Thought I'd alert you to an analysis of the Tribune Co. response to the harsh Columbia Journalism Review editorial calling for the end of the Tribune Co. It's from a blog in Chicago called "The Chicago Cubune Watch." When I first saw the title, being from South Florida, I naturally read that first "u" long, like Cuba. But then I saw that it was short, as in Cubs, the baseball team. The guy who writes it, one Jeff McMahon, is a White Sox fan and former reporter who hammers the Chicago Tribune on an almost daily basis. He's mainly pissed off that the Tribune owns the Cubs in a two-baseball-team-town town, finding it (rightly) not only a fundamental conflict of interest but "just plain dumb." He writes:
"As I got to know the Tribune better, I was surprised by its well-financed mediocrity, its willingness to manipulate readers, its overt and self-serving bias, its disregard for the people it imposes its curious views upon."
Anyway, he recently tore into the TribCo defense, written by VP Gerould W. Kern and illustrated it with the funny piece above (representing TribCo, a fallen Sonny Liston says to Ali, "You may think you have hit me. However, you are misinformed and misguided"). In one bit of inspired criticism, McMahon rips Kern for referring to "markets" rather than "cities":
"It's hotly in pursuit of multi-media monopoly in each," he writes. "And we're pretty sure it's not chasing monopoly for the public good. We think it might just be chasing monopoly so it can liberate more money from the public wallet through its vile 'synergies' between editorial and advertising and between television and newspapers."
Amen, brother. Read the post here.
After the jump: Ben Graber Promises To Out-Jew Robert Wexler!
Hey, it was a long weekend for those of us who got Monday off due to MLK day (sorry, Sun-Sentinel folks, but I guess the TribCo doesn't think enough of the great civil rights leader to properly honor his holiday). And I'd been meaning to point to this story by Anthony Man in Saturday's paper about the political ambitions of former Broward Mayor Ben Graber, who recently lost his bid for the state house to political newcomer Jeremy Ring.
First, while Man's story was interesting, it was ludicrously overplayed, with a big fat banner headline on the Local front about how Graber was eyeing U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler's seat. We're talking about a blowhard, out-of-office politician talking about what he might do in a year or two. Good political stuff, but not earth-shattering news.
But, again, it was good stuff. Man writes:
And with a nod toward the district's most important constituency, the heavily Jewish retirement communities that mark the Broward-Palm Beach county congressional district, Graber is planning to portray himself as a stronger supporter of Israel than Wexler.
"If you had to do a comparison of the two of us [on Israel], I'm probably more conservative," Graber said.
Pressed for specifics, he said, "Let's put it this way: He tends to take the Democratic Party line on Israel. I tend to be more conservative. More like Joe Lieberman. Maybe not as conservative as Joe."
Dude, you can't steal the Jewish vote from Wexler. It'd be like John Kerry trying to take the redneck vote away from George W. Bush. Ain't gonna happen. Don't get me wrong, Graber, you can obsequiously pander with the best of them. I give you that. But that's not what this is about. Wexler has made a career of groveling for the Jewish vote, and there's no damn way you're going to get beneath that underbelly. No way.
I mean, Wexler led the way in supporting the invasion of Iraq. I know you stupidly supported it verbally, but did you actually make visits to Turkey to try to get their help for the Shuck and Jive -- or, I mean, Shock and Awe -- campaign (despite that country's tendency to want to, um, cleanse Kurds from the region)? No, of course you didn't. So shut up.
What are you going to do that's so "conservative," Ben? Publicly support an invasion of Iran and Syria? Look, I think that maybe even AIPAC is starting to see that the bully-on-the-block strategy advocated by Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz isn't going to help America or Israel much.
No, I think you ought to let Wexler alone. After all, he already showed that he can beat your ass like an Appalachian rug when his boy Ring sent you home in November. The people already called, man, and they told you to stay the hell in your gynecological office doing what you do best. So put on the rubber gloves and leave the politics alone.