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Flight #24
06-28-2005, 09:54 AM
Check this out from the S-T http://www.suntimes.com/output/baseball/cst-spt-stone28.html




The article by reporter Paul Sullivan included a line saying Stone's ''contract with the Cubs and their television outlets wasn't renewed after last season.'' Stone's contract was in fact renewed, but he decided that it was in everyone's best interest to move on.

Stone said he had a conversation Monday with Sullivan, who told him the line was added by someone in the office.

Stone also implied it wasn't the first time something like that has happened in Tribune stories involving his relationship with Baker. '' ... Most of the things that are either something positive about anything that I've done or something negative about anything that Dusty has done seem to either get added or deleted from stories,'' he said. ''Paul didn't know ... a whole lot that was in his story, especially this particular inaccuracy.

And then this little gem from the "author" af the article, Paul Sullivan: ''No one has ever told me what to write or what to say. From what I understand, it was just inserted by a copy editor.''

So maybe the columnists aren't intentionally biased, but it is interesting when nameless "editors" add/delete lines to make things more favorable to a fellow Tribune Co entity.

TornLabrum
06-28-2005, 10:02 AM
Check this out from the S-T http://www.suntimes.com/output/baseball/cst-spt-stone28.html



And then this little gem from the "author" af the article, Paul Sullivan:

So maybe the columnists aren't intentionally biased, but it is interesting when nameless "editors" add/delete lines to make things more favorable to a fellow Tribune Co entity.

That sounds pretty logical. Editors decide what actually gets printed, and I wouldn't doubt that there is a policy of corporate synergy among the various entities under the Tribune Co. tent.

Flight #24
06-28-2005, 10:12 AM
That sounds pretty logical. Editors decide what actually gets printed, and I wouldn't doubt that there is a policy of corporate synergy among the various entities under the Tribune Co. tent.

Not surprising to anyone here, but to many who'd assume there was a policy of "journalistic integrity", this basically throws that out the window.

cheeses_h_rice
06-28-2005, 10:31 AM
Check this out from the S-T http://www.suntimes.com/output/baseball/cst-spt-stone28.html



And then this little gem from the "author" af the article, Paul Sullivan:

So maybe the columnists aren't intentionally biased, but it is interesting when nameless "editors" add/delete lines to make things more favorable to a fellow Tribune Co entity.

Dan McGrath, Cubune sports editor, is a good personal friend of Dusty Baker.

You do the math.

Irishsox1
06-28-2005, 10:47 AM
First, if a mistake on facts is discovered, a correction must be printed. In page 1 of the Tribune's main section, a correction was printed. So they got that right, but only after the Sun-Times decided to do a story.

Second, this lack of integrity when it comes to the Tribune's coverage of the White Sox and Cubs has gone on for years. The Tribune started the attack on the new stadium, especially the upper deck. Now that's been addressed, the Tribune slips in a comment about how poor the traffic is after the game. Like traffic after any sports event or concert isn't congested. When the Sox are doing well, then you get articles comparing them to the 2003 Royals. They always have an negative story for the Sox and its lead to the perception that no one cares about the White Sox. As a result the national media picks up on it. They think if the local media doesn't care about the White Sox, then why should ESPN, Sports Illustrated or Fox?

As the White Sox march on this year you will see "The sky is falling" articles when the Sox lose 2 in a row, and when they are doing well "They can't keep this up" articles. Meanwhile, without Sosa, the Tribune will be running a lot of fluff pieces about Mark Prior's sideburns, Dusty's arm bands or Michael Barrett's hair styles.

The fact is the Tribune can not actually report on the Flubs and Sox objectively.

SOXSINCE'70
06-28-2005, 10:54 AM
Meanwhile, without Sosa, the Tribune will be running a lot of fluff pieces about Mark Prior's sideburns, Dusty's arm bands or Michael Barrett's hair styles.

What about D.Lee's goatee and Carrie Wood's soul patch?? Or is
that a goatee as well??:roflmao: :roflmao:

Frater Perdurabo
06-28-2005, 11:07 AM
The fact is the Tribune can not actually report on the Flubs and Sox objectively.

You are exactly right. When a person/corporation controls the means of production, that person/corporation ultimately controls what is produced.

As a division of Tribune Corp., the Chicago Tribune has a fiduciary responsibility to Tribune Corp.'s shareholders to help the corporation generate a profit.

If the Tribune publishes anything that doesn't help the Cubs (or hurt their direct competition for MLB fans' dollars in the Chicago area, the White Sox), they are violating their fiduciary responsibility to the corporate bottom line.

As much as the individual reporters or even editors themselves may be Sox fans or "completely objective" on baseball matters, they don't control the final product. Just like directors don't get the "final cut" on the films they direct (the studio gets the "final cut"), the reporters and even the editors don't have final, ultimate authority. Publishers and corporate accountants can't edit every story, so they hire editors to keep the newspaper division of the corporation profitable and "synergized" with the rest of the corporation.

If any Tribune editor lets a pro-Sox story slip through the cracks, or lets a story that makes the Cubs look bad into the paper,they aren't doing their job!

To argue otherwise is to ignore the truth. You may as well argue that water isn't wet.

:giantsnail

maurice
06-28-2005, 12:05 PM
the Tribune slips in a comment about how poor the traffic is after the game. Like traffic after any sports event or concert isn't congested.

What do you mean? Driving down Clark after a cub game is a breeze. Besides, the real problem is that there's no public transportation around the Cell, unlike Wrigley Stadium.

dranny32
06-28-2005, 12:44 PM
Da McGrath is a good man, and he doesn't favor the dusty on his own will. He edits article because it's his job. He could lose it if anti-cub or pro-sox article got released because of him.

tebman
06-28-2005, 01:36 PM
That sounds pretty logical. Editors decide what actually gets printed, and I wouldn't doubt that there is a policy of corporate synergy among the various entities under the Tribune Co. tent.
To paraphrase from the movie "Patton," the synergy imperatives at the Tribune are so obvious, a blind man could see it in a second.

