Can we thank George Ryan yet for sparing us from death penalty media chaos?

September 22, 2011

Hey, Georgia, you better hope you got that one right, 'cuz the whole world is paying attention now. The Troy Davis case has received international media attention for years questioning the evidence in the case, but Georgia authorities were resolute in moving forward with the death penalty. As a casual, impartial observer, there seemed to be two immovable sides egging each other on. 

Of course, we've seen stories like this before: as an execution date looms, prosecutors and defense attorneys battle feverishly over appeals.  All the while, the media swarm intensifies and the death penalty becomes a focus of national debate for 72 hours. And then what? Will we be looking at a million Troy Davis media stories clogging up our national consciousness or will this painful conflict just fade away? And if it is ever proven that Troy Davis didn't kill that police officer...what then? Really, what do we do if the thousands of protesters were right? What if Troy Davis didn't kill the officer? Then what? Does the prosecution and state government just say sorry? Or do they face a similar prosecution and fate? The whole situation is very flawed.

And by the way, aren't you glad we don't have this drama in Illinois? Thank you Governor Ryan.

B story: The Onion may be moving their editorial staff to Chicago by next summer. The business offices are already here and this looks like a move to put the whole operation under one roof. The comments on the story are tough to read, mostly because it's a bunch of people saying that The Onion will suffer if it leaves New York - especially if it departs for nowhere-ville Chicago. Apparently, The Onion writers are not leaving NYC without a fight. Will you just get a job with Colbert and get it over with? I've always known The Onion to be an entry level comedy shop. You come out of college and get paid little. And to act like there aren't a million comedy writers/performers in Chicago running circles around NYC production is disrespectful and insulting. You realize people come here to learn comedy. Bringing The Onion to Chicago might keep them here. Seal the deal Mayor Emanuel. Treat The Onion like Boeing. Find them some crazy tax credits, TIF funds and a huge building downtown.

C story: Time Out Chicago has a nice article about my man Jerry Kleiner. After his much publicized money troubles and the suspect closing of some of Chicago's renowned Kleiner restaurants, I thought he was done for. Can he bounce back? If he does, he'll be the food industry's Rex Grossman. 

D story: R.E.M quit?! As an astute commenter pointed out (and I'm paraphrasing here): You can't have a reunion tour if you don't break up first.

I never thought R.E.M was 'all that', but they did serve an awesome purpose for people my age. There was music past Aerosmith and Whitney Houston. What, a band who's stuff doesn't make the radio? How does that work?

Weather: Okay, this is my time. Right now. So nice. Stay like this for two more weeks and I won't complain about anything ever again. 

Sports: Is it possible this is the last week for Chicago baseball stars Aramis Ramirez and Mark Buehrle? Both are free agents and there is serious media chatter that neither will be back with their respective clubs. My money is on Buehrle to be back in a Sox uniform. But for what price? What is he worth? #1 money? I've always seen him as a solid #2 or #3? Ramirez is toast. He costs way too much money and is standing in the way of the Cubs becoming The New Cubs. Bye. Don't let the door hit you on the way out, bro.

Kicker: I'm working on an radio essay for Eight Forty-Eight tomorrow. It's called "Why I hate the Green Bay Packers." I'm talking to a bunch of Packer fans about why they hate the Bears. But mostly, I want to know why I should hate the Pack. It's wired in a Chicago sports fan not to like green and yellow. But why? It can't be because of some grainy black & white footage of Doug Buffone tackling Bart Starr, right? What is this rivalry really about for the fans? If you have insight, share. If good, I'll talk to you on the radio for this piece. But I'm working on it today.