Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Updated June 22, 2004, 2:30 pm. A sad day for the Chicago Tribune. The last year: a look back.

The Chicago Tribune is starting to remind me of a tobacco company. I mean, I am all for the free market and a free press. Nevertheless there are some companies I wouldn’t choose to work for and there are some records I, as a media giant, wouldn’t use my resources and reputation to unseal. Not unless I was lacking in, how should I put it? Character?
Jeff Berkowitz
June 22, 2004
"My campaign is going to be about making life better for the poorest of the poor," Ryan told me Monday morning as we sat at a conference table in the starkly furnished Gold Coast office suite that for the moment served as headquarters for his three-person campaign…
"It's going to be about making ours an equal opportunity society and giving everyone a chance at the American dream. Today a student at a public high school on the South Side of Chicago doesn't have a prayer in the new information economy if he's going up against the student going to New Trier High School or a Barrington High School. And that's not right."
His goal is "to empower Americans, turn this into an opportunity society and give every person a real, real chance at the American dream," he said. "We can't continue to ignore the lack of investment in our schools and the failure to provide equality of opportunity for all people--Latino, white and African-American."

To this, the proper response of Democrats is "uh-oh." Jack Ryan is just the sort of polished, non-strident do-gooder Republican who will find support in the moderate middle while flattering the mainstream right with his non-unctuous compassion for the dispossessed: Ryan won the Chicago Conservative Conference Senate straw poll Saturday by 11 percentage points over eight potential rivals.

His true counterpart in the Democratic primary field is state Sen. Barack Obama, a progressive candidate whose bona fides also make him very attractive to moderates. Both men are Harvard Law graduates with impressive community service records and huge political futures.

Now that I know Jack, I'm very sure that, soon enough, you will too.
Candidate Ryan is not confused about who he is
Eric Zorn
May 20, 2003
Ryan file a bombshell
Ex-wife alleges GOP candidate took her to sex clubs
Above the fold Headline to Chicago Tribune article by John Chase and Liam Ford, June 22, 2004
The measure of Jack Ryan's character is that he continues to invoke his child to advance the increasingly flimsy idea that he has higher priorities than his own ambition.
Eric Zorn, Chicago Tribune, June 22, 2004
And what would be the measure of the character of the Chicago Tribune, which didn’t just report this story of allegations made in a divorce lawsuit, which was resolved between the parties years ago. No, No, No. Mere accurate reporting, that is not the Tribune’s mission, not at all. Ask Ann Marie Lipinski, the Tribune’s Editor. The Tribune’s mission is to speak for those in society who are weak and powerless, or so they say.

The Tribune, by bringing the lawsuit [with WLS- Ch. 7 TV], blessed the idea that four year old divorce/child custody “allegations,” with no hint of allegations that involve anything criminal, should, at least for now, be the focus of the
U. S. Senate Race in Illinois.

It appears to any reasonable person that The Tribune does not want this U. S. Senate race to be about such things as school choice and the mode of education which best serves low-income minority students. Nor about which foreign policy best promotes the interests of the United States. Nope, allegations of “racy bars in three different cities,” as Tribune hero and State Senator Steve Rauschenberger put it. That’s what the Tribune and its columnist Eric Zorn think this Senate race should be about. Racy bars and divorce/child custody allegations.

Of course, Eric Zorn dresses it up in a great morality play, but that is what it comes down to. Perhaps someday, someone at the Tribune or the liberalstream media will own up to why they drove so hard to bless the effort to make the Senate race about “racy bars.” But not today.

Today, the Publisher of the Chicago Tribune, Scott Smith, can say, perhaps with a straight face, see- see, this is why the Chicago Tribune is a great paper. This is what we can accomplish by filing lawsuits to open up Child Custody files. This is the character of a great Media Giant. This is our Mission.

Yes, Scott. That is the character of the paper that you publish. How very Winnetka. Bringing the ethos of a Village of twelve thousand to a state of twelve million. And, yet another benefit to the folks at the Tribune- this gets Da Mayor off the front page for a few days. Cool.
Jeff Berkowitz, June 22, 2004.
Jeff Berkowitz, host and producer of “Public Affairs,” can be reached at JBCG@aol.com