The Trib's bosses are at their best when they're harrumphing. They were shocked, shocked, to learn that Bob Greene had been having liaisons with young women for years. They were shocked, shocked, to be accused of payback when they filed for all the building inspection records on Chicago's city hall after Daley ripped into them for the falling concrete at their ballpark. They were shocked, shocked, to be told that they misidentified pictures of mobster Joey Lombardo not once, but twice. They were shocked, shocked, to learn that their company had falsified circulation numbers on several of their papers.

And now they're shocked, shocked, to be accused of bending their published stories to favor their corporate properties. With their bizarre idol-worship of Colonel McCormick it should be natural to them -- he insisted on slanting news to his liking for decades when he ran the paper. When the editors and corporate officers hold their regular seances to speak with the Colonel, I'm sure he's expresses his gratitude for carrying on his work.

Bah.

cheeses_h_rice
06-28-2005, 01:46 PM
Da McGrath is a good man, and he doesn't favor the dusty on his own will. He edits article because it's his job. He could lose it if anti-cub or pro-sox article got released because of him.

So how did Sully's article get edited to say that Stone was fired, when he clearly wasn't?

dranny32
06-28-2005, 01:53 PM
So how did Sully's article get edited to say that Stone was fired, when he clearly wasn't?

Maybe he did maybe he didnt edit it; but if you were close friends w/ somone for alsmot 10 years i think you would try and lessen the bad things being written about him.

Irishsox1
06-28-2005, 02:07 PM
What I love about this is that its turning into a finger pointing episode. Stone pointed at Sullivan, Sullivan pointed at his boss, his boss said it was a mistake but then mouthed off to Stone to show more examples of how the Tribune twisted things. Hopefully Stone will reply with all of the mistakes the Cubune made. My question is how the hell does the entire article end up exact except for one sentence? That is no mistake!

In the end, the Tribune sided with the higher paid Dusty and they kicked up the "Anti-Steve Stone" articles. It's the same thing that happened to Sammy Sosa, its happening to Corey Patterson and its the same thing that will happen to Dusty, once the Tribune turns their back on him. The Cubs have an "Anti-Sox" ethos across the board, but they can use the Tribune to turn on their own.

George Knue
06-28-2005, 04:27 PM
To all of those people who believe that every single thing that runs in the Tribune sports section goes through corporate communications first:

Tribune Company has a Publishing Division (which primarily includes 14 newspapers and the Chicago Tribune) and a Broadcasting and Entertainment Division (which primarily includes 26 TV stations, the Cubs and WGN radio).

For the first quarter of this year, the revenues from the publishing division were $1 billion. The revenues for the other division were $310 million. You can find these and other numbers at www.tribune.com (http://www.tribune.com/).

That means that the publishing division brought in more than three times as much money as the other division. They don’t break out revenues for each of the individual divisions, but you can do a little bit of math and come up with these numbers: $1 billion divided by 14 is around $71 million while $310 million divided by 28 is about $11 million.

It’s not exact, certainly. But your average publishing operation makes about seven times your average broadcast/entertainment operation.

In how many businesses does the $11 million operation tell the $71 million operation what to do?

One of you wrote this: “As a division of Tribune Corp., the Chicago Tribune has a fiduciary responsibility to Tribune Corp.'s shareholders to help the corporation generate a profit. … If the Tribune publishes anything that doesn't help the Cubs (or hurt their direct competition for MLB fans' dollars in the Chicago area, the White Sox), they are violating their fiduciary responsibility to the corporate bottom line.”


Yes and no. The Chicago Tribune does want to make a profit, for the company and shareholders. This is a business. But that doesn’t include cow-towing to the Cubs – because it doesn’t make financial sense to risk the integrity of the newspaper (which makes a lot of money) for some small gain for the baseball team (which makes a lot less money).


The person who wrote this went on to suggest that every story goes though some “corporatizing” (my word) to make sure it casts the Sox in a bad light and the Cubs in a good one. This is a popular theme here – but that doesn’t make it true. Which it isn’t. Never has been, never will be.


I can hear the mocking words already – and I’d expect no less from Sox fans here who live and breathe the belief that the ‘Tribune is evil.’ But I’d ask each of you to bring that kind of skepticism to the story that caused this posting.

It was first broadcast on a radio station that competes with the Tribune Company radio station in this market. It was initiated on that show by a broadcaster who chose not to renew his relationship with Tribune Company after a stormy 2004 season. And it was repeated at length in the Sun-Times, one of the Chicago Tribune’s newspaper competitors in this market.

If you can be so skeptical about the Tribune’s motives, why can’t you bring the same skepticism to what is said and written in those places? Couldn’t those people have an axe to grind that makes them slant this story in a way that benefits them? I listened to the broadcast – and someone, whether it was Steve Stone or the two SCORE guys, wanted a piece of the Tribune. According to Stone on the show, the Sun-Times had a mistake in a Monday story too – but that one was glossed over and mentioned only at the end of the show. Why?

All of this came from the insertion of a single phrase into a story about Stone Monday. It was in the ninth paragraph of a story that wasn’t slamming Stone – and if the intent was to slam Stone, why was it in the ninth paragraph? And it got in the story because, simply, an editor made a mistake while trying to add information.

It happens. And the Tribune had the correction in the works before the show hit the air Monday afternoon. I got an e-mail asking me to change it on the Web at about 10 a.m. Monday morning – unfortunately, I wasn’t here to read it and make the change.

None of this will change any minds here, but when I see things on here that are wrong, I’m going to speak up.

George Knue
ChicagoSports.com

NSSoxFan
06-28-2005, 04:34 PM
:knue
"Blah, blah, blah, blah."

:rolleyes:

cheeses_h_rice
06-28-2005, 04:40 PM
To all of those people who believe that every single thing that runs in the Tribune sports section goes through corporate communications first:

Tribune Company has a Publishing Division (which primarily includes 14 newspapers and the Chicago Tribune) and a Broadcasting and Entertainment Division (which primarily includes 26 TV stations, the Cubs and WGN radio).

