The Wildcat Way … out / ‘Panic responsibly’ / Paywall pointers

The Wildcat Way … out. Already sidelined by charges of hazing and racism, Northwestern University football coach Pat Fitzgerald has been sacked altogether.
 Sun-Times columnist Rick Telander: “The deed was done by a president, athletic department and PR staff that might as well be from Gooberville, USA.”
 Even while condemning a team culture of “forced participation, nudity and sexualized acts of a degrading nature, in clear violation of Northwestern policies and values,” the university’s president asserted that Fitzgerald has “positively impacted the lives of hundreds of young men.”
 Former Northwestern players have been stepping up with old tales of abuse.
 The Tribune’s Paul Sullivan: “Fitzgerald had nowhere to hide.”
 A Trib editorial calls for release of the full report on Northwestern’s investigation.
 WebMD explains “dry humping.”
 In a statement that includes some questionable math, Fitzgerald is pledging a legal fight “to protect my rights.”
 Northwestern’s baseball coach now stands similarly accused.
 After a Tennessee soccer coach left his phone at a restaurant, police found it included video of him raping unconscious boys.

Sports abrogated. The New York Times is dumping its sports department, replacing it with the non-unionized work of its recently acquired subsidiary, The Athletic.
 The Times union calls it “a profound betrayal.”
 Columnist Eric Zorn is untroubled by his former newsroom, the Trib, using a wire story to cover a White Sox home game (his fifth answer in today’s letters section).

‘Time for journalists to panic responsibly.’ Author and former Sun-Times and Trib editor Mark Jacob—in his words, “now allowed to have opinions”—asks, “Why do the journalists covering … the attempted overthrow of democracy … treat it like routine politics?”
 The New York Times’ former public editor, Margaret Sullivan, condemns that paper and ABC News for parroting “right-wing framing.”

‘Luxury that most Americans will never see.’ A Supreme Court watchdog sounds a warning about the ethical conflicts posed by justices’ all-expenses-paid trips to lecture at academic institutions.
 An Associated Press investigation spotlights how those trips help justices sell their books—especially in the case of Sonia Sotomayor, who’s kept the court’s most active travel schedule over the past decade.
 At The Nib, cartoonist Tom Tomorrow updates his saga of justices under alien sway—beginning this way …
Look up. The Midwest—including the Chicago area—may get a rare glimpse of the Northern Lights this week.
 Two commissioners at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District say the region has its work cut out in preparing for bigger storms to come.
 The Conversation: Climate change intensifies the water cycle, fueling extreme rainfall and flooding.
 The climate newsletter Heated: “A few decades ago, no journalist would have dreamed of writing a sentence like, ‘The Earth is getting too hot for humans to survive.’ But … many in the mainstream media still aren’t connecting these extreme temperatures to climate change.”
 A Northwestern University professor warns that Chicago’s rising temperatures threaten to deform the ground, creating stress that “no existing civil structure or infrastructure is designed to withstand.”

Swift turnaround. Thanks in significant part to those Taylor Swift concerts last month, Illinois tourism’s broken a pre-pandemic record.

Short subject. In an exploration of society’s heightism, columnist and former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich explains why he’s just an inch under 5 feet tall.

Paywall pointers. Chicago Public Square aims to provide as many free links to the news as possible—sometimes via paid sites’ “gift links” or “enewspaper” URLs, sometimes by citing republication on reputable syndication sites (like and But sometimes great journalism is available under deadline in just one place. Here are some tips to help you read those stories:
 In many cases, you can see a blocked page by opening an incognito browser window—making you seem like a brand-new visitor—and pasting the story’s address there.
 Other times, what looks like a paywall may actually just be an appeal for you to share your email address
 … and sometimes, the fine print may give you the option to proceed to a website without surrendering money or personal information.
 Some sites will instead offer you cheap introductory access—a buck for a month, for instance. And would that be so bad?
 And, of course, if compelling Square links send you to the same walled site time and again, maybe paying real cash to keep such work flowing would be good for democracy and journalism.
 Speaking of which …

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