‘Pink slime’ alert / ‘Hundreds of reporters … saddened’ / Metra bargain

‘Pink slime’ alert. A Georgetown University professor dissects “a viral fake news story” about “race-based grading” at a Chicago-area high school …
 … some of the latest crap spread by a network of phony-baloney right-wing news sites in Illinois and elsewhere (November link).
Why it’s called “pink-slime journalism.”
WBEZ: Private fundraising for Chicago Public Schools has skyrocketed over the last decade—but most of the cash is going to schools where most kids don’t need the help.

‘Hundreds of reporters around the world … are saddened.’ Journalist Bob Chiarito is among those mourning the death of legendary Chicago City News Bureau editor Paul Zimbrakos.
Ex-Sun-Times political reporter Abdon Pallasch says Zimbrakos “took a revolving bunch of rookie journalists under his wing, disregarding their flimsy excuses of why they couldn’t get the story and explaining to them: Get the story.
Author and Cook County Circuit Court communications director Mary Wisniewski: “He was tough—he was dealing with kids and he knew he couldn’t take any BS.”
On his watch in 1983 1982, City News broke the Tylenol cyanide-poisoning case by tracking seven unlikely deaths (1999 link).

‘She doesn’t play well in the sandbox.’ Add another name to the roster of Chicagoans hoping to succeed Mayor Lightfoot: Ald. Roderick Sawyer, whose late father led City Hall 1987-89, after Harold Washington’s death …
 … an era during which a young WXRT reporter pissed off at the difficulty of navigating “Chaos in the Council” won a journalism award for venting.

‘Each of them should be asked: Do you believe Chicago is a hellhole?But Patch columnist Mark Konkol says the odds that six Republican candidates for Illinois governor will answer tough questions in a debate tonight are slim.

Cop down. A Chicago police officer was in “critical but stable” condition, reportedly shot as she and another officer tried to pull over a car in the Englewood neighborhood.
Police say the suspects fled on foot after crashing their vehicle.
Block Club Chicago: With 971 shootings so far this year, Chicago violence is trending down from a pandemic peak.

‘Graphic images of the destruction that the AR-15-style rifle wreaked on the bodies of the victims at Robb Elementary could … be in the public interest.’ Columnist Eric Zorn favors release of photos from the massacre in Uvalde, Texas, but he’s more circumspect about audio of children’s 911 calls for help.
A Rutgers psychology professor offers five ways to cut the risk of school shootings.
The Atlantic’s Molly Jong-Fast: “Gun control can be a winning issue for Democrats, if they act quickly.”
Updating coverage: House Democrats hope for quick action today on the Protecting Our Kids Act.
A gunman with a rifle and handgun yesterday killed four people at a Tulsa hospital campus building.

Metra bargain. Beginning in July, commuters can buy a “Super Saver” pass that will let them ride the system anywhere for a flat $100/month …
 … or just $70 for seniors, students and Metra Electric and Rock Island Line riders.

Illinois’ abortion shift. As of yesterday, doctors in the state no longer need to notify parents—or get court clearance not to notify parents—when they perform abortions on minors.
An ACLU lawyer: “It was emotionally challenging for young people to have to share the most intimate details of their lives and their family situations with a judge.”
An anti-abortion-rights leader complains the state’s now issued “an open invitation” for “out-of-state minors to pursue abortions in Illinois.”

‘She was as responsible for Facebook’s failures as she was its successes.’ Protocol notes the departure of Sheryl Sandberg, who’s leaning out of the No. 2 job at Facebook parent Meta.
Media Matters for America says that, on her watch, “the company’s social media platforms … devolved into cesspools of disinformation, racism, misogyny, violent conspiracy theories and alt-right organizing.”
Politico: How she lost D.C.
Marking Pride Month, Popular Information exposes “25 rainbow-flag waving companies” that’ve donated $13 million to anti-LGBTQ politicians since 2021.
Tesla boss—and would-be Twitter owner—Elon Musk is ordering dismissal of Tesla workers who fail to return to the office 40 hours a week.

Reading this for free?
Thank people including Matthew Tarpy, Reginald Davis, Andrew Stancioff, Meghan Strubel, Arthur Golab, Catherine Johns, Christa Velbel, Joe Germuska, Ken Paulson, Alice Cottingham, Deb Abrahamson, Don Moseley, Craig Kaiser, Sherry Nordstrom, Moondog, Janet Arnopolin, Paul Kungl, Andrea Agrimonti, Jude Feld, Judy Hoffman, Arlene Thurow, Dave Tan, Maureen & Jerry Peifer & Kaiser, Kathleen Howlett, Jennifer McGeary, Hank DeZutter, Kevin Lampe, Suzy Carlson, Marcie Dosemagen, Patricia Winn, Pat Albu, Denise Mattson, Joseph Lynn, Deborah J. Wess, Andy Buchanan, Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin, Eric Davis, Tim Spencer, Eric Zorn, Norma Gilich, Doreen Rice, Tom Barnes, Adam Broad and Christian Anderson …
 … whose financial support keeps Chicago Public Square coming.
You can join their esteemed ranks for any amount you choose …
 … and then you get $5 off a Square T-shirt.

Corrections. Yesterday’s Square got a couple of things not exactly right:
While the Tribune is the only major daily Chicago newspaper still in a position to make election endorsements, the suburban Daily Herald is making picks, too.
Taste of Chicago mini-fests happen before the main event, not after.
Thanks to readers Jan Kieckhefer and Mary Martha Hancock, first to report those flaws.
 Thanks also to Mark Wukas for catching the wrong date in today’s Tylenol link and Pam Spiegel for noting a preposition missing in action.

Subscribe to Square.