Book `em! (But don't post their photos)
& an outraged subscriber sues the Tribune over 'deceptive' subscription pricing
8-31-2023 (issue No. 103)
News and Views — About Donald Trump’s alleged weight, Mayor Brandon Johnson’s evasiveness, Vivek Ramaswamy’s dogwhistle attack on “Nimarata Randhawa” and more
Land of Linkin’ — Where I tell readers where to go
Squaring up the news — Where Charlie Meyerson tells readers where to go
Back to school tips — From the Zorn vault
“The Mincing Rascals” preview — Including information on tickets to the upcoming live show
Re:Tweets — Featuring the winner of the visual tweets poll and this week’s finalists
Tune of the Week — Merle Haggard’s “Ramblin’ Fever” performed by John Prine
Mary Schmich is away.
Last week’s winning tweet
When I was a kid you could go to a store with just a dollar and come home with four comic books, three candy bars, two packs of trading cards, a bag of chips and a cold drink. Now they have cameras everywhere. — Unknown
The media should disseminate mug shots in rare circumstances only
Yes, America had a high old time with Donald Trump’s mug shot last week. Detractors and supporters circulated it widely thinking it showed either what a guilty sleazebag he is or what a political martyr he is.
Responsible news organizations should not have published it.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a set of police booking photos is worth two thousand. And most of those words are synonyms for "guilty."
Trump was perfectly coiffed and evidently well rehearsed for his mug shot, but most catch suspects in moments of confusion, humiliation, disgrace and even dishevelment.
Mug shots are “pornography to those of us who want to feel morally superior,” as The National Memo columnist Chandra Bozelko wrote in a Tribune op-ed. “Because it impugns both character and appearance, the mug shot might be worse than the underlying charge.”
This is particularly true in the internet age when such photos can live forever and pop up in web searches for decades, even when charges were dismissed or the suspect was found not guilty.
In recent years, booking or arrest photographs (mug shots) obtained from law enforcement websites have been reposted on commercial websites, some of which charge a fee to have the photographs removed. Some sites will remove photos at no cost for those who can show that charges were dropped or that they were found not guilty; others charge a fee. Once on the web, however, the photographs can be copied and redistributed by other sites, and individuals who had charges dropped or were found not guilty can find it difficult to repair their online reputation.
Several states have addressed these concerns by prohibiting law enforcement from releasing mug shots, prohibiting websites from charging fees for the removal of mug shots from a web site or otherwise regulating these sites' practices.
Such images can aid in witness identification, minimize the chance of confusing similarly named people and help establish the physical condition of a person shortly after the arrest. Sometimes authorities use them to create wanted posters when a suspect skips out on trial. But that doesn’t argue for releasing them as a matter of practice and does not absolve any of us from answering the question": Where does the news value of using a mug shot leave off and the deliberate infliction of added disgrace begin?
In 2016, a 9-7 majority of the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned long-standing precedent and ruled that the privacy rights of arrested individuals are generally greater than the public's right to view their mug shots.
Back when courts had upheld the routine release of such photos, they "appeared on television or in the newspaper, and then, for all practical purposes, disappeared," wrote Judge Deborah Cook for the majority in Detroit Free Press Inc. v. U.S. Department of Justice. "Today, an idle internet search reveals the same booking photo that once would have required a trip to the local library's microfiche collection."
A mug shot "casts a long, damaging shadow over the depicted individual," Cook wrote. The majority found that the Freedom of Information Act's exemption for records that "could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy" applies to mug shots as it does to, say, murder scene photos, rap sheets or certain other investigatory records.
Writing for the dissent, Judge Danny Boggs contended that "once indicted, individuals become figures of public interest. Publishing their photographs is thus not an invasion of privacy."
Boggs wrote that the majority's decision "obscures our government's most coercive functions — the powers to detain and accuse — and returns them to the shadows." He added, "Open government is too dear a cost to pay for the mirage of privacy that the majority has to offer."
In 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the Free Press’ appeal of the ruling.
News & Views
News: Former President Donald Trump told intake personnel at the Fulton County Jail that he’s 6 feet, 3 inches tall and weighs 215 pounds
View: Trump’s extravagant lies didn’t begin with his administration’s wild exaggerations of the size of the crowd at his inauguration, but they signaled yet again his determination to demonstrate the credulity and fidelity of his ovine followers.
In January 2018, a White House physician noted that Trump weighed 239 pounds, which, not to body-shame the obviously obese would-be tyrant, seemed implausibly low. But whatever. Had he claimed 250 pounds or so at the Fulton County Jail,that would have seemed like merely a generous fudging of the truth in the service of vanity.
But claiming 215 pounds was a flex. It was Trump saying that the truth simply doesn’t matter, and his supporters don’t care how extravagantly and brazenly he lies.
It also makes me wonder why Fulton County simply asks arrestees for their weight rather than having them step on a bathroom scale. If that information is important enough to list, it’s important enough to get right, wouldn’t you think?
News: Mayor Brandon Johnson continues to duck basic questions
View: Johnson’s ducking and dodging is getting almost comical and beginning to border on parody:
Tribune: “Mayor Brandon Johnson said he was made aware of the shooting (inside Guaranteed Rate Field) shortly after it occurred Friday, but he declined to say whether he was part of the decision to allow the game to continue or whether in hindsight that was the right choice.”
Sun-Times: “Asked what role he played in getting the (Logan Square) farmers market its street closure permit, Johnson told the Sun-Times: ‘It’s the people’s role.’ Pressed again, Johnson said: ‘And that’s what Chicago’s all about. It’s the soul of Chicago.’”
WBEZ-FM : “When asked if revenue generated from the real estate transfer tax hike would go toward aiding asylum-seekers, Johnson on Friday (Aug. 18) did not address the question, instead reiterating his commitment to bring all levels of government together and continuing to advocate for federal aid.”
And so on.
News: A judge has ruled that the criminal case will proceed against the father of Highland Park parade shooting suspect Robert Crimo III
View: I remain skeptical that there is a valid legal case against Robert Crimo Jr. — see “Are the sins of the father really a crime?” in PS No. 100. Yes, it showed appalling judgement for the father to help the son buy a firearm when he was 19. But the son was a little more than two months shy of his 22nd birthday when he allegedly opened fire from a rooftop on the parade route killing seven people, meaning he was of legal age to have acquired that firearm on his own.
The judge’s ruling here — and, I’m predicting, a guilty verdict after a bench trial set to begin Nov. 6 — strikes me as a reflection of the community’s totally understandable fury at the father, but a fury that the criminal court system will not, in the end, be able to express. No way will a conviction stand.
News: Republican presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy amplified his criticism of fellow Indian American candidate Nikki Haley by using her legal maiden name: “Keep Lying, Nimarata Randhawa.”
View: Such an odd and immature effort by Ramaswamy to attempt to “other” Haley by scolding her using an identifiably foreign-sounding name. It was reminiscent of how so many Republicans would moistly refer to “Barack Hussein Obama” and how some Democrats still try to remind folks that Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s legal first name is “Rafael.”
All this petulant little stunt did was call attention to Haley’s evisceration during last week’s debate of Ramaswamy’s naive foreign policy ideas — he sides with that murderous Russian thug Vladimir Putin and is willing ultimately to let China gobble up Taiwan.
Still, if Ramaswamy is actually campaigning to be Donald Trump’s vice presidential nominee — as he denies and I strongly suspect — a little nativist claptrap is strategically sound.
View: Fix it! I’ve never attended this rogue dip on an unpatrolled part of Montrose Harbor, but it sure sounds like fun. And the reasons it’s been canceled — no lifeguards, swimmers using flotation devices that are banned on city beaches — seem surmountable.
