Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Personal Aside: About Yesterday’s Post—I Meant It!

Yesterday I made a modest suggestion…principally to the “Sun-Times”…that maybe—just maybe—the reason that tabloid is fading so fast is that it is so resolutely left-wing. Assuredly Michael Cooke, the boss-man of the paper, believes that rigid leftism is the course he must pursue to stabilize his hemorrhaging product…but he might at least consider the fact that neither the “Sun-Times” nor the “Tribune” give conservative readers what they want…and that is the reason for its precipitous decline. Yesterday, I compared the newspaper to the entertainment industry where, strange to say, moguls have determined not to follow the market—so imbued are they with the Left.

Also yesterday I gave some suggestions as to people Michael Cooke might release for greater opportunities elsewhere—while keeping Sneed and Huntley and the excellent reportorial staff. That means getting rid of Steinberg, Brown, Falsani, Jackson, Greeley—all who run on the same narrow ideological track. Thanksgiving Day’s issue was a case in point. We were told that we should be thankful…but it was never suggested thankful to Whom. God and Judeo-Christian verities, are blotted out in the “Sun-Times.” I am not suggesting turning this newspaper into a homiletic or pastoral review but the absence of any meaningful suggestion of purpose in life is part of the “Sun-Times” problem. When the subject of God is ignored, humans devise substitutes for spiritual absolutes they have neglected: this is a large part responsible for the newspaper becoming a one-party partisan tract.

Now I’m going to make some further unasked-for suggestions. Move Carol Marin from the political column she writes to fill the shoes of the retired undisputed master of his trade, media columnist Rob Feder. No one knows the media better than Marin. She surely has the same, perhaps superior, insights on the media as Feder. While politics is not her calling, electronic media reporting essentially should be.

Shaping a newspaper that is center-right would insist that some new columnists be added—for which in suggestions I have two. The national and local political beat has been served extraordinarily well by Lynn Sweet. But her abiding interest is in the Democratic party and in liberalism generally. She should be balanced by a local Republican. One might be Chris Robling, already a commentator on Fox-Chicago who had an extensive first-hand knowledge of strategizing for and serving the Republican party…who have pledge not to intermingle his news coverage with his client list: either that or become a full-time columnist. Another could be Joe Morris, a lawyer, a former high ranking official with the Justice department under Ronald Reagan who has excellent credentials.

I have no confidence that these ideas will be heard much less acted upon…but such as the audacity of hope (where have I heard that phrase before?) that I have to write this.


  1. As a former newspaperman (Ohio and Milwaukee) who has always followed Chicago media from a distance, I was intrigued by your suggestions for the Sun-Times. I would only add that there should be one (one won't kill your idea) token liberal columnist, whether a holdover or a newcomer.

  2. Tom,

    Given how Sneed has used her column to play games and to defend people like "Greedy George" Ryan, I can't understand why you would keep her on at the paper. Whereas, Steinberg is a good writer and he probably brings in the most conservatives of readers to the SunTimes if for nothing else, but to disagree with him.