Kassquake / Baseball derailed / Water warning

Kassquake. Less than a week after publication of a John Kass column that Kass’ fellow staffers in the Chicago Tribune Guild have condemned for advancing an “odious, anti-Semitic conspiracy theory,” media watchdog Robert Feder reports the Trib is stripping Kass of his coveted Page 2 spot and his status as the paper’s “lead columnist.”
Commentary on Kass’ column in the Jewish news journal Forward:How did this get past an editor?
Critic David Ansen’s first look at Netflix’s forthcoming The Trial of the Chicago 7 recalls the events underlying the film, including “the enraged, malignant Mayor Daley shouting … anti-Semitic profanities that lip readers would never forget.”

Uh-oh. President Trump’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, has tested positive for COVID-19—the government’s highest-ranking victim so far.
O’Brien last Wednesday praised Trump’s “courageous” actions against the virus.
The Washington Post: About 4,000 federal employees say they contracted the coronavirus at work—and 60 have died.
The world’s biggest COVID-19 vaccine study has begun with the first of 30,000 volunteers testing shots created by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc.

Baseball derailed. As COVID-19 has spread through the Miami Marlins, the team’s home opener against Baltimore tonight has been canceled.

The Trib asks experts whether aggressive testing of pro ball players is diverting resources from the rest of us. (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)
Trib critic Chris Jones slams Major League Baseball’s simulated crowds: “Empty seats tell a more honest story of baseball in a pandemic.”

‘They didn’t sign up for this.’ Radio Health Journal reviews the plight of public health officials across the country—quitting after facing threats and violence for not lifting pandemic restrictions fast enough.
As Illinois’ coronavirus infections trend up, the state reported just one additional death Sunday—its lowest death toll since March.
 The Atlantic: Businesses are power-scrubbing their way to a false sense of security with “hygiene theater.”
 Google’s keeping its employees home through next summer.

Water warning. A Sun-Times editorial flags a new Illinois law that makes it easier for private companies to buy municipal water systems—usually in poorer communities—and raise rates.
Mayor Lightfoot’s administration says she’ll back an ordinance to reduce air pollution in residential neighborhoods near industrial sites—but not everyone is buying it.
Columnist Neil Steinberg: The City of Chicago will teach you to ride a bike—free.

Bishop captured. Ex-Assistant Chicago Fire Department Commissioner Jerry Jones, now a South Side bishop, was taken into custody—accused of sexually abusing three minors, including two nieces who came forward years later.
The Chicago Housing Authority’s inspector general accuses a longtime advocate for residents of misusing more than $180,000 for things like a van only she uses and funeral expenses for her brother.
How much has the ComEd scandal cost Illinoisans? WBEZ surveys the wreckage.

If Joe Biden picks Elizabeth Warren as his running mate… A professor of the public understanding of technology at Britain’s Open University speculates that that decision would put “Facebook’s ad-targeting system and expertise … at Trump’s disposal.”
The journalist who broke the Cambridge Analytica scandal: “If you’re not terrified about Facebook, you haven’t been paying attention.”
Gizmodo: Crappy email security could be the next big threat to American elections.

‘Let’s not be fucking prudes about it.’ John Oliver mocks CNN for its decision in coverage of Portland’s protests to “show federal agents treating a human being like a piƱata and censor the same man for rightfully telling those agents to fuck the fuck off.”
In Portland today, an intense confrontation between demonstrators and law enforcement.

You getting Chicago Public Square free? Thank generous readers including Christian Anderson, Mike Dessimoz, Cary, Ed McDevitt, Anne Rooney, Lesley Christien, Sarah Hoban, John Jaramillo, Jack Hafferkamp, Reed Pence and Harlene Ellin. You can join them—and see your name here tomorrow!—with a one-time tip (excellent) or an ongoing pledge (excellenter). And if you can’t chip in now, no guilt: You help Square grow simply by opening and reading each day. Or by sharing it with a friend. Thanks to all …
 … including Chris Koenig, whose tips make so many of these dispatches better.

Get Square by email