Monthly Archives: May 2005

WJ column June 2005

RACIST SCUM:

Breathes there an Oak Parker with soul so dead, who never to himself has said, “I love diversity”? Of course not. Nonetheless, there are racists among us who joined white flight out of Austin, making that neighborhood slide into rack and ruin.

Take the white newlyweds who set up connubial housekeeping in 1969 in an apartment at 334 1/2 North Lotus, in an 18-unit building. The building was all white because Baird & Warner as management company was keeping it that way by not advertising vacancies, because the largely Catholic-funded and St. Catherine of Siena rectory-based Alinsky-style Organization for a Better Austin (OBA) had told it to.

A young ex-Jesuit seminarian was OBA point man for the building. The building’s manager, also young, had his orders: OBA was trying to keep the neighborhood from being overrun, and this building was to be a sort of rampart. This hard-nosed Alinsky approach was being applied on neighborhood issues in Woodlawn, where Nick von Hoffman, later a newsman and national columnist, was helping to start The Woodlawn Organization (TWO), and on Chicago’s Southwest Side, where the Organization for the Soutwest Community tried to stem the tide of white flight and black inundation. If politics ain’t beanbag, as we hear from its practitioners, neither was trying to keep Austin from going all black.

The newlyweds established their household in July. In October the woman drove past Austin High on time to be pelted with rocks by students getting out of class. The windshield of her Chevy Nova was shattered. She got back to Lotus Street in a hurry, ran up to their third-floor apartment, and knocked on neighbors Gretchen and Richard’s door across the hall. Gretchen called the man at work. He rushed home on the “L.” She was O.K., though shaken.

In January a first-floor apartment was burglarized and set afire; the racist couple told the property manager they were leaving, lease or no lease. O.K., he said, we’ll advertise the apartment. The heck with the OBA. The building would no longer be all white. The rampart was breached.

Among people who came looking was a man who asked why the couple was leaving. Burglary with arson, the white man said. Oh, we’re used to that, the other said. In due time, a woman with a child took the apartment. Unfamiliar with Oak Park and being told the rental office was on North Boulevard, she misunderstood and took a bus all the way to North Avenue. She became the first black tenant. The couple moved to Oak Park.

There they met other white liberals who had flown. One hosted a meeting at her very nice house where guests were asked to volunteer as bail-money-suppliers for arrested members of the Black Panthers at any time of day. The couple declined but in conversation learned that the hostess and her husband had left a South Side neighborhood when their black professional neighbors had told them it was time to go. She said nothing of any urge to tell the neighbors where to put their advice or to say, “Wait, this is my neighborhood, we ain’t leaving.” Actually, it wasn’t their neighborhood any more. It had become someone else’s.

WOMAN AT WINDOW:

A little past 8:30 on a recent week day morning at Bank One, a somewhat bent-over woman standing in line dropped her cane. A man behind her picked it up for her, they chatted. As they waited, she opened and shut several small purses, checking on the money in each. She volunteered that she was 90. No, he said, surprised. Where was she born? Down south, Mississippi. She had come to Chicago when she was 23. On the IC? he asked, meaning Illinois Central Railroad. She smiled. Yes.

On this day she hoped she would not have to pay another fare, referring to the two-hour free-transfer time on a CTA card. She had come on the “L” and would return that way, getting off at Cicero, where she would catch a bus, her little purses emptied, their contents deposited – if she could just find it all.

Each little purse, a sort of miniature carpet bag, snapped at the top. Each had bills folded inside. But she couldn’t find all the money and rummaged for it, muttering as she did so, blaming herself for misplacing things as she grew older. Maybe she had left it on the L, she wondered. She stepped aside from the teller’s window, letting the next customer get it.

Finally, “I’ve got it,” she said. The missing money, in one of the little purses. She moved back to the window, only a step away, to resume her business.

Advertisements

Media bias? Oh yeah

From John Leo’s latest in U.S. News, italics added:

Instead of trampling Newsweek –the magazine made a mistake and corrected it
quickly and honestly–the focus ought to be on whether the news media are
predisposed to make certain kinds of mistakes and, if so, what to do about
it. The disdain that so many reporters have for the military (or for police,
the FBI, conservative Christians, or right-to-lifers)
frames the way that
errors and bogus stories tend to occur. The antimilitary mentality makes
atrocity stories easier to publish, even when they are untrue.  . . .  It’s
possible to read newspapers and newsmagazines carefully and never see
anything about the liberal indoctrination now taking place at major
universities. This has something to do with the fact that the universities
are mostly institutions of the left and that newsrooms tend to hire from the
left and from the universities in question
.
……………….
 the biggest flaw in mainstream journalism today is the lack of diversity.
Much bean-counting goes on in regard to gender and race, but the new hires
tend to come from the same economic bracket and the same pool of elite
universities, and they tend to have the same take on politics and culture
.