Up to 2,600 people reportedly have attended these watery meet-ups, so collect a buck or two from each one of them, pay a dozen lifeguards and look the other way at the use of floaties. Bureaucrats have put a stop to this tradition, and they can and should revive it.
News: It’s official! The Oakland A’s will not be the worst team in modern baseball history
View: Rats. It wasn’t even close. By winning their 39th game of the season Tuesday (against 95 losses as of Wednesday), the dreadful A’s clinched a better winning percentage than the spectacularly hapless 1916 Philadelphia Athletics, a team that finished with a winning percentage of .235. On May 28, Oakland stood at .181 and it looked like we were going to have an interesting September as they battled ignominy. Now they’re safely at .291, the worst team in baseball this year, but, alas, not the worst team in history.
The Tribune’s dodgy inclusion of ‘Premium Issues’ in subscription prices is now the subject of a lawsuit
Judging from my email inbox, the plaintiffs in the case first reported this week by Crain’s Chicago Business will have no trouble rounding up witnesses. I’ve been banging on in the Picayune Sentinel on and off for the last two years about the opaque, sneaky and needlessly complicated way in which the Tribune bills its subscribers.
Just last week I reported on how I cut my monthly bill by 60% just by calling to inquire about my rate, which is not available online. Then earlier this week, I got a credit card alert showing the paper was planning to bill me at the old, higher rate. I had to call again to clear that up and get a refund.
Crain’s reported that the class-action lawsuit was filed in Cook County Circuit Court on behalf of Pat Arnold, a print subscriber who lives in northwest suburban McHenry. The complaint alleges that Tribune Publishing “automatically charged subscribers who received print editions of defendant’s newspapers extra for materials already included in the subscribers’ subscriptions and paid itself for the extra charges from the subscription fees already paid by the subscribers, thereby shortening subscribers’ prepaid subscription periods.”
Arnold also alleges that the media company “continuously omitted, concealed and otherwise failed to disclose material facts regarding the miscellaneous materials and defendant’s unfair, deceptive and unlawful acts and practices” and “failing to provide subscribers with itemized billing statements.”
The repeated references to “miscellaneous materials” are a clear reference to the “Premium Issues” the Tribune charges $10 a month for, unless you call twice a year to tell them you don’t want to pay for them.
In billing statements Defendant provided to subscribers, Defendant described the Miscellaneous Materials in a manner designed to deceive subscribers into believing that the Miscellaneous Materials were items separate from subscribers’ subscriptions when, in fact, as Defendant knew, that was not the case and, as alleged more fully below, subscribers would receive the Miscellaneous Materials in the ordinary course of their subscriptions – i.e., at no extra charge. … Defendant omitted, concealed and otherwise failed to disclose, and continues to omit, conceal and otherwise fail to disclose, how subscribers could receive the Miscellaneous Materials without incurring the extra charges imposed by Defendant.
This is true. The postcard the Tribune sends out advising subscribers of their new rates says only “For each Premium Issue, your account balance will be charged an additional fee…” but it does not say, as I have repeatedly reminded Picayune Sentinel subscribers, that the additional fee will be waived for six months if you call customer service and say you don’t want to pay for it.
These “premium issues” are Sunday supplemental inserts such as “Health,” “NYT Travel,” “The Year in Photos,” “Holiday Gift Guide,” “Life Skills” and “Summer Entertaining.”
Here are a few mentions of this issue from earlier issues of the PS:
11-4-21 — Premium prices for ‘premium issues.’
Reopen Chicago’s shuttered mental-health clinics? Convince me!
It seems to be an undebatable proposition among my fellow liberals that then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel made a cruel, heartless, ignorant decision to close five of the city’s public mental health clinics, and that his successor Lori Lightfoot was equally wicked when she went back on her campaign promise to reopen the clinics.
