‘Pitch perfect’ / Death threats, harassing calls / Urine trouble, Amazon / Quiz

Correction. Yesterday’s Chicago Public Square misstated a report about the Biden campaign joining Donald Trump’s Truth Social network: The Biden campaign has more followers on Truth than the Trump campaign.
 Thanks to Amy Zekas Reynaldo for flagging the error.
 Corrections are always welcome here.
 And now the news:

‘Pitch perfect.’ Journalist Jonathan Alter praises President Biden’s speech last night on the Israel-Hamas war for its “brilliant empathy.”
 Over at the conservative-leaning Bulwark, Jonathan V. Last hails “one of the best foreign policy responses by a U.S. president in a generation.”
 In condemnation of terrorism here and abroad, the president acknowledged the stabbing death of a 6-year-old Muslim boy and the wounding of his mother in Plainfield …
 … and, immediately afterward, called the family.
 See the speech here.

‘The employee was immediately fired.’ Illinois’ state comptroller has axed a worker who called a fellow Instagram user a “ZIONIST PIG” and wrote “Hitler should have eradicated all of you.”
 As Jewish and Muslim leaders in Chicago and nationwide warn of violence on the rise against Jewish and Muslim people, gun policy website The Reload reports a rush of Jewish Americans arming themselves.
 Chicago police are investigating the possibility a member of the force, wearing a police uniform and badge, violated policy by joining a demonstration against Israel’s actions in Gaza.
 Your Local Epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina confesses her “utter failure to write about the public health implications of war.”
 Axios Chicago (item No. 3 in today’s edition): After what “appears to be the first time the Tribune has been compelled to run an editorial sent down from its corporate leaders since the hedge fund purchased Tribune Publishing in 2021,” the paper’s changed how it refers to Hamas.

‘We have a mayor who can change his mind.’ In his sarcastic way, Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg kind of celebrates Brandon Johnson’s decision not to visit the southern U.S. border.
 Chicago Ald. Julia Ramirez and an aide—who was taken to a hospital—were attacked yesterday by protesters near the scene of a proposed tent camp for migrants.

Death threats, harassing calls. Every U.S. representative who’s voted against (still) speaker-wannabe Jim Jordan reports a barrage of menacing communication.
 Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri (in a column gift-linked to you, courtesy of Square supporters) channels Jordan: “Now you understand why I am so opposed to elections.”
 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: “I’ve encouraged sports figures to use their platform to improve the lives of others. Jordan has done just the opposite.”
 Columnist Rex Huppke has drafted the Republicans’ LinkedIn job post for House speaker.

Trump’s ‘terrible news.’ The Daily Beast’s Jose Paglieri: Now that “deranged attorney” Sidney Powell has flipped against the ex-president in Atlanta, she might be “the most dangerous witness yet” against him.
 The Daily Show’s Ronnie Chieng: “She got treason down to an apology letter. … Is she still practicing? Because I might want to hire her.”
 Law professor Joyce Vance sees more bad days ahead for Trump.
 Paglieri says Trump’s “about to be ripped to shreds” by a trial judge in New York.

‘Superspreaders of misinformation.’ A NewsGuard study concludes that blue-checked, “verified” users on Twitter X produce 74% of the platform’s most viral false or unsubstantiated claims relating to the Israel-Hamas war.

Shelved. After almost four decades, Chicago’s iconic Newberry Book Fair is no more.
 In compliance with a repressive new law, an Iowa City school district has banned at least 68 books from its libraries, including Stephen King’s It, Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale, Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why and Steig Larsson’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Urine trouble, Amazon. A new documentary exposes flaws in the company’s product safeguards by selling the company’s drivers’ urine packaged as an energy drink.
 The Guardian gives the show 4 out of 5 stars.

Apple peels Jon Stewart. After reported disagreement over plans to deal with two subjects central to Apple’s business—China and artificial intelligence—Stewart’s series on Apple TV+ is dead.
 … a film on which critic Michael Phillips bestows 3 1/2 stars.

Dingus of the Week. The Men Yell at Me blog bestows that honor on “anti-vax douchecanoe Aaron Rodgers.”
 As COVID vaccine revenue sags, Pfizer’s announced layoffs.
 Your Square columnist’s out of pandemic purgatory. (Update, Oct. 21: Not so fast.)

Half off.
You should have little trouble topping your Square columnist’s execrable 50% score on this week’s news quiz.
 Then, while the glow of victory burns hot, you can celebrate your good fortune by nominating Square for Best Email Newsletter and Best Independent Website in the Reader’s Best of Chicago awards …
 … as readers Mary Bunker and Anna Mangahas did yesterday.

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