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
thats another. The buckshot
the downshot. All the same I read her every morning.
o Horrors! Carol Marin is so mad at Mike Pfleger! Shes mad because hes spoiling Barack Obamas chances to get elected. Shes 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 doesnt appreciate Mike Pfleger because hes an activist. Being vocally left is one thingand 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. Its 16-year-old schoolgirl stuff hollowly shallow. Almost as if youd 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. Im 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 weve covered but when I think of her following Steve Neal and John Dreiske, ugh
Steinberg who one shouldnt really criticize unduly becausehes Steinberg. Again with the exception of Sneed who was an outstanding reporter on her own before she got the column.
o While Im 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
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 hes 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.