Spotify budges / ‘Dibs are 100% illegal’ / Google’s watching

Spotify budges. After a protest kicked off by Neil Young and joined by artists including Joni Mitchell, Nils Lofgren and Belly, Spotify’s issued a weak-tea response to criticism of its exclusive podcast deal with pandemic misinformation monger Joe Rogan …
 … fundamentally a “both-sides” pledge to “add a content advisory to any podcast episode that includes a discussion about COVID-19.”
Music biz critic Bob Lefsetz: “No, podcasts with misinformation must be labeled!”
CNN’s Brian Stelter: Daniel Ek looks like “a CEO in damage control mode.”
Recode’s Peter Kafka on comparisons between Facebook and Spotify: “Facebook never signed a giant contract to be the exclusive distributor for a podcaster famous for hosting the likes of Alex Jones.”
See his video: “If I’ve pissed you off, I’m sorry.”

COVID’s lingering cost. The AP reports that more than a third of the disease’s survivors stand to suffer long-term problems.

Buggy, whipped. The Cook County inspector general concludes the South Cook County Mosquito Abatement District is plagued by waste and a conflict-of-interest-rich hiring scheme—and is calling on all the members to quit.
The U.S. government’s own survey data shows wide mistrust of tap water.

‘I don’t give a (expletive) if black people still bitch about things that happened over 200 years ago.’ Readers respond to Sun-Times columnist Laura Washington’s dismissal of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s push to ease white people’s “discomfort” about the United States’ racist past.
Popular Information: An acclaimed Martin Luther King-themed novel has been yanked from a North Carolina 10th-grade English class.
After a Tennessee school board banned Maus, Art Spiegelman’s classic graphic novel about the Holocaust, its various editions rocketed up the bestseller lists.
Columnist Irv Leavitt: “It’s not possible to teach about the Holocaust without horrifying students, anyway, unless you teach dishonestly.”

‘We are sick and tired of the anti-mask and anti-vaccine jerks.’ Tribune columnist Rex Huppke’s readers respond to those whose protests shut down the St. Charles Public Library.
The library remained closed, pending the hiring of additional security.

Speaking of jerks … A hacker blasting images of child pornography shut down the Better Government Association’s online forum on “Cabrini-Green: A History of Broken Promises,” which was to have been a discussion of how Black Chicagoans were forced out of public housing homes and jobs for what became one of the biggest land grabs in the city’s history. (Update: Hear the retake here.)
A new report details why Chicago’s public school enrollment is plummeting—including the departure of Black families and slower growth among Latino families.
A University of Illinois researcher: Brad Pitt’s green housing dream for Hurricane Katrina survivors turned into a nightmare.

‘Dibs are 100% illegal.’ Axios Chicago takes a critical look at the cold facts about Chicagoans’ tradition of “saving” shoveled-out parking spaces.

‘A chilling glimpse.’ CNN’s Stephen Collinson says Donald Trump’s rally in Texas Saturday “conjured a vision of a second term that would function as a tool of personal vengeance.”
The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman: “Trump's language … was in may ways clearer than what he said ahead of Jan. 6.”

‘Chicago Not in Chicago.’ The Sun-Times’ Neil Steinberg welcomes a new initiative to celebrate the city’s impact beyond its borders.
The World Comedy Expo’s set here for March.

Google’s watching. CNET offers a guide to limiting “the scary amount of data Google has on you.”
The company’s backing down from an announcement that it would kill free Google Workspace accounts.

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