Monday, August 23, 2004

Updated on August 23 at 1:00 am, revised at 12:25 pm.

[Before reading this blog entry, See retraction made in above blog entry about some of the erroneous statements made in the blog entry, below].

The Talk of the Town [a brewing scandal at the Chicago Tribune]:

The Chicago Tribune, a Combine unto its own, continued its drift toward the left, this week- both in the way it reports and in its decision to selectively ignore certain political candidates. How far left can Editor Ann Marie take the paper? As far left as the boardroom would like her to go. But, will the reporters march with Ann Marie or will they march to the tune of a different drummer?

With good reason, conservatives and Republicans, in general, are starting to refer to the Chicago Tribune, with some regularity, as the Libune.

As indicated, below, in the partial transcript of Sunday night’s Tom Roeser’s WLS-AM radio show, the Tribune, having editorialized sharply against the Illinois Republican Party’s choice of Alan Keyes [See Tribune August 6 editorial] as its Senate Candidate, seems Hell bent on doing whatever it can to make sure Keyes does as poorly on Nov. 2 as the Tribune predicted he would.

Hard to know whether the Tribune’s actions reflect arrogance, ignorance or simply an attempt to ingratiate itself with a new, but significant, political power—as the Tribune looks for ways both to oppose and to go along with Mayor Daley. And, you thought the Chicago Tribune was focused on journalism. Think again. Just ask Deep Throat—and follow the money.

BTW, Berkowitz, of course, has a tape of the Keyes speech and responses to questions at the City Club of Chicago in case Pearson, Mendell, Ford, Chase, Long, Parsons, Secter, Yates, et al would like to borrow it to write the story that the Tribune should have written last week [See, below]. As Judge Easterbrook’s aphorism says, “Wisdom come lately is better than Wisdom not come at all.” Boy, I sure get a lot of mileage out of that Easterbrook quip.
Tom Roeser:...At the City Club of Chicago where he [Alan Keyes] gave… a very passionate and very excellent speech [on Wednesday]—Jill [Zwick] was there, as a matter of fact [she is] a City Club of Chicago member—he [Keyes] came in surrounded by press, which is very good for a Republican candidate. Now, it is not all good; it is not all bad. But, you know a thing that bothered me about the [Chicago] Tribune: the [Chicago] Sun-times [Scott Fornek] had a very fair article about this; The Tribune had not one single line about his [Keyes’] first major speech in the City of Chicago or anywhere as a candidate...also there are several other things. At the State Fair, the Sun-times headlines said, “Conservatives rally behind Keyes at State Fair.” The Tribune [said], “GOP tepid toward Keyes during [Republican] Party’s day at Fair.” I got a feeling the Tribune doesn’t want this guy anywhere around.

Bill Pascoe: ...This is silly. I think you are absolutely right. The notion that he [Keyes] could give his first major address at the City Club and not have it reported at all in the largest newspaper in the City, the largest newspaper in the state [the Chicago Tribune] is just scandalous, frankly.

Tom Roeser: It really is and also the fact that they [the Chicago Tribune] fly their flag in behalf of what they call “moderates,” but I think it influences the news media just the same way as it did on the “right side,” when the old Colonel was alive.
Dialogue on Tom Roeser’s “Political Shoot-out,” WLS- 890 AM Radio show on Sunday night. Roeser is also a Chicago Sun-Times columnist and Chairman of the City Club of Chicago. Guests on the show included Bill Pascoe, Campaign Manager for Alan Keyes’ Illinois Senate campaign and Communications Director for the Jack Ryan campaign before it imploded on June 25, 2004 [with quite a bit of help from the Chicago Tribune’s lawsuit to unseal the Jack Ryan child custody records, a fact which the Tribune almost always omits, when "reporting," on the Jack Ryan implosion]; and Jill Zwick, former state legislator and described by Tom Roeser as an "independent strategist [who] has worked for Democratic and Republican candidates."
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of “Public Affairs,” can be reached at