Michael Miner | Chicago Reader

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Re: “Judge Richard Posner on those incompetent justices who graded his papers

Regarding the "blue slip" rule, perhaps Posner's retiring at just the right time, when Trump--who surely doesn't give an ideological damn who follows Posner--is making nice with the Dems. Also, Posner has some nice things in his book to say about Gorsuch for two reasons, one unstated: (1) he's not Scalia, (2) he showed courage by criticizing Trump's dismissal of James Robart as a "so-called judge" while his own nomination was pending. Let me add a couple more links. The first, courtesy of :Lydialyle Gibson, is to Larissa MacFarquhar's profile of Posner in the New Yorker, http://archives.newyorker.com/?i=2001-12-1… the second to my story on the time he eviscerated reporter's privilege. https://www.chicagoreader.com/.../a-first.…...

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Michael Miner on 09/09/2017 at 10:49 AM

Re: “In defense of Hedy Weiss

Hedy Weiss has a way of putting badly ideas much more legitimate and substantial than they sound. An article i wrote in 2004 that's been cited now on Facebook


offers one example; her recent review of Pass Over is another. She's been pounded for hawking the irrelevant if not racist observation that black-on-black crime haunts African-American communities yet playwright Antoinette Nwandu focuses solely on white police violence. The play is periodically disrupted by gunfire that sends the protagonists, Moses and Kitch,flat on the ground. No sirens or flashing lights precede or accompany this gunfire and no one is seen firing; it is presented as simply an ambient reality in this ghetto they can't seem to escape from. We do come to understand it's police gunfire but there's no reason to grasp this immediately, no reason not to first assume the gunfire represents meaningless gang-banging that gives the two of them all the more reason to move on. Soon enough I caught on to Nwandu's intent, and I cut heru the slack that needed to be cut for me to stay with the play; but if Hedy Weiss wasn't so generous she was well within her rights. The confusion over the gunfire gets us a matter that nobody but Weiss seems to want to talk about--the play is flawed. It's a young writer's play, and tho the writer is extraordinarily talented, she makes mistakes. The last several minutes are incoherent, and the very ending is a reversal that a college sophomore might call a powerfully ironic moment that says it all, but I think is indulgent and somewhat shameless. In defending Nwandu's ideas and intentions as Scripture is defended by adherents, Weiss's critics put a play that would benefit from criticism beyond it. They do Nwandu no favor. Speaking with one voice, they do Chicago theater no favor. Art doesn't run in packs.

57 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Michael Miner on 06/21/2017 at 11:03 PM

Re: “On Brian Williams's terrible ‘beauty’ gaffe

Let me acknowledge, before someone else points it out, that Damascus was the object of the American missile attack only in a synecdochal sense, Damascus being the capital of Syria and therefore "getting the message," such as the message was. The physical target was a military airfield some distance from the city.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Michael Miner on 04/08/2017 at 5:14 PM

Re: “New Algren bio slanders my poker table

Mary, I predict your bio will enjoy countless reprintings and live forever. Certainly adjustments can be made for these later editions. My table and I will be at your disposal when the time comes to completely rewrite chapter 13, "Good-bye to Chicago," in order to put first things first.

My best. By the way, I have often taken the CTA at your suggestion.

Mike Miner

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Michael Miner on 03/27/2017 at 10:36 PM

Re: “Donald Trump is a one-man Watergate

Angela Tallis, I'm glad you asked. Every political scandal needs an ice goddess in the mix. To bring newbies up to speed, when White House counsel John Dean testified at the Watergate hearings, the attention of the press corps soon drifted to his platinum-haired wife sitting inscrutably in the gallery. In the words of the LA Times, "Impeccably dressed, flawlessly made up, her hair pulled back into a polished bun, she mesmerized the nation with the silent vigil she kept behind her husband's witness table day after day." Did she love him? Did she despise him? Would she dump him as soon as this was over? (She didn't.) Then, Maureen Dean. Today, Melania Trump.

10 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Michael Miner on 03/07/2017 at 10:45 AM

Re: “Louise Kiernan will head ProPublica in Chicago

Readers who followed the link in my above story to ProPublica's list of job openings might be a little puzzled. The list--at least as of the day my story went up--is ten jobs long, but only the first five are with ProPublic Illinois. It turns out this is actually the list of jobs available throughout ProPublica, with the others being in New York. ProPublica provided the link, and I was further misled by ProPublica's promise (made as it announced Louise Kiernan's appointment) of "about 10 news job openings for ProPublica Illinois." I asked ProPublica for clarification. It stands by the "about 10" new jobs in Illinois, and says the ones not listed yet will be reporting jobs.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Michael Miner on 02/23/2017 at 1:05 PM

Re: “Can loose tweets sink presidents?

Let me hone my above argument a smidge. Trump said over at the CIA last Saturday that the media "are among the most dishonest human beings on earth" and he's engaged in a "running war" against them. Wars require wartime measures. Censorship is one. (Martial law is another.) They're for our own good.

1 like, 4 dislikes
Posted by Michael Miner on 01/26/2017 at 3:01 PM

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