In Tuesday’s Picayune Plus, I ceded lots of real estate to Mayor Brandon Johnson’s floor leader, Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, 35th, who cited former Department of Health Commissioner Alison Arwady’s support for the closures as one of the major sins against progressive orthodoxy that got her fired.
But really? Is this not an issue upon which reasonable people can differ? WTTW-Ch. 11 political reporter Heather Cherone showed there are two sides to this story in “Push to Reopen Public Mental Health Clinics Closed 11 Years Ago Defines Another Chicago Mayor’s Race,” a report aired and posted in January.
"What I heard from the experts and what I heard from patients is that they didn’t want clinician care that our clinics offer,” (said Mayor Lori Lightfoot). “ What they wanted was to be able to go to culturally relevant services in their neighborhood.”
As part of what city officials call the city’s network of Trauma-Informed Centers of Care, 44 organizations got tens of millions of dollars to treat 28,875 Chicagoans in the first nine months of 2022, according to Chicago Department of Public Health data provided to WTTW News. Each organization gets at least $250,000 to become part of the network, officials said.
Although figures for all of 2022 are not yet available, those organizations — funded by a combination of city, county, state and federal tax dollars — and other programs treated 48,860 patients in the first nine months of 2022 and are on track to treat more than 61,000 Chicagoans for a variety of mental health conditions by the end of the year. …
Lightfoot worked to fill “significant gaps” in Chicago’s mental health care system by turning to nonprofit organizations to deliver needed care according to the data.
Lightfoot has also vowed that residents of all 77 Chicago community areas can “access high-quality care” either in their neighborhood or in the location of their choice across the city. ...
That represents a massive expansion of Chicago’s mental health care system under Emanuel and former Mayor Richard M. Daley, when the publicly run clinics served no more than 6,000 Chicagoans per year, according to city data. In 2010, the city spent $13 million annually on mental health treatment.
In 2023, the budget calls for $89 million to be spent providing mental health care. That includes efforts to treat people outside clinics and other medical facilities, sending clinicians to homeless shelters, on the CTA and in encampments of unhoused people. ....
The debate over whether to add to the city’s five publicly run mental health clinics is the wrong question to ask, Arwady said.
“This is a conversation from a decade ago,” Arwady said, adding that public clinics could never meet the demand for mental health care in Chicago. Under Daley, the clinics were only open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and did not treat children or adolescents, Arwady said. “The debate has gotten stuck.”
The city’s network of clinics treated 15,000 children in 2022, Awardy said.
City-run clinics should fill in the gaps left by nonprofit groups that are best equipped to serve Chicagoans where, how and by whom they want to be served, Arwady said, likening it to serving as a safety net to the safety net. ...It does not matter if clinics and other medical facilities are funded with city tax dollars or public funds from Cook County or the state of Illinois or federal grants, Arwady said.
“The distinction does not make sense,” Arwady said. “I don’t see it at all as outsourcing.”
Cherone reported that the five remaining public mental-health clinics “served 1,782 Chicagoans in the first nine months of 2022, according to city data.” Then she quoted Ald. Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez, 33rd, a reopening supporter, claiming these underutilized clinics “provide a higher level of care than nonprofit groups funded with tax dollars because the employees are paid more and have better benefits and job security.”
I’d like to see the data on that, and I’d like to be sure this isn’t a labor dispute masquerading as a dispute over how to most effectively provide mental health care services.
Land of Linkin’
Illinois Times columnist Scott Reeder: Denying Rod Blagojevich “a place in the hall of governors is petty.” Reeder writes, “There is a difference between honoring someone and acknowledging their role in history.” He spoke to the disgraced, formerly imprisoned governor about this slight, and Blago said, “I do believe there will be a time where I'll be vindicated. I do believe there will be a time where the truth will be exposed on what was happening.” I do believe Blagojevich is deluded. Yet again. But I also believe that Reeder is right. He belongs in the hall.