So it happens that Chi Trib’s Dawn T. Trice as a newbie in 1990 could not only get indignant over a Mike Royko column over his use of  “monkeys” as applied to blacks by a Los Angeles cop, but with others of her ilk could persuade a night editor to kill it, as in this Chicago Newspapers item of May 15, 2004.  In my lead, I made the point:

There are times when Chi Trib seems populated by graduates of politically correct campuses, editors and reporters who speak mostly to their own kind.

Media bias? Oh yeah

From John Leo’s latest in U.S. News, italics added:

Instead of trampling Newsweek –the magazine made a mistake and corrected it
quickly and honestly–the focus ought to be on whether the news media are
predisposed to make certain kinds of mistakes and, if so, what to do about
it. The disdain that so many reporters have for the military (or for police,
the FBI, conservative Christians, or right-to-lifers)
frames the way that
errors and bogus stories tend to occur. The antimilitary mentality makes
atrocity stories easier to publish, even when they are untrue.  . . .  It’s
possible to read newspapers and newsmagazines carefully and never see
anything about the liberal indoctrination now taking place at major
universities. This has something to do with the fact that the universities
are mostly institutions of the left and that newsrooms tend to hire from the
left and from the universities in question
.
……………….
 the biggest flaw in mainstream journalism today is the lack of diversity.
Much bean-counting goes on in regard to gender and race, but the new hires
tend to come from the same economic bracket and the same pool of elite
universities, and they tend to have the same take on politics and culture
.

So it happens that Chi Trib’s Dawn T. Trice as a newbie in 1990 could not only get indignant over a Mike Royko column over his use of  “monkeys” as applied to blacks by a Los Angeles cop, but with others of her ilk could persuade a night editor to kill it, as in this Chicago Newspapers item of May 15, 2004.  In my lead, I made the point:

There are times when Chi Trib seems populated by graduates of politically correct campuses, editors and reporters who speak mostly to their own kind.

Suspicious

A picture is worth how many words?  I forget.

Dont ask

HT: Intellectual Conservative

His inning

Mark Steyn doesn’t know it, but in his “Cricket star knows how to fire up fanatics” column in Sun-Times, he corrects the reference below to a “hot-to-trot anti-Musharraf Pakistani movie actor-activist” who read the offending Koran-flushing Newsweek story to Muslims who then rioted.  The reader is a famous cricket player (deeply sorry about that), Imran Khan.  He read the story “in a ferocious speech” on Pakistani TV, and the rest is Muslim-rioting and U.S. media history.

In that fell swoop, Khan got the cork of what Steyn calls “two highly parochial and monumentally self-absorbed tribes living in isolation from the rest of the world and prone to fanatical irrational indestructible beliefs,” thus tarring mainstream media people with an Islamicist brush.

As for Khan the onetime playboy with megabucks capitalist Jewish wife now seeking fame as a Pak pol, “he’s an opportunist and that’s why he went out of his way to incite his excitable followers,” says Steyn, who takes a final parting shot at “our self-worshipping vanity media whose reflexive counter-tribalism has robbed it of all sense of perspective or proportion,” which is to use a broad brush with basic, general accuracy, as anyone knows who has tried even feebly to suggest problems in their arena, which is to stir a hornet’s nest of easily wounded sensibilities.

Ignorant congressmen

Chi Trib’s Rudolph Bush has worth-reading page one story, “Rush, Gutierrez plead ignorance of travel rules,” about which a few points:

He says in third graf:

The fact that they didn’t file for a number of years and don’t remember receiving reminders of the rule raises questions about the House’s internal enforcement and the seriousness with which the chamber takes its ethics rules, analysts said.  (Italics added here and throughout)

But he quotes only one so-called analyst, the veteran liberal activist Fred Wertheimer (husband of Linda the NPR hostess), identifying him simply as “of the watchdog group Democracy 21,” not identifying Democracy 21, whose web site is much about nailing Tom De Lay — though for this story Wertheimer, of Common Cause fame, has no blame to cast on fellow lib-Dems Rush & Gutierrez, only on those who didn’t catch them:

“One of the problems here has been lax oversight of the rules. It’s clear that one of the reforms that is essential is to strengthen the role of the [ethics] committee and the House in overseeing and enforcing its rules.”

Meanwhile, Bush tells us

The other 19 members of the Illinois delegation were aware of the rule and regularly sent their travel disclosure forms, but Gutierrez’s files from 1997 to 2005 were all but empty, while Rush’s contained disclosures for several staff members but not for the South Side congressman himself. The House passed its travel disclosure rule in 1995.

Rush & G were not aware of the rule, however, and the rest of the story is their self-exculpation on various grounds, as this from G:

“I’m very unhappy and upset that my senior staff never filed any disclosure forms,”

leaving us to wonder, on a scale of one to ten, where does this unhappiness of his rank with Bush’s asking him about his travel vouchers in the first place?

As for Rush, he

took a somber tone about his failure to follow House rules, although he has yet to file travel disclosures for himself. He said he expects to make a complete filing by month’s end.

As do we taxpayers expect him to do but are not holding breath.

Main thing is, nobody told them about it:  There was “lax oversight,” said Wertheimer the DeLay pursuer.  Rush “wondered why he never received any notice.”  “No one knew that was the rule,” said Gutierrez.