For the first quarter of this year, the revenues from the publishing division were $1 billion. The revenues for the other division were $310 million. You can find these and other numbers at www.tribune.com (http://www.tribune.com/).

That means that the publishing division brought in more than three times as much money as the other division. They don’t break out revenues for each of the individual divisions, but you can do a little bit of math and come up with these numbers: $1 billion divided by 14 is around $71 million while $310 million divided by 28 is about $11 million.

It’s not exact, certainly. But your average publishing operation makes about seven times your average broadcast/entertainment operation.

In how many businesses does the $11 million operation tell the $71 million operation what to do?

One of you wrote this: “As a division of Tribune Corp., the Chicago Tribune has a fiduciary responsibility to Tribune Corp.'s shareholders to help the corporation generate a profit. … If the Tribune publishes anything that doesn't help the Cubs (or hurt their direct competition for MLB fans' dollars in the Chicago area, the White Sox), they are violating their fiduciary responsibility to the corporate bottom line.”


Yes and no. The Chicago Tribune does want to make a profit, for the company and shareholders. This is a business. But that doesn’t include cow-towing to the Cubs – because it doesn’t make financial sense to risk the integrity of the newspaper (which makes a lot of money) for some small gain for the baseball team (which makes a lot less money).


The person who wrote this went on to suggest that every story goes though some “corporatizing” (my word) to make sure it casts the Sox in a bad light and the Cubs in a good one. This is a popular theme here – but that doesn’t make it true. Which it isn’t. Never has been, never will be.


I can hear the mocking words already – and I’d expect no less from Sox fans here who live and breathe the belief that the ‘Tribune is evil.’ But I’d ask each of you to bring that kind of skepticism to the story that caused this posting.

It was first broadcast on a radio station that competes with the Tribune Company radio station in this market. It was initiated on that show by a broadcaster who chose not to renew his relationship with Tribune Company after a stormy 2004 season. And it was repeated at length in the Sun-Times, one of the Chicago Tribune’s newspaper competitors in this market.

If you can be so skeptical about the Tribune’s motives, why can’t you bring the same skepticism to what is said and written in those places? Couldn’t those people have an axe to grind that makes them slant this story in a way that benefits them? I listened to the broadcast – and someone, whether it was Steve Stone or the two SCORE guys, wanted a piece of the Tribune. According to Stone on the show, the Sun-Times had a mistake in a Monday story too – but that one was glossed over and mentioned only at the end of the show. Why?

All of this came from the insertion of a single phrase into a story about Stone Monday. It was in the ninth paragraph of a story that wasn’t slamming Stone – and if the intent was to slam Stone, why was it in the ninth paragraph? And it got in the story because, simply, an editor made a mistake while trying to add information.

It happens. And the Tribune had the correction in the works before the show hit the air Monday afternoon. I got an e-mail asking me to change it on the Web at about 10 a.m. Monday morning – unfortunately, I wasn’t here to read it and make the change.

None of this will change any minds here, but when I see things on here that are wrong, I’m going to speak up.

George Knue
ChicagoSports.com


George, I'm sure Boers & Bernstein would love to hear from you on this subject.

I'm being serious.

Give them a call tomorrow morning -- ask Matt Abbatacola if you could be given 5 minutes to explain the Tribune's side of things. (312) 644-6767 is the number.

Mr. White Sox
06-28-2005, 04:41 PM
thanks for the post. when this is looked at objectively, one can definitely see that unintentional errors are committed in a paper, and it's nice to see that backup information here. but yes, I agree with you that, here, the tribune will always be analyzed as the cubune...even though the paper makes far more money than the team.

George Knue
06-28-2005, 04:51 PM
George, I'm sure Boers & Bernstein would love to hear from you on this subject.

I'm being serious.

Give them a call tomorrow morning -- ask Matt Abbatacola if you could be given 5 minutes to explain the Tribune's side of things. (312) 644-6767 is the number.

Thanks for the advice. I almost called from my car yesterday -- but decided not to because of concern that I wouldn't get my message across well. I spent a long time composing what I wrote here -- to make sure I said what I wanted to say -- but I don't think I could do that on the air. It could just make things worse and may not help a thing. And it is their medium and they know it better than I do. Don't know if it helped here either but at least I understand the ground.

George Knue
ChicagoSports.com

maurice
06-28-2005, 04:58 PM
Thanks as always for posting, George.

My understanding of the complaint is not that "cubs corporate" personally approves every word printed in the Trib, but rather that the editors know who butters their bread and tread very carefully. I don't subscribe to all of the tinfoil hat theories floating around here, but there certainly are some rather blatant examples of editorial bias in favor of the cubs. Two that immediately spring to mind:
- The interment of Wrigley murder story that christened WSI's giant snail award.
- Ms. Lipinski's rather active personal involvement in the crumbling concrete story, and related, strained efforts to make the story about alleged corruption in the Daley administration.

it doesn’t make financial sense to risk the integrity of the newspaper (which makes a lot of money) for some small gain for the baseball team (which makes a lot less money).

Sorry, but IMHO the two examples above and other nonsense (like the circulation inflation fiasco and union-breaking activities in the 1980s) leave the Trib with little integrity to lose. Don't feel bad, though. You're approximately in the same "integrity" category as the NYTimes (all the news that's fit to invent) and the Sun-Times (similar cubbie bias and circulation lies).

BTW, I'm unclear on precisely what you're asking us to be skeptical about. Should we presume that Stone is lying because he's biased? Should we presume that Sullivan lied to Stone for no apparent reason? It seems like your latter arguments assume that the story is correct. If it is correct, then why should we be skeptical?

Ol' No. 2
06-28-2005, 05:01 PM
Thanks for the advice. I almost called from my car yesterday -- but decided not to because of concern that I wouldn't get my message across well. I spent a long time composing what I wrote here -- to make sure I said what I wanted to say -- but I don't think I could do that on the air. It could just make things worse and may not help a thing. And it is their medium and they know it better than I do. Don't know if it helped here either but at least I understand the ground.

George Knue
ChicagoSports.comI have never really bought into the conspiracy theories. But as a long-time watcher (and subscriber), I see subtle biases almost every day. Perhaps it is unintentional. I expect there is a general belief at the Tribune that Cubs fans are more numerous, have more disposable income, are more attractive demographically, etc. etc., and that this belief results in those subtle biases that I see every day.

Take today's headlines:

Sox GM to use caution in trade talks

Hendry 'confident' he can improve team

The Cubs headline clearly has an upbeat tone that the Sox headline does not. This kind of thing is apparent on a daily basis.

Another example: Last year the Tribune virtually stopped covering the White Sox about mid-August. The Sox beat reporter was re-assigned, and only the wire service stories appeared in the paper, along with an occasional Dave Van Dyck story. I'm sure you justified this because the Sox were out of the running, but can we expect similar treatment of the Cubs this year if they're out of the running in mid-August? I doubt it.

Fenway
06-28-2005, 05:02 PM
while talking about the Tribune. I notice that many times the ganme story is filed by

Dave van Dyck
Special to the Tribune

which is a nice way of saying stringer. What's this all about?

Mickster
06-28-2005, 05:08 PM
In how many businesses does the $11 million operation tell the $71 million operation what to do?

One of you wrote this: “As a division of Tribune Corp., the Chicago Tribune has a fiduciary responsibility to Tribune Corp.'s shareholders to help the corporation generate a profit. … If the Tribune publishes anything that doesn't help the Cubs (or hurt their direct competition for MLB fans' dollars in the Chicago area, the White Sox), they are violating their fiduciary responsibility to the corporate bottom line.”


Yes and no. The Chicago Tribune does want to make a profit, for the company and shareholders. This is a business. But that doesn’t include cow-towing to the Cubs – because it doesn’t make financial sense to risk the integrity of the newspaper (which makes a lot of money) for some small gain for the baseball team (which makes a lot less money).

George,

How much did the Trib pay for the Cubs when they purchased it?

What is it worth today?

Is that % gain equal to or greater than the % gain of similar MLB teams in the same time frame?

Frankly, quoting annual profits is but only one way to "value" a particular business or entity. The tribune has continually helped to "build up" it's product and has spear-headed this marketing frenzy.

What has changed since the early 80's when the cubs were purchased? They started off with particularly low attendance and put a horrible product on the field. All-in-all, they have not had back-to-back winning seasons until recently yet their popularity has risen ten-fold throughout the Trib's ownership reign.

If you are making the statement that the Tribune Publishing or Tribune Media has essentially no financial "interest" with respect to reporting........ :rolleyes:

Frater Perdurabo
06-28-2005, 05:10 PM
To all of those people who believe that every single thing that runs in the Tribune sports section goes through corporate communications first:

The Chicago Tribune does want to make a profit, for the company and shareholders. This is a business. But that doesn’t include cow-towing to the Cubs – because it doesn’t make financial sense to risk the integrity of the newspaper (which makes a lot of money) for some small gain for the baseball team (which makes a lot less money)....

None of this will change any minds here, but when I see things on here that are wrong, I’m going to speak up.

George Knue
ChicagoSports.com


George,

Thanks for taking the time to respond. My criticism of the Tribune applies to all corporate-owned media outlets. It's just that the Tribune's blatant pro-Cubs bias overtly affects Sox fans on a daily basis more than other forms of pro-corporate bias (like the Trib's editorial page policies and endorsements).

I've never suggested all copy goes through "corporatizing." However, given the status of news as a "profit center" within the modern media conglomerates, a writer/columnist/editor with an IQ above 75 knows it would be career suicide to write a story about a corporate sibling that substantially would impact negatively the corporations' overall bottom line.

Conversely, in the back of your mind you must know that if the Cubs have more fans, they will sell more tickets, which increases their profit, which helps the entire corporations' profits, which improves the stock price, which either gives you a bigger holiday bonus or bumps up your 401K.

If I'm wrong, why hasn't the Tribune written about the Premium ticket scalping scam? (And to be fair, I acknowledge that the biggest reason the Sun-Times reported on that story was because the Tribune is the Sun-Times' bitter rival.)

Do you have any explanation for the snail that ran in place of more detailed information about the murder that took place mere steps from Wrigley Field?

Also, I know the Daley administration is full of corruption, but the Tribune only began to seriously investigate City Hall AFTER Daley threatened to condemn Wrigley for the falling concrete.

Why did Blair Kamin's review of the upper deck renovations at U.S. Cellular emphasize the few obstructed seats in the remodeled upper deck? Last time I checked, Wrigley was filled with obstructed seats (and dangerous falling concrete as well) in both the upper and lower decks. To add insult to injury, the dominant photo you guys ran to accompany Kamin's review was shot from one of the very few obstructed seats!

Yet when a murder or other crime takes place near Wrigley, it's buried and it's "Lakeview." When it's near U.S. Cellular, you mention that fact in the lede and you run it on page one. And you (along with the rest of the media outlet lemmings in Chicago) still fail to acknowledge that the per capita crime rate is higher in virtually all categories in "Lakeview" than it is in Bridgeport/Armor Square.

Don't give us any B.S. about the Cubs not being a major profit center within the Tribune Corp. When I met the GM of the Tribune-owned WB affiliate in Dallas a few years ago, he acknowledged the Cubs were the "flagship brand" within the Tribune Corp.

I'll close with a compliment. You guys do a great job covering Chicago sports. I don't read your competition. Just tone down the obvious pro-Cubs bias already....

tebman
06-28-2005, 08:30 PM
To all of those people who believe that every single thing that runs in the Tribune sports section goes through corporate communications first:

< ... >

None of this will change any minds here, but when I see things on here that are wrong, I’m going to speak up.

George Knue
ChicagoSports.com

Thank you for posting. It takes professional courage to answer these questions in a forum like this. And while I have no reason to doubt your sincerity, I also have no reason to doubt the loyalty you feel to your employer and to the Tribune's iconography.

While my crack about talking to the Colonel at a seance may put me in the tinfoil-hat category, I was making a point: The Tribune (spoken with a clearing of the throat) has successfully built a mythology for itself as a paragon of virtue and champion of truth. The very fact that your company owns an enterprise whose product the paper devotes an entire section to every day belies the claim of journalistic integrity.

The very origins of the paper were built on partisanship. The Tribune has boasted in its many self-referential histories over the years that it helped found the Republican Party in the 19th Century, and has taken credit for the ascention of Lincoln's political career. Its political endorsements, while not the topic of this thread, amount to little more than asking, "Who's the Republican?" To suggest that the Tribune doesn't have bias in its genes is disingenuous at best.

The corporate Tribune has lobbied vigorously and litigated all the way to the Supreme Court to allow it to buy more TV and radio stations, and the editorials, always with a tone of outrage, suggest that preventing Great Newspapers from controlling more media sources is harmful to the common good. It was because the Tribune wanted more program material for WGN-TV that it bought the Cubs in 1981, and it's been corporate synergy at its finest: the TV station, the radio station, and the publishing arm are like the three legs of a stool supporting the entertainment platform that the Cubs provide.

To argue that the broadcast properties and the Cubs make less money than the publishing division, and are therefore not as valuable, is fallacious. The papers need to fill an entire section every day and the broadcasters need to fill hundreds of hours of time. Of course the Cubs are important to the company -- to suggest otherwise is to deny the obvious.

The well-reasoned responses that have already been posted spelled out a number of examples of "bias." While that's an overused word, it's appropriate in this case. Of course the Tribune has bias -- what's so grating is the Gilbert-and-Sullivan posturing the Tribune does claiming it's not, when they are writing about and featuring one of its own key properties. Every day!

You ask why we aren't more skeptical of WSCR and of the Sun-Times. They don't own the team! The Sun-Times is often irritating and rambunctious, but it is independent of the stories it covers. WSCR is owned by Infinity Broadcasting, which has a partnership with the Sox next year, but it doesn't pretend to be the guardian of the people that the Tribune presents itself to be.

In the big picture, I know this is small potatoes. We're talking about a ball team after all. But when generations of emotional energy is tied up in something that is under relentless competitive threat by another that has as its owner the dominant source of information, then yeah, we're going to get testy.

Thanks again for posting. I do appreciate it.

chuckn98229
06-28-2005, 09:40 PM
"But that doesn’t include cow-towing to the Cubs – because it doesn’t make financial sense to risk the integrity of the newspaper".

I am sure - in the spirit of objectivity - that this was meant to be in teal. Unfortunately, there is no integrity at the Tribune to put at risk - especially in the area of SOX/cubs reporting. You can protest all you want, but the facts - as reported by the Tribune - speak for themselves.

Foulke You
06-28-2005, 10:03 PM
Why did Blair Kamin's review of the upper deck renovations at U.S. Cellular emphasize the few obstructed seats in the remodeled upper deck? Last time I checked, Wrigley was filled with obstructed seats (and dangerous falling concrete as well) in both the upper and lower decks. To add insult to injury, the dominant photo you guys ran to accompany Kamin's review was shot from one of the very few obstructed seats!

Yet when a murder or other crime takes place near Wrigley, it's buried and it's "Lakeview." When it's near U.S. Cellular, you mention that fact in the lede and you run it on page one. And you (along with the rest of the media outlet lemmings in Chicago) still fail to acknowledge that the per capita crime rate is higher in virtually all categories in "Lakeview" than it is in Bridgeport/Armor Square.
Don't forget about the latest "oversight" by the Tribune Sports section when it comes to Cubs/Sox. The vandalism of the Minnie Minoso statue by Cub fans over this past weekend at US Cellular Field. We have STILL yet to see this story in print. Compare this to the daily coverage a couple years ago, when the Tribune tried and convicted Sox fans for supposedly "poisoning" the ivy when a small section died. The Tribune told us that the circumstantial evidence would indicate that it had to be Sox fans who smuggled in weed killer and did the deed. When it later came out that a Wrigley Field groundskeeper sprayed the wrong chemical on that part of the wall we NEVER got an apology from the Tribune sports section or a correction that they were wrong. We had to read it in Ron Rappoport's column in the Sun-Times.

George, if you think I'm being paranoid about the Minoso statue, flashback to last May and let's say at the conclusion of the crosstown series between the Sox and Cubs, a Wrigley Field employee discovered the right hand and microphone busted off of the Harry Caray statue outside the ballpark. Don't you think we would have heard about this by now??? Wouldn't the Tribune have run a story on that immediately and told the tale about how unruly Sox fans defaced Cubs property? I think you know the answer to that question.

DrCrawdad
06-28-2005, 10:07 PM
[color=black][size=3][font=Times New Roman]None of this will change any minds here, but when I see things on here that are wrong, I’m going to speak up.

George Knue
ChicagoSports.com


George,

I've gained respect for you by your posting here. Thanks for expressing your reasoned view.

I'll still call the paper the Cubune though.

:)

Take care,

Irishsox1
06-28-2005, 10:21 PM
George- Don't give me the yearbook answer. You can tell me how big the Tribune Corporation is and how much money it makes, but the fact is that the Tribune does not accurately report the Cubs deficiencies while they consistently put the Sox in a negative light. How about the time that Cub pitcher Julian Tavarez called the San Francisco fans "******s" and about a week later the Tribune ran a very favorable Tavarez article. Meanwhile, when minor league manager Wally Backman was not hired by the White Sox, the Tribune ran an article about him which cast the Sox in a negative light for passing him up for the managers job. Did the Tribune do a story on Backman when he was fired by the Diamondbacks for a history of legal problems, which might have explained why the Sox passed on him?...NO! These are two of many examples that I can recall that date back to 1984, which happend to be around the time the Tribune stopped reporting Chicago baseball accurately and turned into a form of Cubs propaganda.

Vernam
06-28-2005, 10:59 PM
What a polite lot of Sox fans! Some deputy propaganda minister for the Cubs posts a bunch of self-serving tripe, and we thank him profusely before pointing out he's still full of crap. :wink:

As even several recent articles in Pravda, er, the Trib have pointed out, the Sox used to consistently outdraw the Cubs up until, oh, let's see . . . right about the time the Trib bought the Cubs. Conspiracy theorists might claim that was more than mere coincidence. But the people in charge there are way too smart to tip their hands all at once, of course. It's not like one morning we'd wake up to the news that Jerry Reinsdorf is a communist who mutilates cuddly animals. No, it's far more effective to create a constant drone of white noise that says:




Southsiders are inferior, low-class people prone to violence.
The newer ballpark in town is actually a dump, while the dumpy old park is actually a shrine that epitomizes the North Side's wonderfulness.
Sox attendance is weak, therefore we as a newspaper don't need to treat them like a major story (just maybe unless they win more games than any other team).
Weak attendance for the Sox has nothing to do with the fact that we as a newspaper treat them like a minor story.

Pro-Cub bias at the Trib wasn't invented after they bought the team, that's just when they perfected it. And btw, George, in your neat equation claiming the Cubs tail could never wag the Trib dog, you neglected to mention that circulation increases (and, dare I say, TV/radio ratings also go up) whenever the Lovable Losers awake long enough to fool their fans into thinking they might actually win a pennant. Why exactly are Cub fans such a credulous bunch, anyway? Couldn't have anything to do with reading daily about how darned wonderful the team is, could it?

VC

34rancher
06-28-2005, 11:35 PM
George,
Thanks for posting and taking what we say into consideration.

My example of bias is that just about everyone in Chicago knows the name of either Dybas or Ligue (both admitted Cub fans) for running on the field and doing outrageous acts. But, I question why no one can name the fan who went after Randy Myers or better yet, why no one knows the name of the person who was murdered or the person who committed the crime right outside Wrigley Field in "Lakeview"? I mean attacking a coach or murder, which one warrents more publicity or knowledge? That is why I feel that the Tribune is very self serving.

Care to even mention the "Sosa Watch", "Wood Watch", or "Prior Watch" sections in the paper and on the internet, yet no "Thomas Watch" ever once published? No bias? No propaganda? Scalping tickets? How can I not be led to question the integrity of your newspaper and the stories that it creates on real matters?

Thanks, but no thanks.

For the sake of the attendance game and popularity, am I the only one who learned in high school that the more popular kids usually end up being losers in the long run?

Mr. White Sox
06-29-2005, 03:13 AM
"Thomas Watch"

erm, there was a thomas watch on www.chicagosports.com, though I cannot vouch for the paper as I don't remember.

maurice
06-29-2005, 10:59 AM
Today's Trib has an article trashing Sosa's production this year for the 43-34 Baltimore Orioles. It also contains a blurb about the Minoso statute but doesn't mention that the dirty deed was done by cub fans and doesn't explain why it took them until Wednesday to report it at all.

Again, I personally am not singling out the Trib. Not to be outdone, on a day after both Chicago teams scored 2 runs and won narrow victories, the cover of today's Cub-Times sports section reports:
- "Z, Lee Put Streak at 3. Carlos Zambrano scatters three hits . . . ."
- "A Less Than Perfect 10. Mark Buehrle struggles . . . ."

Excuse me, but on what planet it is considered "struggling" for a MLB pitcher to give up 1 freaking run in 6.2 IP, earning the victory and actually lowering his already low ERA to 2.42? Also, if 3 wins in a row is a "streak," what do you call 8 wins in a row . . . something the Sox have done 3 times this year? 6 teams in MLB currently have winning "streaks" of 3 or more games.

itsnotrequired
06-29-2005, 11:08 AM
Excuse me, but on what planet it is considered "struggling" for a MLB pitcher to give up 1 freaking run in 6.2 IP, earning the victory and actually lowering his already low ERA to 2.42? Also, if 3 wins in a row is a "streak," what do you call 8 wins in a row . . . something the Sox have done 3 times this year? 6 teams in MLB currently have winning "streaks" of 3 or more games.

The planet is the Tribune offices, 8 wins in a row for the Sox is "lucky" and 3 wins in a row for the Cubs is "the start of something great".

This marks the 5th time this season the Cubs have had a "streak" of three victories. Only one of those was more than three (7).

The Sox have had a three game "streak" 6 times so far. 5 of those were more than three (3 of 8 games and 2 of 4 games). They've also never had a losing streak longer than three games.

Struggling indeed...:rolleyes:

Lip Man 1
06-29-2005, 12:22 PM
Yesterday on Chicago Tribune Live a few moments were devoted at the end towards this situation. Dan McGrath appeared uncomfortable having to explain what happened that a copy editor put this in as well as the fact that the Tribune had to call Stone to apologize as well as apologize to Sully.

He also commented (and I'm paraphrasing here) that Stone's charges of favoritism were ludicrous.

While I don't agree with some of the conspiracy people that the Tribune would do some of the things that they claim are happening, it is a fact that the owning of the team that you are reporting on gives the appearance at least, of a conflict of interest.

If the Tribune is upset that some fans feel that way then they have only themselves to blame for putting themselves in that position in the first place.

Instead of blaming those fans or making light of them perhaps they need to take a tougher look at themselves.

Lip

Jerome
06-29-2005, 12:23 PM
haha what happend to journalistic integrity?

Lip Man 1
06-29-2005, 12:33 PM
Jerome:

That disappeared years ago when media business conglomerates started buying media outlets in radio, TV and print. It's now a business...the first law of business is to make money. That's the reality of the situation.

Lip

George Knue
06-29-2005, 12:41 PM
Thanks as always for posting, George.

My understanding of the complaint is not that "cubs corporate" personally approves every word printed in the Trib, but rather that the editors know who butters their bread and tread very carefully. I don't subscribe to all of the tinfoil hat theories floating around here, but there certainly are some rather blatant examples of editorial bias in favor of the cubs. Two that immediately spring to mind:
- The interment of Wrigley murder story that christened WSI's giant snail award.
- Ms. Lipinski's rather active personal involvement in the crumbling concrete story, and related, strained efforts to make the story about alleged corruption in the Daley administration.

Sorry, but IMHO the two examples above and other nonsense (like the circulation inflation fiasco and union-breaking activities in the 1980s) leave the Trib with little integrity to lose. Don't feel bad, though. You're approximately in the same "integrity" category as the NYTimes (all the news that's fit to invent) and the Sun-Times (similar cubbie bias and circulation lies).


BTW, I'm unclear on precisely what you're asking us to be skeptical about. Should we presume that Stone is lying because he's biased? Should we presume that Sullivan lied to Stone for no apparent reason? It seems like your latter arguments assume that the story is correct. If it is correct, then why should we be skeptical?


I’ll answer your questions – but it’ll be a contrarian viewpoint when compared to what is usually said around here. Like a lot of things, you can look at it from two different angles.



Here’s what I think about the Wrigley murder story: If you can demonstrate that the Tribune behaved entirely different in the coverage of this murder, then you can demonstrate bias. But if the paper covered this murder the same way they have covered murders like this in the past, then maybe it’s SOP and not bias. Can you or anyone else PROVE this?



I looked at the Lipinski-Daley stuff from 2004 and I didn’t see any efforts to turn it into something about alleged corruption in the Daley administration. The first story I saw about crumbling concrete came on July 18 – shortly after the Tribune had written a story about some irregularities in a city contract. When asked about the irregularities, Daley went off on the Tribune regarding Wrigley. He did the same thing two weeks later after the story came out about the Cubs not getting permits for work there. Lipinski was quoted in that one – but she didn’t accuse Daley of anything.



I do have a question though – if Daley is getting investigated by the paper, isn’t it a good technique to attack them to divert attention from his own problems?



The Chicago Tribune has never been accused of inflating circulation figures – so how can that be an integrity issue?



As to the issue of Stone – there is little doubt that the story had an error in it. But the way it was portrayed by Stone, Bernstein and Boers was pretty different from that – that someone at the newspaper did this deliberately to advance some kind of agenda they were never really very clear about. It’s especially interesting that Bernstein made this point so strongly – that a story was changed after a writer turned it in – and that Stone used that as a way to further the point that this was done deliberately for unexplained reasons. And Boers said nothing – though he has a newspaper background that included stints on the copy desk where he no doubt inserted things into writers’ stories without their knowledge. Because that’s one of the things editors do. But he didn’t say anything about that. Why?



Yet people here used the Sun-Times story written off that show as further proof of Tribune bias. Yet no one else’s biases, or the things they left out, were considered.



Is this Tribune bias – or was it just a mistake blown up into something more sinister because that serves the purposes of people who don’t like the Chicago Tribune?

George Knue
06-29-2005, 12:45 PM
I have never really bought into the conspiracy theories. But as a long-time watcher (and subscriber), I see subtle biases almost every day. Perhaps it is unintentional. I expect there is a general belief at the Tribune that Cubs fans are more numerous, have more disposable income, are more attractive demographically, etc. etc., and that this belief results in those subtle biases that I see every day.

Take today's headlines:

Sox GM to use caution in trade talks

Hendry 'confident' he can improve team

The Cubs headline clearly has an upbeat tone that the Sox headline does not. This kind of thing is apparent on a daily basis.

Another example: Last year the Tribune virtually stopped covering the White Sox about mid-August. The Sox beat reporter was re-assigned, and only the wire service stories appeared in the paper, along with an occasional Dave Van Dyck story. I'm sure you justified this because the Sox were out of the running, but can we expect similar treatment of the Cubs this year if they're out of the running in mid-August? I doubt it.

When an editor writes a headline for a story, he isn’t thinking about the relative numbers of Cubs or Sox fans or about how much disposable income Cubs fans have or about their demographics. He is thinking that he has to write a headline that hopefully will inspire people to read the story – and sometimes he has to do that on deadline.

Your complaint about headlines is a common one – but the example you cited really feels like a reach. The Cubs are in second place and don’t look like they’re going anywhere – so the focus of their story is on what they have to do to get it going. The Sox are in first place and are cruising – so the focus of their story is on how they want to keep it going. Don’t the headlines reflect the stories?

I don’t know the circumstances surrounding what happened with the Sox beat writer last year – you’d have to ask him. Would the same thing happen with the Cubs? I’d have to know more about what happened to answer. I do know that in the past the newspaper hasn’t taken some trips (especially West Coast trips) with the teams – both Cubs and Sox -- in September when they are out of it.

George Knue
06-29-2005, 12:46 PM
while talking about the Tribune. I notice that many times the ganme story is filed by

Dave van Dyck
Special to the Tribune

which is a nice way of saying stringer. What's this all about?

Dave Van Dyck is a freelance reporter who works for the Tribune. He is one of the people who covers games on days off for the regular beat writers. And he often writes stories off the game even when the beat writer is there.

George Knue
ChicagoSports.com

George Knue
06-29-2005, 12:47 PM
George,

How much did the Trib pay for the Cubs when they purchased it?

What is it worth today?

Is that % gain equal to or greater than the % gain of similar MLB teams in the same time frame?

Frankly, quoting annual profits is but only one way to "value" a particular business or entity. The tribune has continually helped to "build up" it's product and has spear-headed this marketing frenzy.

What has changed since the early 80's when the cubs were purchased? They started off with particularly low attendance and put a horrible product on the field. All-in-all, they have not had back-to-back winning seasons until recently yet their popularity has risen ten-fold throughout the Trib's ownership reign.

If you are making the statement that the Tribune Publishing or Tribune Media has essentially no financial "interest" with respect to reporting........ :rolleyes:

The Cubs have grown in value since the Tribune purchased them – I don’t know if it’s more or less than other teams. And I wasn’t trying to place a value on the business – I was just trying to point out that the tail doesn’t wag the dog. As to why things changed since the purchase … personally I think it was the coming together of a lot of things. The change in ownership was part of it – because any change in ownership energizes the fan base. Winning the division in 1984 had a lot to do with it. And a lot of the decisions made by the Sox regarding TV coverage and the like in the 1960s and 1970s came home to roost – the people who turned to the Cubs instead of the Sox in that time frame grew into adults by the mid-1980s.

