The Editorial Boards Speak | Bleader

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Editorial Boards Speak

Posted By on 04.02.09 at 12:51 PM

The editorial boards for the Tribune and Sun-Times both endorsed the 2016 Olympics this morning.

Can't say I'm surprised. Signing on to big civic projects (i.e., boondoggles) is just the sort of position editorial writers for the downtown dailies are supposed to take, along with urging everyone to vote.

Still, I'd wondered how they would finesse it. Writing fluff can't come easy to trained journalists.

The Tribune noted that our days of Al Capone are behind us (though maybe they should tell John Kass) and cracked a joke about our city's penchant for electing Bosses (Chicago is the only city with a "democratically elected king"). Then, in another editorial, they moved on to the truly pressing issue of the day--taking another shot at county board president Todd Stroger, their favorite straw man. Because, you know, Stroger's the real reason why taxes are so high in these parts.

Over at the Sun-Times the editorial writers conceded that "hosting the Games is not without risk." Wow, way to take the tough stand, guys.... But they went on to assure us that "the risks are manageable, particularly with a bid team and mayor that are taking them seriously."

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry after reading that one.

Meanwhile, on page eight, Fran Spielman and Tim Novak--a couple of the reporters who do the real heavy lifting at the Bright One--wrote an article headlined "Firm with HDO ties gets $17 mil. contract." Read it and weep. It talks about how trucking magnate Fred Barbara, whose "grandfather was one of Chicago's earliest organized-crime bosses and an associate of Al Capone's" (oops, don't tell the Trib), scored yet another big contract from the city.

On the same page, Spielman reminded readers of a 911 center cost overrun I'd almost forgotten. "The original price tag of $95 million was twice revised upward," she wrote. It wound up costing $217 million. As Spielman pointed out, "Chicago property owners will be paying for the new system until 2023 because general obligation bonds are backed by real estate taxes."

It's a good thing for Mayor Daley that the Sun-Times editorial board doesn't read the Sun-Times.

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