York Times.” But this stuff from her is 1960s rant from someone who should have moved beyond it and brought some depth. It’s 16-year-old schoolgirl stuff hollowly shallow. Almost as if you’d expect her to write a sentence beginning with “go.” “So I go--what is this doing to do to Barack? And he goes: not that much.”

o All the while the brilliant analysis of Richard M. Daley not long ago by Fran Spielman seems to go underrated at that newspaper. I’m talking about her outstanding, superb “Whatever It Takes” analysis a few weeks ago concerning the museum in the park…outlining brilliantly how whatever Daley wants, Daley gets, her latest effort that really has powerful perspicacity. The “Sun-Times” can be so exasperating. It has some extraordinary good stuff in its city coverage and gawd-awful tripe in its signature columns for which we must thank Michael Cooke, emperor of schlock…I would add all signature columns with the exception of Sneed. The cartoons of Jack Higgins are really world-class quality. And the Daley family tree yesterday by Tim Novak was really first-rate. None of these outstanding journalists have columns, you understand. Those who do are awful: Falsani who for some reason sticks around, supposedly writing religion but instead does high school sophomore stuff…Marin we’ve covered but when I think of her following Steve Neal and John Dreiske, ugh…Steinberg who one shouldn’t really criticize unduly because—he’s Steinberg. Again with the exception of Sneed who was an outstanding reporter on her own before she got the column.

o While I’m at it, when is John Kass over at the “Tribune” going to be nominated for a Pulitzer and get it which he richly deserves? It seems to me that here you have a guy who has put an enduring label on the political illness that afflicts Illinois…the “Combine”…and who has the wit, savvy and courage to keep on writing material that is both powerfully expressive and witty. His column on Big Jim is Pulitzer quality. For my money he’s much better than Royko because Royko was at heart a nihilist. Nobody was any good to him. Kass as a columnist is worth all more than all the political commentary in Chicago bar-none.

o And before I finish, I should point out once again that the best surveyor of commentary in the nation with the capacity of bringing it to light is Jim Bowman whose blog “Blithe Spirit” uncovers stuff that would otherwise be forgotten. Jim was religion editor of the old “Daily News” and a superb literary craftsman.

1 comment:

  1. Sneed, Marin, and the rest are a joke.
    And John Kass is fantastic.

    (Re: the "devout" Catholic label - I've noticed that if one goes to Mass at least twice a month, the MSM will call them "devout." And it's not just the MSM - people themselves do it. Just the other day I was reading a cop blog and the topic was Pfleger, and one of the commenters said, "I am a devout Catholic, and it's bad enough Church policy on contraception, homosexuality, and divorce have nearly driven me from Catholicism, but Pfleger is really about to."


    I'm a devout Jew - wanna meet for a ham sandwich and lobster bisque later?

    I'm a devout Muslim. Wanna hit the strip club later? It's nickel beer night.

    I'm a devout Baptist. Wanna pray the Rosary?

    We need to strongly urge the public to read the "devout" entry in the dictionary. It's an especially big deal when so-called journalists get it wrong.