November 3, 2017

'Terrible news for journalism' / Trump's Twitter blackout / Starbucks shooting

[Chicago Public Square is taking a week off. Back Nov. 13.]

TERRIBLE NEWS FOR JOURNALISM.’ The Chicago Headline Club (of which your Square proprietor is a member and of which your Square proprietor’s son is president) mourns the abrupt shutdown yesterday of DNAinfo Chicago, Chicagoist and their sibling sites in other cities—more than 100 journalists unemployed.
The shutdown came a week after the Chicago sites’ New York colleagues voted to unionize, even though CEO Joe Ricketts had previously warned that unionization “destroys the esprit de corps businesses need to succeed.”
And it came as Ricketts was penning “a love letter” to President Trump.
Those websites’ archives may not have been removed permanently.
Conservative blogger and Fox News contributor Erick Erickson: “Joe Ricketts is a Billionaire Because He Doesn’t Put Up With Self-Entitled Leftist Crap.”
The billionaire who propped up Breitbart is pulling back.
Jimmy Wales, the man behind Wikipedia, has launched a new news site, WikiTribune—to less-than-rave reviews.
Upscale publisher Condé Nast is laying off 80 and shutting down Teen Vogue’s print edition.

LISA MADIGAN vs. SINCLAIR. Illinois’ attorney general is joining counterparts from three other states to oppose Sinclair Broadcast Group’s takeover of the company that owns WGN-TV and Radio.
The anti-media-merger Free Press organization accuses the FCC chairman of “bending over backwards to accommodate the creation of a Trump-friendly media giant.”
Trump’s Justice Department is considering blocking AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner (parent to CNN, HBO, TBS and more).
Facing shutdown, Chicago public TV station WYCC has cut ties with PBS.
Country Music Association Awards organizers are threatening to kick out reporters who ask musicians about guns or politics next week.

‘WE DON’T NEED A CORONATION.’ Ex-Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, close to a run for attorney general, tells the Sun-Times he hopes the Democratic Party doesn’t take sides in the gubernatorial primary.
How do you define “Downstate Illinois”? ProPublica rounds up hundreds of people’s answers.

‘ALL OF THESE BUILDINGS WOULD NEED TO BE TORN DOWN.’ A redeveloper of historic buildings in Chicago tells the Tribune’s Blair Kamin Republicans’ tax-code overhaul would kill the credit that provides an incentive for preserving and rehabbing architectural gems. (Photo: Armour Institute of Technology main building, by Kendo26.)
The budget would also hack subsidies for long-distance Amtrak routes.
Trump tells Fox News filling empty jobs at the State Department is no big deal: “I’m the only one that matters.”
The Sun-Times’ Mark Brown asks: Why haven’t Chicago’s missing mailboxes been replaced?

TRUMP’S TWITTER BLACKOUT. That one departing Twitter employee could wipe out the president’s account (for 11 minutes) raises new questions about the company’s security.
BuzzFeed in January: “Trump’s Twitter Account Is A Security Disaster Waiting To Happen.”
An ex-Twitter worker says the company ignored discovery of a vast cache of Twitter accounts with network addresses in Russia.
A celebrated blogger and tweeter, cited by outfits from BuzzFeed to The New York Times, was really a figment of Russian trolls’ imagination.
ProPublica: White supremacists are sharing bomb-making materials in online chats.
His Facebook post banned on Facebook, the Sun-Times’ Neil Steinberg ponders a world in which the company turns malignant.

CONGRESSIONAL HARASSMENT. Present and former female lawmakers in D.C. are joining the chorus of those complaining about abuse by male colleagues.
Amid harassment outrage, NPR’s CEO plans a staff meeting today.
House of Cards workers are letting loose on Kevin Spacey.

STARBUCKS SHOOTING. One person is dead and at least two others were hurt when gunfire broke out at a coffee shop in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.
Chicago Police Superintendent Johnson reports “great progress” in the fight against violent crime.
A man who shot himself in the penis while robbing a hot dog stand won’t be freed on bond. (Please send your punchlines to WienersInTheNews@ChicagoPublicSquare.com.)

ALDERMANIC RESCUE. After Chicago Ald. Willie Cochran collapsed on the floor of the City Council yesterday, another alderman came to his rescue with CPR.
Cochran’s under indictment, accused of looting a ward fund meant to help children and senior citizens.

STANDARD BEAR. A ridiculously detailed guide to turning your clocks back this weekend, as daylight saving time ends.
From The Atlantic in 2013: Daylight saving time is America’s greatest shame.
Blame Ben Franklin.

THE NAZI BRAND COLONIZING EUROPE. MEL Magazine spotlights the white supremacy messages hidden in Thor Steinar clothing.
Thor: Ragnarok movie reviews: “Wonderfully funny” (Roeper in the Sun-Times) and “inventive if increasingly duty-bound” (Michael Phillips in the Tribune).

ANNOUNCEMENTS.
As the Chicago Public Square website and email take a week off, you can still get updates on Facebook and Twitter.
Use some of that extra bandwidth to listen to the time, 25 years ago next week, I interviewed Hitchhiker’s Guide and Dirk Gently and Doctor Who writer Douglas Adams.
And get tickets now—with a $5 discount for Square readers—to my Nov. 20 interview with Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me! host Peter Sagal.

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