Top story: We are following the tragedy from South Shore today. 14 firefighters injured and 2 were killed battling a blaze at an abandoned building. WBEZ's Tony Arnold is at Northwestern hospital right now. Remarkably, today is the 100th anniversary of the death of 21 firefighters during a fire at the Chicago Stockyards.
In this snapshot from WGN news, you see several firefighters working to get their colleagues out of the building. A wall had just collapsed. Just awful.
B story: George Ryan is staying in prison. The family is super mad at the judge, who ruled for Ryan to stay in jail during his appeal process. This wouldn't have been an early release anyway, just staying out of jail until the courts heard his appeal. The lawyers were arguing that the case was null because the honest services decision at the U.S. Supreme Court affected the case. But no go.
Chicago Tribune Columnist Eric Zorn made the most valid point of the entire GRyan coverage (it was actually posted last week). In this day, most high-profile politicians and celebrities will do whatever they can to delay the start of their trial. And to delay inside of the trial, to delay sentencing, delay, delay, delay. Of course, this is to keep themselves out of jail for as long as they can. George Ryan spent about three years delaying the trial. If he didn't delay the trial and the sentencing, Ryan could be out now.
C story: Speaking of the Chicago Tribune, music critic Howard Reich took DeRogatis to task over the "electronic news story" Jim put up about the layoffs at DCA. Reich took umbrage with Jim's story. He was not only challenging facts, but spending waaaay too much time letting us know that this was a blog post, not a real story. You know, like Howard Reich does. Let's set aside the content of his column for a second and focus on his need to discredit Jim DeRogatis because he doesn't work for a print news operation. Is that your point Howard? Guys like you don't have to worry about the future of the business passing you by. I hope you enjoy working on your manual typewriter for two more years (or less) and either retire or go away.
You know, if I were young and worked in digital production at the venerable Chicago Tribune, I would hate working with this "I'm better than you because I'm printed" bullsh*t. Over and over and over.
Weather: It's supposed to snow on Christmas Eve.
Sports: Ah, this is why they haven't suspended Favre. Ratings gold. The Bulls won by 45 points last night. Andrew Gill & I went to the game (well, pre-game) to interview Stacey King for a Wikipedia Files (coming up soon). The one thing I noticed is that the basketball players are so young. They look like 15 year-olds. What a life.
Kicker: Geesh, this whole blog post is all about the Tribune company. Well, this is the positive part - the WGN Morning Show produced this video with YouTube sensation (and Elmhurst native) Keenan Cahill. He was the boy who lip-synched hits and was picked up by Chelsea Handler. So here is his latest. It's very creative and a great way to end this piece. Kudos, 4 stars: