Thursday, August 6, 2009

Trib Website Redesign

Kudos to the Chicago Tribune for its new website design.  I know, I know, it's 2009 and their site now feels very 2004 -- but what they launched last night is about the price for war in Iraq (a.k.a. $3 trillion) times better than what they had yesterday.  So let's all raise our coffee mugs to the Trib this morning and welcome them to the 21st century!

Now on to much more important things... CLOUT!  The story that won't go away and is past the point of anyone caring is the Trib's main story which sets a new record for "Most Consecutive Days a Newspaper Carries a Story that No One is Talking About" at 162 days.  Maybe it's just me and my dorky policy friends who aren't talking about it... but the only people that I talk about this story with is other Trib people and how sick they are of the story too.

But hey, in a town were crime is though the roof, the Olympics are about to fleece every resident, and the state is out of money -- Clout should be the #1 story for 162 days.  


Chris said...

One has to wonder why we aren't still talking about it... possibilites:

1) We don't think anything will change, ever.

2) We don't care all that much about politicians wasting our taxes, at least not enough to talk about on the day of the SYTYCD finale.

#1 seems cynical, even for today. There seems to be an "except" just waiting to tack onto that idea, swooping in like [insert Quiddich/bailout dollars/Chinese Treasury purchase/Al Gore or other timely, cute reference here], to defeat total political apathy.

I'm no superhero, but I'll deny #1 out of sheer stubborness. On #2, I wonder if we don't somehow feel that we, as the public, have already done our part. I've seen a few articles on outrage recently, with a common theme - the public is sick of being outraged all the time.

First, I have to stop paraphrasing "sick of being outraged" in my head to "sick of being Democrats" (sorry, it just blurted out). After that, I wonder if the public is so much "sick" of a given position as feeling like its work is done. After all, what else can we do?

Do we implicitly accept that our role is no more than the classic mob:

Get angry, make sure people know you're angry, perhaps destroy a symbol of what you're angry about ("that's right, big auto CEO, you DRIVE to Washington, no private jet (or even Southwest flight, which is what any one of us would probably take from Detroit to DC) for you), and suitably disperse / move onto the next distraction.

Personally, I'm still occasionally grumbling about corruption to my friends, all of whom have realized I've already become an old man.

I ask our fearless blogger here, perhaps talking/not talking about these trib stories isn't the question, but what else could we do other than the occasional outrage (which are followed by repetitive editorials and the occasional investigative report that fails to pass our threshold for more public anger)?

Note: I'm too damn busy to enjoy simply acting like I'm doing something (the kids having their idealism publicly crushed on Michigan Avenue asking everyone if they "have time to save the environment" come to mind...,) effective and efficient actions need only apply.

The Policy Boy said...

I think the most obvious answer is to find a candidate who will run against Daley, isn't a hack, and then everyone send him/her money and help out on the campaign. However, Daley has such a grip on this city, I'm not sure where to look for that person. Jesse Jr. might have been that guy, but he turned out to be as bad as the rest of 'em (not that shockingly).

I like Huberman a lot, but he's not running against Daley. Maybe someone else will come out of left field next year and decide that they can take on Daley. I think the anger is there, the work just needs to be put in. Dorothy Brown isn't that person to get behind.

We saw in 2007 a lot of alderman get the political lives scared out of them. A few even lost. But a lot of Daley hacks should have gotten the message. Sadly, they've been lock and step with him for the most part.

It will be interesting to see how the next few weeks play out. The City Council needs to pass the Olympic money now... hopefully the media will cover it... if not, then there is nothing we can do.

Democracy sucks sometimes.