“Don’t you dare suggest your own beloved forebears were somehow better, cleaner, harder-working, smarter or conducted themselves in some vastly superior fashion” to the migrants and asylum=seekers now straining Chicago’s resources, wrote Neil Steinberg in his Monday column, “Chicago needs every busload.” “That’s just ignorance and ego talking. It’s just as legal to show up at America’s southern border tomorrow asking for asylum as it was to arrive at Ellis Island in 1900. And walking across Central America with your kids takes more grit than your great-grandfather displayed by convincing Uncle Bruno to front him a steamship ticket.” Steinberg followed up in a column Wednesday, deftly addressing just one of the many critics of the original column.
“The Port of Chicago is not just a scar on the city’s shoreline and a threat to the environment. It’s a drag on economic growth” by the Tribune’s John Lippert is a terrific deep dive into an issue that I, for one, had never thought about. It’s a good example of the continuing need for strong local journalism.
The video of PGA Senior Tour golfer Paul Guydos’ final-round five-putt on the 17th green when he was holding on to a one-shot lead at the Ally Challenge last weekend is horrifying but relatable.
Why did Mayor Brandon Johnson fire health department head Dr. Alison Arwady. Read the lengthy explanation offered by his City Council floor leader as posted in Tuesday’s Picayune Plus.
Axios Chicago has the latest Chicago-area radio ratings.
“John Kezdy, 64, singer of The Effigies, died after bike crash with delivery van stopped in bike lane” John Greenfield in Streetsblog has a comprehensive look at this tragic, puzzling crash in Glencoe.
The Picayune Sentinel preview: Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. I talk with WGN-AM 720 host John Williams about what’s making news and likely to be grist for the PS mill. The WGN listen-live link is here.
Listen up! On Tuesday, I’ll be guest hosting the afternoon shift — 2-5 p.m. — on WCPT-AM 820, filling in for the vacationing Joan Esposito. The listen-live link is here.
“From dorm broadcasting to the digital frontier: A journalist’s journey” is a rough transcript of Charlie Meyerson’s 2022 speech to the University of Illinois Library team describing his life in media. Speaking of Meyerson:
Squaring up the news
This is a bonus supplement to the Land of Linkin’ from veteran radio, internet and newspaper journalist Charlie Meyerson. Each week, he offers a selection of intriguing links from his daily email news briefing Chicago Public Square:
■ The Conversation: Country music is going there on abortion.
■ Media writer Tom Jones explains the value of journalists reporting from dangerous spots within the storm.
■ Emerging research raises concerns about the dangers of cannabis smoke.
■ A college course illuminates the dark realities behind beloved children’s stories.
■ Mark your calendar for Sept. 12, when Your Local Epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina says we’ll learn who’s eligible for an updated COVID-19 vaccine and why. She also says you may need three shots to protect against three viruses—and getting ’em all at once may not be the best strategy.
■ Columnist Steve Sheffey suggests Republicans’ answers to the question “Why did the chicken cross the road?”
■ Believe it or not, Donald Trump said he’d never heard the term“mug shot” before he was booked last week.
You can (and should) subscribe to Chicago Public Square free here.
This meme is not a scream
I’ve seen this many times on social media:
One certainly can unsee it by looking at the actual image of Munch’s iconic 1893 painting “The Scream” and seeing how the digital prankster has altered the image to make the dog joke:
Pols spew unacceptably mild rhetoric
During his remarks on Sunday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called the racially motivated fatal shooting at a Jacksonville Dollar General Store shooting "totally unacceptable."
Responding to news of teens causing mayhem in the Loop in April, then-Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson issued a statement that said, “In no way do I condone the destructive activity we saw in the Loop and lakefront this weekend. It is unacceptable and has no place in our city.”
When more details emerged about the botched police raid in which Anjanette Young was handcuffed naked while police mistakenly searched her apartment, then-Mayor Lori Lightfoot said, “What she went through is absolutely fundamentally unacceptable.”