A small voice is raised at the end of the story, however, to provide miniscule relief from this pity-the-poor-Congressman theme: 

Though neither Rush nor Gutierrez received any reminders from the clerk, not knowing the rules isn’t an excuse, said William Canfield, former general counsel for the Senate Ethics Committee.

“It’s sad. You’re supposed to know the rules if you are a member,” he said.

Way at the end.  Better late than never.

Ignorant congressmen

Chi Trib’s Rudolph Bush has worth-reading page one story, “Rush, Gutierrez plead ignorance of travel rules,” about which a few points:

He says in third graf:

The fact that they didn’t file for a number of years and don’t remember receiving reminders of the rule raises questions about the House’s internal enforcement and the seriousness with which the chamber takes its ethics rules, analysts said.  (Italics added here and throughout)

But he quotes only one so-called analyst, the veteran liberal activist Fred Wertheimer (husband of Linda the NPR hostess), identifying him simply as “of the watchdog group Democracy 21,” not identifying Democracy 21, whose web site is much about nailing Tom De Lay — though for this story Wertheimer, of Common Cause fame, has no blame to cast on fellow lib-Dems Rush & Gutierrez, only on those who didn’t catch them:

“One of the problems here has been lax oversight of the rules. It’s clear that one of the reforms that is essential is to strengthen the role of the [ethics] committee and the House in overseeing and enforcing its rules.”

Meanwhile, Bush tells us

The other 19 members of the Illinois delegation were aware of the rule and regularly sent their travel disclosure forms, but Gutierrez’s files from 1997 to 2005 were all but empty, while Rush’s contained disclosures for several staff members but not for the South Side congressman himself. The House passed its travel disclosure rule in 1995.

Rush & G were not aware of the rule, however, and the rest of the story is their self-exculpation on various grounds, as this from G:

“I’m very unhappy and upset that my senior staff never filed any disclosure forms,”

leaving us to wonder, on a scale of one to ten, where does this unhappiness of his rank with Bush’s asking him about his travel vouchers in the first place?

As for Rush, he

took a somber tone about his failure to follow House rules, although he has yet to file travel disclosures for himself. He said he expects to make a complete filing by month’s end.

As do we taxpayers expect him to do but are not holding breath.

Main thing is, nobody told them about it:  There was “lax oversight,” said Wertheimer the DeLay pursuer.  Rush “wondered why he never received any notice.”  “No one knew that was the rule,” said Gutierrez.

A small voice is raised at the end of the story, however, to provide miniscule relief from this pity-the-poor-Congressman theme: 

Though neither Rush nor Gutierrez received any reminders from the clerk, not knowing the rules isn’t an excuse, said William Canfield, former general counsel for the Senate Ethics Committee.

“It’s sad. You’re supposed to know the rules if you are a member,” he said.

Way at the end.  Better late than never.

Abortion discussion aborted?

This in today’s Chi Trib, Experts debate diet’s link to breast cancer, jogs the memory about suppressed discussion of the role, and to what extent, played by having an abortion in getting breast cancer.  In any case, Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer: The ABC Link calls having an abortion “the most preventable risk factor for breast cancer.”  But “Why the Silence About Abortion and Breast Cancer?” asks Chi Trib columnist Dennis Byrne some months back.  He refers us to the very same Coalition, which is all about suppression of research results dating back to a 1986 Lancet article.  Etc., etc., etc.

But so-called women’s advocates have a hammerlock on mainstream reporters and editors, that peculiar breed who meet no one at parties who gives a hoot about such matters and besides, would rather not stick head above trench level, thank you, because it would be blown off.

Abortion discussion aborted?

This in today’s Chi Trib, Experts debate diet’s link to breast cancer, jogs the memory about suppressed discussion of the role, and to what extent, played by having an abortion in getting breast cancer.  In any case, Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer: The ABC Link calls having an abortion “the most preventable risk factor for breast cancer.”  But “Why the Silence About Abortion and Breast Cancer?” asks Chi Trib columnist Dennis Byrne some months back.  He refers us to the very same Coalition, which is all about suppression of research results dating back to a 1986 Lancet article.  Etc., etc., etc.

But so-called women’s advocates have a hammerlock on mainstream reporters and editors, that peculiar breed who meet no one at parties who gives a hoot about such matters and besides, would rather not stick head above trench level, thank you, because it would be blown off.

Detroit, home of the free press

Mitch Albom stole material.  Detroit Free Press’

Carole Leigh Hutton, publisher and editor, said the problems reflect a lack of familiarity with the paper’s rules on attribution. She pledged to take steps to address them. The paper’s ethics policy requires reporters to give credit when they use the work of others. 

says AP

The paper’s rules on attribution?  Not basic honesty or universally accepted rules of writing in civilized society?  She’s saying there have to be rules for this?

=============

Add this from Tapscott’s Copy Desk, where the Free Press story is excellently covered:

Since when do professional journalists have to be reminded that simple honesty dictates that they not present the work of others as if it was their own?

%d bloggers like this: