'South Park,' 'Book of Mormon' creators banking on Chicago

Also: Stephen Colbert fights gun reform, and Ann Coulter says gun violence is a demographic problem

January 15, 2013

'MATT AND TREY WITH A LOT OF MONEY? BE AFRAID.' And Chicago's partly responsible for that joking warning from Comedy Central's chief, Doug Herzog, to The New York Times about the creators of "South Park," Matt Stone and Trey Parker, launching their own studio. Some of its funding will come from the roughly $1.5 million a week generated by the Chicago production of their musical, "The Book of Mormon," which the new studio may turn into a movie. Mayor Emanuel's brother Ari played a role in the deal, too.
* From December: Stone and Parker visit WBEZ.

MARTIN LUTHER KING 'WOULD BE PRO-GUN JUST AS SURELY AS JESUS WOULD BE PRO-NAIL.' Stephen Colbert's Double Barrel Blam-o-Rama previews Saturday's Gun Appreciation Day.
* New poll finds widespread support among Americans for requiring background checks at private and gun-show sales, preventing the mentally disabled from buying guns.
* Journ prof Jeff Jarvis on publication of gun-permit applicants' names: "Should gun permits be private then? ... I say no. There is a public interest in this information being available and accessible. It allows the public, journalists and neighbors included, to keep watch on the process of government issuing permits. ... At a personal level, it enables me as a parent to know whether the homes where my children go play have arms. ..."
* Ann Coulter: "If you compare white populations, we have the same murder rate as Belgium."
Obama gun-reform plan due within days.
* Tonight at 7 on the University of Chicago campus, Tom Brokaw moderates a panel on "The Politics of Guns in America," with Mayor Emanuel and others. Free admission with advance sign-up here. Or watch live on the Web here.
* Dallas levels building where JFK shooter lived.
* Chicago bathhouse that used to host Al Capone set to reopen -- with microchip-embedded wristbands.

COMPUTER WARNING. Despite an emergency repair for the Java software present in most Web browsers, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is recommending users disable Java "unless absolutely necessary."
* How to disarm Java.

ARMSTRONG ADMITS ... Reports indicate that, after denying for a decade that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France, Lance Armstrong has confessed to Oprah Winfrey.

JOURNALISM TODAY.
* A much-honored dying journalist's final thoughts on challenges facing the news business: "Opportunities will be ample when the press re-casts this page of its history. Get over the pain. New stuff happens."
* CNET editor quits, fearing parent CBS "no longer ... committed to editorial independence."
The Atlantic runs "sponsor content" for Scientology, but telling it's an ad isn't easy, and criticism prompts campaign's suspension "pending a review of our policies."
* Newspaper hopes Roe V. Wade anniversary brings in ad dollars.
* Newspaper chain cuts coffee service, paper plates.
* Chicago Tribune series examines where Tribune Co. deal went wrong.


Are you paying attention? Countdown's on to the next WBEZ Meyerson blog news quiz, this Friday. If you missed last week's, it's not too late.