Friday, December 15, 2017

Next WLS will be stocking Lake Michigan with zebra mussels


I explained the story behind this enigmatic tombstone a couple years back.

     I had never heard the name "Chris Plante" before Robert Feder tweeted news Thursday that the D.C.-based personality is replacing Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano on WLS radio.
     The latest example of  huge and distant media companies—in this case, Georgia-based Cumulus Media, owners of WLS and 445 other radio stations—deciding that what is easiest and cheapest to offer is also best for listeners everywhere. One size fits all.
     That said, I like to keep an open mind. Off to The Chris Plante web site. There, the first thing I read was his most-recent tweet: "What do you think was the REAL lie of the year? Perhaps 'Russia, Russia, Russia'?"
     Ah, the Trumpian Fallacy in rampant splendor. Take a truth you don't like—like Bob Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign's alleged-for-now collusion with Russia—insist based on nothing that it's a lie. Then hold your breath and see how many buy it.
     Quite a few. Particularly in places like Georgia.
     In Chicago, not so much.
     Feeding lies to the deluded has been a growth industry, with Fox News and Breitbart growing in size, power and profitability as a whole segment of America seals itself off into an echo chamber of self-deception and hysterical faux victimhood.
     Chicago is not immune—you should see my email. But at the risk of provincial pride, we do still value independence.  The Sun-Times is run by a former alderman and a group of union heads. The Trib, for all its historical aspersions toward internationality, is run by a local tech whiz.
     Our radio gems stand out for their uniqueness—WBEZ, WFMT, WBBM—not because they're funnels for whatever sour pap they're fire hosing from the coasts.

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  1. Hear, hear: props to Bob & Marianne. Back in the early '70s, when I was still listening to the Big 89 more than FM, when I thought the DJs picked the music & Bob was going to "streak" the MI Ave. bridge, he was my hero. Still is.

    1. I also recall him fondly from my tween and teen years.

  2. Didn't get a chance to hear them much anymore due to scheduling conflicts, but always loved their shows.

    What name tag is Letterman wearing in the ST photo? Andy Stevens or something? Mr Incognito extreme.

  3. I hope you're correct in your assessment that Chicago prizes both journalistic and political independence.

    I remember, after George Will wrote glowingly about Ronald Reagan's performance in his debates with Jimmy Carter, it came out that had helped Reagan prep. Will dismissed this in his typically supercilious fashion, but Mike Royko was having none of it: "In Chicago, the tradition is that the press acts like watchdogs. In Washington, it seems, they're more like lapdogs."

  4. I enjoyed reading your linked item on Lester J. Wolfe, which I do not remember from its original appearance. Had to chuckle at the commentor who seemed to assume that because Eric Zorn writes for the Trib that he is conservative.

  5. I think Ben Joravsky afternoons on WCPT 820AM is a local radio gem. For in-depth Chicago news and commentary there is nothing like it.


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