Presumed dead / Gag reflex / Smashing Trumpkins

Presumed dead. Updating coverage: At least six workers were missing after a cargo ship’s disastrous collision with Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge.
 The ship’s warning that it had lost steering capacity gave police about 90 seconds to stop traffic onto the bridge.
 A veteran ship’s officer tells The Conversation, Thank God it happened at night.”
 The Washington Post: The tragedy “shines a light on the scale and status of American infrastructure.”

‘Flag burning is free speech.’ The Sun-Times’ Neil Steinberg comes to the defense of 25th Ward Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez, who faces censure “for showing up at a protest where someone did something without his knowledge” …
 … specifically, an Afghanistan veteran’s burning of a U.S. flag to condemn the Biden administration’s handling of the war in Gaza.
 Illinois’ lackluster approach to write-in votes obscures how much of a protest voters registered last week by writing in “Gaza” for the Democratic presidential primary.

‘Do you support or oppose the Chicago Bears or Chicago White Sox receiving state or local taxpayer subsidies in order to build a new stadium or real estate development?’ That’s a question ex-Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn aims to get on Chicagoans’ ballot this fall.
 The Democratic race for Cook County state’s attorney remained hanging from a cliff.

Almost shot. ProPublica finds the gun industry and Republicans on the verge of killing the City of Gary’s nearly quarter-century-old lawsuit against illicit gun sales that contribute to violence in the Chicago region.
 The director of the University of Chicago Trauma Center challenges gunmakers: “Can they make a gun that cannot be modified into a weapon of war?”
 The Tribune reports at least two Illinois towns have canceled police training classes offered by a private firm whose practices one suburb’s chief calls “extremely disturbing.”

Gag reflex. A New York judge is the latest to order Donald Trump not to comment publicly on witnesses, prosecutors, court staff and jurors—in this case, for Trump’s hush-money trial set to begin April 15.
 Trump’s niece Mary rejoices: This time is different because it comes with a real threat of jail.

And then you can look up this quote: ‘As for the scoundrel—his devices are evil.’ Trump’s latest fundraising scheme: Selling custom-branded copies of the Bible.
 Jordan Klepper on The Daily Show: How does that thing not burst into flames immediately?
 The Bulwark’s flummoxed by “the insane civil-religious chutzpah of literally putting the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the lyrics to ‘God Bless the USA’ in the Bible.”
 Stephen Colbert dissects Trump’s Truth Social “pump-and-dump” scheme: “The name of the company Trump merged with is the completely innocent sounding Digital World Acquisition Corp. I forget: Are they the bad guys in Robocop or Terminator?

‘A lot of things I’ve kept buried in my notebook have become newly relevant.’ Puck’s Theodore Schleifer shares five years of intel on Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s choice for vice president, Nicole Shanahan. (That’s a gift link, paid for by financial support from Chicago Public Square readers.)

‘One of the worst corporate public relations calamities in recent memory.’ CNN’s Oliver Darcy delivers an autopsy of NBC’s decision to dump Ronna (Romney) McDaniel as a paid contributor—just 80 hours after announcing the deal …
 … following what Poynter’s Tom Jones and Rick Edmonds call “a conga line of harsh, on-air criticism.”
 Press skeptic Mark Jacob mocks: “MSNBC’s anchors are guilty of causing irreparable damage to Ronna McDaniel’s reputation by telling the truth about her.”
 Guardian columnist Margaret Sullivan: “The network has badly damaged its reputation and credibility” …
 … but ex-Baltimore Sun media critic David Zurawik says NBC “might actually have done the nation a favor.”
 Politico: “McDaniel expects to be fully paid out for her contract, two years at $300,000 annually …meaning that her single, not-quite-20-minute interview Sunday could cost the Peacock … $500 per second.”
 Actually, I’m a Very Nice Person columnist Julia Gray has begun a list of entities who might hire McDaniel.

Smashing Trumpkins. Billy Corgan is getting his own podcast in a new network launched by HBO and CNN host Bill Maher, who pledges to “do everything I can” to make sure Trump doesn’t become president again.
 Critic Richard Roeper gives 3 1/2 stars to a “double feature of great, very different documentaries” about Steve Martin, coming to Apple TV+ Friday.
 For sale: The Onion.

‘I won’t be going far.’ After almost 20 years ago at WTTW, beginning as a college intern, Chicago Tonight co-anchor Paris Schutz is leaving for a “new adventure.
 His partner, Brandis Friedman, will remain as solo host.
 Here they were in an August 2021 Chicago Public Square podcast talking about their then-new roles at the station.

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