Lightfoot also used the U-word to describe the toxic implosion of a Little Village smokestack, a decision by a Wisconsin school board to prohibit teachers from displaying gay pride flags, the fact that COVID-19 was disproportionately afflicting Black people, the fact that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott had not consulted her before busing migrants to Chicago, the “totally, fundamentally unacceptable” surge in crime on the CTA and too many other problems to list here.
Last fall, Gov. J.B. Pritzker tweeted, “The violent rhetoric and division we're seeing across our country is unacceptable.” He has written that “sexual harassment is unacceptable,” branded book banning and gender-based wage disparities as “unacceptable,” and railed that “corruption for personal gain and abuse in private or public is unacceptable.”
Such a weak, bland, feckless word! It’s an adjective of reproach best directed at children chewing with their mouths open or indulging in potty talk. It’s what an overmatched substitute teacher whines at students passing notes during lecture time.
Rhetorically, it’s a wag of the finger rather than a shaken fist.
Who, exactly, needs to be scolded for accepting murderous hate rampages, crime increases on the CTA or violent rhetoric? Who is wondering whether or not poisoning neighborhoods or taking bribes is acceptable?
To your thesauruses, mealy-mouthed pols! This overuse of “unacceptable” is wholly, well, you know.
Back to school tips
Mary Schmich is traveling this week, so I thought I’d offer a rerun of my Schmich-like back-to-school tips. The first is a set I wrote for our twins when they entered high school in 2011:
Leave nothing for the morning. Before you go to bed, gather your books and assignments, pack your lunch, charge your phone and lay out your clothes. Drama and anxiety are no way to start the school day.
Strive never to be late. Tardiness is a sign of disrespect to teachers and fellow students.
Remember names. It’s a way to at least pretend that you’re not utterly self-absorbed.
Never gloss over unfamiliar words when you’re reading or pretend to understand something that you don’t. Having a broad and ready vocabulary will not only help you on the standardized tests and college admissions exams, but it will also help you think and allow you to express yourself better. “Can you explain that again, please?” or “I don’t think I understand what you mean” are smart, not shameful, things to say.
Don’t sweat the “relevance” question. A lot of what you’ll have to learn won’t seem important or directly related to your goals. And, honestly, a lot of it won’t be. Within a few years, you’ll forget most of the facts you’ll stick into term papers or regurgitate on exams. What you won’t forget, though, is how to attack an assignment — how to research, analyze, criticize and refine; how to tell good ideas from bad ones.
Keep a calendar and make lists. If you manage your time well, school will not make you nuts. Create and keep to a study schedule and an assignment calendar that has larger tasks broken into intermediate chunks with their own deadlines. Staying caught up in your classwork is the most important and, for some, the hardest aspect of school, as it requires limiting the time you spend socializing and entertaining yourself by staring at screens.
Be kind. When you’re older, you’ll regret all the times you were careless with the feelings of others, and you’ll remember fondly those who accepted and included you when they didn’t have to. You can’t be admired if you’re hated or feared, and being admired for your good character is the most noble ambition there is.
Shrug off your insecurities. Even the popular kids have them, as I’ve learned in frank conversations at reunions. No one thinks about or notices your particular imperfections nearly as much as you imagine them, and it is a sign of strength to laugh at yourself.
Trust those who love and care about you. Believe it or not, the teachers and parents and other relatives who will ride you hard (if you’re lucky) really want you to succeed. And despite their advanced age and cultural cluelessness, they can and want to help you through just about any academic or personal problem you’ll encounter. They’re on your side.
When they went off to college four years later, I distilled what I thought of as wisdom into three keywords for them to keep in mind as they set off:
College amounts to an attempt to fulfill a lengthy succession of goals, some of which you set for yourself, some of which are set for you by others. Realizing these goals requires that you make plans and stick to schedules, even when you'd rather be doing something else.
It means you need to be on time and not blow deadlines. It means that when even diligence fails, you should reach out for assistance — a boost from teachers, counselors, mentors, friends, even parents. They usually care more than you know and will often be in your corner for the long haul.
