‘Devastating’ / How’s it going? / Pink slime rising

‘Devastating.’ That’s how the union representing WBEZ’s 62 unionized, content-producing employees describes Chicago Public Media’s decision to cut 14 of those workers and four at the sibling Sun-Times.
 Among those cut: Podcast host Brandon Pope.
 Axios: Staff grilled departing CEO Matt Moog in a tense meeting last night.
 Columnist Eric Zorn, acknowledging personal ties to the station: “Crying poor after just opening a $6.4 million studio and giving the boss a 19% raise on his way out the door … is a bad look.”
 Windy City Times founder and former Chicago Reader publisher Tracy Baim, sharing a chart of CPM executive compensation: “This needs to be reversed and salaries investigated.”
 Newcity editor and publisher Brian Hieggelke asks, “Is the panacea of nonprofit media over?

Hm. Mayor Johnson’s ex-chief of staff is taking a job with a private security firm that hires moonlighting Chicago police officers and has been under investigation in connection with charges of ghost payrolling in the Cook County sheriff’s office.
 A year after his election, Johnson challenges Block Club Chicago:Name one thing that I said I was gonna do that I haven’t done.”
 A new report finds Chicago cops targeting Black and Latino drivers for traffic stops.
 An off-duty Chicago officer was found dead in a Northwest Side home yesterday.
 U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland—a Chicago native—is sending the city $78 million to fund violence intervention programs.

How’s it going? The Illinois Transportation Department wants your feedback in a survey on the state’s “road conditions, ice-and-snow removal, planning priorities, electronic vehicles and more.”
 If you’re at least 18 and an Illinois resident, dive in here.
 Map your summer around the second NASCAR Chicago Street Race road closures, beginning in June.

‘Finally, a Christian holiday we can celebrate.’ That’s Jimmy Kimmel last night, mocking Donald Trump’s call to designate Election Day, Nov. 5, “Christian Visibility Day.”
 Desi Lydic on The Daily Show: “This is America, buddy. Every day is ‘Christian Visibility Day.’

‘I’m not playing.’ That’s lawyer and professor Harry Litman’s paraphrase of special counsel Jack Smith’s response to U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon’s “bizarre recent order in the classified records case against Donald Trump, which asked the parties to propose jury instructions based on flagrantly wrong legal premises.”
 Or, as Wonkette’s Evan Hurst puts it: Smith sounds like he’s “just about through with Judge Habba-We-Mean-Cannon’s assclownery.”

‘Graveyards are full of indispensable people.’ Add Senate Judiciary Committee member Richard Blumenthal to the list of those* that NBC News reports are upping pressure on liberal Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to retire and let President Biden pick her successor.
 Columnist Steve Chapman: As Trump struggles to distance himself from the appointment of three justices who buried abortion rights, “Democrats are not reticent about what they are defending. And Republicans are not quite so forthright.” (Gift link, funded by support from Chicago Public Square readers.)
 ProPublica: With control of the U.S. House hanging in the balance, discriminatory congressional maps will remain in place across the country.
 Historian Heather Cox Richardson: “Manipulating the vote … in even small ways can undermine the will of the people.”
 Public Information: Elon Musk’s viral lie about the 2024 election relies on bogus data.

‘Israel’s ongoing war … has proven to be one of the most deadly for humanitarian aid workers.’ Time says the attack that killed World Central Kitchen workers is not one of those things that, in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s words, “happens in wartime.”
 World Central Kitchen is demanding an independent investigation of Israel’s actions.
 At the White House Tuesday, a Palestinian American doctor from Oak Lawn handed President Biden a letter from an orphaned girl in Gaza—and walked out.

Pink slime rising. NewsGuard reports that the number of partisan news outlets in the U.S. pretending to be legitimate now is equal to the number of genuine local news sites.
 On the plus side, ProPublica’s announced a commitment to expand its accountability journalism to every state over the next five years.

Who keeps Chicago Public Square coming? You do—through financial support, like that provided by Rosalind Rouse, Jeffrey Nelson, M. Braun, Bob Ely, Rosemary Caruk, Paul Crossey, Holly Wallace, Jeannie Affelder, Martha Intrieri, Nina Ovryn, Jim Burns, Amy Lee Goodman, Jim Prescott, Lucy Smith, Edward White, Ken Scott, Paul Teodo, Brian Rohr, Paul Noble, Mario Greco, Peter Fuller, Valerie Denney, Jennifer McGeary, Keri Lynch, Kathleen O’Brien, Jennifer Packheiser, Peggy Fogelman, Thom Clark, Daniel Forden, Nancy Hess, Lisa McNulty, Deb Abrahamson, Skip Yates, Sandy Ridolfi, Paul Wedeen, Denise Pondel, Mike Fainman, Meredith Schacht, Libbey Paul, Andrew Thackray, Alisa dePedro, John Metz, Doreen Rice, Peter Kuttner, Collin Canright, Patrick Egan, Ken Hildreth, Pat Albu, Paul Buchbinder, Kevin Parzyck, Barbara Cimaglio, Kevin Wallace, Nancy Burns, Mike McDonagh, Alan Hoffstadter, Jen Purrenhage, Jim Haglund, Brent Brotine, Scott Baskin, Mary Bunker and John Gehron.
 Join their ranks now—for any amount you choose—and see your name atop tomorrow’s list.

* Including your Square columnist’s daughter-in-law.

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