Baltimore’s ‘nightmare’ / NBC’s ‘5-alarm fire’ / This day in the pandemic

Baltimore’s ‘nightmare.’ Updating coverage: A cargo ship crashed into a major bridge over the city’s port overnight, sending people and vehicles plunging into 47-degree water.
 The ship reported losing power just before the disaster …
 … which was caught on video.
 Since 1960, ship collisions with bridges have cost more than 340 lives.

Prosecutors’ ‘resounding victory.’ Law professor Joyce Vance offers a guide to the Manhattan district attorney’s criminal case against Donald Trump …
 … which now looks to begin, ironically, on Tax Day, April 15.
 Trump’s niece, Mary L. Trump: Think he won when an appellate court lowered his bond to just $175 million? Think again.
 Columnist Jonathan Alter describes Trump’s face as he left court: Haggard.
 Pod Save America co-host Dan Pfeiffer: “No, a conviction wouldn’t make Trump more popular.”
 Stephen Colbert: “Donald Trump has a billion dollars the same way Patrick Stewart has a spaceship.”
 LateNighter notes that Colbert and Seth Meyers made almost identical jokes comparing Trump to O.J. Simpson.
 Columnist Bill Carter: How late-night show hosts ended their wars to become “The Get-Along Gang.”

NBC’s ‘five-alarm fire.’ CNN’s Oliver Darcy surveys the mess that NBCUniversal News Group chair Cesar Conde has allowed to “spiral absolutely out of control” after he approved lyin’ former Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel’s hire as a contributor …
 … a decision that anchor after anchor on MSNBC condemned yesterday—including Rachel Maddow, who spent 29 minutes ripping a decision she called “inexplicable” …
 … and Lawrence O’Donnell, who invited McDaniel on his show to answer a few challenging questions, which he revealed in advance.
 Bob Schooley on Threads: “It’s almost as if Comcast bought their hosts a $300,000 piñata. 🪅”
 Politico’s Jack Shafer says the whole thing puts “a glaring spotlight” on the sad truth that, for TV, hiring former newsmakers to comment on the news is “more economically efficient than finding fresh and knowledgeable unpaid sources every time a story needs reporting.”

It’s been a minute. A week, in fact, since the Illinois primary—and we still don’t have a Democratic nominee for Cook County state’s attorney.
 A Tribune editorial: This cliffhanger makes the case for an overhaul of Illinois’ mail-in voting system, which it says is “far too slow for today’s world.”
 Columnist Eric Zorn says it’s time to revisit a longstanding proposal to merge the Chicago and Cook County election boards.
 Who wants to run in Chicago’s new school board elections? Today’s the first day for collecting signatures to get on the ballot.

‘Evidence in this case was not given the careful consideration that victims of domestic violence deserve.’ Gov. Pritzker’s in the hunt to fill two seats at the Illinois Prisoner Review Board following the resignation of members quitting after approving freedom for a parolee who the next day attacked his pregnant ex-girlfriend and killed her 11-year-old son, who tried to come to her rescue.
 The governor’s directed the board to get its act together on domestic violence cases.
 An ACLU report details the plight of expectant women in Illinois prisons: “Punishment for being pregnant.”
 Chicago Magazine: A Northwestern University program offers inmates the chance to earn a degree from the school—even though some will never leave prison.
 Here’s one prisoner’s essay for award-winning Northwestern professor Alex Kotlowitz: “Cleaning is Something I Can Do.”

Parks departures. Chicago’s moving migrants out of Park District field houses this weekend, setting the stage for a return to traditional parks programming this summer.

Hey, kids: Florida’s coming for your TikTok—or whatever. Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a law banning social media accounts for those under 14.
 Ah, but guns? That’s another story.

‘A day for a reckoning.’ Chicago lawyer Robert Clifford, representing families of victims in two Boeing aircraft crashes, isn’t celebrating the cleaning of house at the company’s C-suite.
 Author and columnist Cory Doctorow: “Boeing … is a flying disaster that was years in the making.”
 Doctorow elaborated on his concept of enshittification in a Chicago Public Square podcast earlier this month.

McDonald’s + Krispy Kreme. Donuts are coming to the Golden Arches nationwide over the next couple of years …

This day in the pandemic. Chicago Public Square, March 26, 2020: Consumer Reports details the precautions you should take when buying groceries in-store and online during the COVID-19 pandemic …
 … and offers plenty of other advice, including how to stay safe when you absolutely must go out—for instance, to get gas.

Meyerson does lean left, for sure.’ Eric Zorn responds to a reader who says the inclusion of Square links cheapens Zorn’s Picayune Sentinel.
 Excerpt from your columnist’s personal reply to Zorn: “I don’t think I ‘lean left, for sure.’ It’s just hard not to seem that way when Trump & Co. lean so hard right!”
 Then again, we do have a few of these T-shirts left:
 … and you can get one free while supplies last if you kick in at least $100 today to help keep Chicago Public Square coming …
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 Mike Braden made this edition better.

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