Cultivating a sense of wonder and asking questions is how best to engage with the subjects you study and the people you meet. Learning and maturing are interactive, not passive, experiences.
We all fight the temptations of self-absorption and complacency. Even beloved newspaper columnists. But you’ll learn more, and people will like you better, if you are (or can force yourself to pretend to be) interested in others and in topics you presume are dull.
If you’re not asking questions, you’re just going through the motions.
Dark nights of the soul are virtually a prerequisite for graduation, as are mornings of shame and epochs of self-doubt. You likely will earn some lousy grades, disappoint people you care about and, if you’re lucky, have your heart broken in a way that toughens you up for the inevitable relationship challenges ahead.
Think long term about these and other setbacks. Learn from them, vow to do better and remember that even total failure isn’t the end of the world at your age. The road to professional and personal fulfillment often zigzags and sometimes doubles back. Have patience, and keep steering toward the goal, even though that goal will not always be clear.
Readers added their own keywords in the flood of email and comments that followed:
Discipline. Commitment. Self-reliance. Determination. Responsibility. Preparation. Attitude. Balance. Organization. Motivation. Accountability. Attendance. Attention. Integrity. Resilience. Resourcefulness.
This list was starting to sound like an even more earnest version of the Scout Law (“ ... trustworthy, loyal, helpful ...”). But reader Alan Tarot offered a counterpoint: “Your son and daughter don’t need three words,“ he wrote. “Only one. Passion. Passion will provide a person with perseverance, curiosity and a long-term perspective.”
On this week’s episode of “The Mincing Rascals” podcast, host John Williams announced that our first live show in nearly two years will be Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. at The Second City in Chicago’s Old Town Neighborhood. Tickets will go on sale at 9 a.m. Thursday (today) at http://wgnradio.com/rascals.
Note — as of 6 a.m. Thursday the new episode had not been posted.
Fellow panelist Austin Berg and I joined in a conversation about the shooting incident at Guaranteed Rate Field, the Friday Swim Club controversy and the Republican presidential field.
Subscribe to us wherever you get your podcasts. Or bookmark this page. If you’re not a podcast listener, you can hear an edited version of the show at 8 p.m. most Saturday evenings on WGN-AM 720.
In Tuesday’s paid-subscriber editions, I present my favorite tweets that rely on visual humor. Subscribers vote for their favorite, and I post the winner here every Thursday:
The new nominees for Tweet of the Week:
I prefer to differ without begging. — @nikalamity
Keep your friends close and a bag of chips closer. — @Mardigroan
We're all joking that our boss must be an alien because he allows his employees to flourish, declines credit for our successes and is a generous listener, plus mostly because he addresses us as "people of Earth" with eyes aglow, and I saw him swallow a cat whole in the lunchroom. — @deanjthompson
To think, just 30 years ago, I would have to yank the phone off the wall and bring it to the bathroom to drop it in the toilet. — @thDRAGnrebOrN
Hey Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me and I'll break your wrist. — @wildethingy
My new weight loss plan is to get booked at the Fulton County Jail. — @RickAaron
When I text "sounds good" I mean give me as much time as I need to eventually say no. — @DanRegan_Comedy
This is the 15,345th consecutive day without bumping into an adorably clumsy, witty woman who doesn't like me much at first but turns out to be the love of my life. — @JPLFR80
My kids think I'm the best mommy ever. Like they know what else is out there. — @jovialjennay
Gonna start posting pictures of empty plates on Instagram with the caption, "This was really good." — @Clowndro
Tune of the Week
The great John Prine covering the great Merle Haggard’s “Ramblin’ Fever” in a 2018 concert.
Ramblin' fever The kind that can't be measured by degrees Ramblin' fever There ain't no kind of cure for my disease
Haggard died at 79 in 2016, and Prine died at 73 in 2020.
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