George Knue
ChicagoSports.com

George Knue
06-29-2005, 12:52 PM
George,

Thanks for taking the time to respond. My criticism of the Tribune applies to all corporate-owned media outlets. It's just that the Tribune's blatant pro-Cubs bias overtly affects Sox fans on a daily basis more than other forms of pro-corporate bias (like the Trib's editorial page policies and endorsements).

I've never suggested all copy goes through "corporatizing." However, given the status of news as a "profit center" within the modern media conglomerates, a writer/columnist/editor with an IQ above 75 knows it would be career suicide to write a story about a corporate sibling that substantially would impact negatively the corporations' overall bottom line.


How does that explain recent columns by Rick Morrissey – or even John Kass’s continued employment?


Conversely, in the back of your mind you must know that if the Cubs have more fans, they will sell more tickets, which increases their profit, which helps the entire corporations' profits, which improves the stock price, which either gives you a bigger holiday bonus or bumps up your 401K.

The Cubs are already pretty much sold-out – how many more tickets can they sell? That's a pretty small price for your integrity.

If I'm wrong, why hasn't the Tribune written about the Premium ticket scalping scam? (And to be fair, I acknowledge that the biggest reason the Sun-Times reported on that story was because the Tribune is the Sun-Times' bitter rival.)

I don’t know.

Do you have any explanation for the snail that ran in place of more detailed information about the murder that took place mere steps from Wrigley Field?

See above

Also, I know the Daley administration is full of corruption, but the Tribune only began to seriously investigate City Hall AFTER Daley threatened to condemn Wrigley for the falling concrete.

Looking back it appears that the opposite happened – Daley didn’t start attacking the Tribune until the Tribune had written stories critical of the city.


Why did Blair Kamin's review of the upper deck renovations at U.S. Cellular emphasize the few obstructed seats in the remodeled upper deck? Last time I checked, Wrigley was filled with obstructed seats (and dangerous falling concrete as well) in both the upper and lower decks. To add insult to injury, the dominant photo you guys ran to accompany Kamin's review was shot from one of the very few obstructed seats!

Here’s the problem I have with what you say here: What does Wrigley have to do with Kamin’s review of U.S Cellular?. He didn’t mention it in his review – but you did here. Why does everything have to be a comparison with the Cubs?. And the review had one sentence about the obstructed seats – and the next sentence praised the architects for architects for doing such a good job at limiting the number of obstructed seats. In general, the review praised the renovations.

Yet when a murder or other crime takes place near Wrigley, it's buried and it's "Lakeview." When it's near U.S. Cellular, you mention that fact in the lede and you run it on page one. And you (along with the rest of the media outlet lemmings in Chicago) still fail to acknowledge that the per capita crime rate is higher in virtually all categories in "Lakeview" than it is in Bridgeport/Armor Square.

This is another thing I read here all the time and I don’t see the evidence. I looked for the words ‘crime’ and ‘Cellular’ in the Tribune in 2005 and found two stories – <a href=” http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chicago/chi-0506280136jun28,1,1275024.story “>this one and one that talked about parking near Wrigley and U.S. Cellular. The former ran on page one of the Metro section (and truly had little to do with Sox Park and the neighborhood) and the latter ran in Redeye on page 6. Doing the same search but substituting Wrigleyville for Cellular, I get several, including one discussing a rapists’ arrest and another one a murder. Both ran on Page 1 of Metro. And again you invite comparisons when they make no sense – why compare the neighborhood crime rates? There’s no context there.

Don't give us any B.S. about the Cubs not being a major profit center within the Tribune Corp. When I met the GM of the Tribune-owned WB affiliate in Dallas a few years ago, he acknowledged the Cubs were the "flagship brand" within the Tribune Corp.

If the Cubs were a ‘major’ profit center, why is it that in the first quarter of this year, that division had only a fraction of the revenues of the publishing division? And I would disagree with that GM. The Tribune Company’s flagship brand is the Chicago Tribune.

I'll close with a compliment. You guys do a great job covering Chicago sports. I don't read your competition. Just tone down the obvious pro-Cubs bias already....

Thank you … and where is that bias again?


George Knue
ChicagoSports.com

maurice
06-29-2005, 01:01 PM
I’ll answer your questions – but it’ll be a contrarian viewpoint

No problem. I'm a big fan of contrarian viewpoints . . . but they need to be backed up by hard facts.

If you can demonstrate that the Tribune behaved entirely different in the coverage of this murder, then you can demonstrate bias.

This one is easy. This was a lead story in the Sun-Times and on pretty much every non-Trib-owned TV news outlet. (Standard media practice -- if it bleeds it leads.) The Trib buried it in the middle of the Metro section under a giant snail story. It's extremely difficult to believe that a person shot dead in front of a different Chicago landmark would have received this little coverage from the Trib. How did they cover the recent Taste shooting death?

I looked at the Lipinski-Daley stuff from 2004 and I didn’t see any efforts to turn it into something about alleged corruption in the Daley administration.

Search for the thread on this site. I personally covered the articles very closely. So did PHG. The Trib repeatedly covered completely unrelated scandal allegations in the midst of a story about the crumbling stadium.

The Chicago Tribune has never been accused of inflating circulation figures

Wow. The issue was acknowledged by the Trib shortly after it reported a similar issue with the circulation figures at the Sun-Times.


As to the issue of Stone – there is little doubt that the story had an error in it.

Okay, then we have no reason to be skeptical of the facts that were reported. You can object to the tone of the reports or the opinions expressed, but I don't see why anybody cares about B&B's opinion. They're self-professed buffoons.

It’s especially interesting that Bernstein made this point so strongly – that a story was changed after a writer turned it in – and that Stone used that as a way to further the point that this was done deliberately for unexplained reasons.

Again, all of these facts are true, no?

George Knue
06-29-2005, 01:18 PM
Thank you for posting. It takes professional courage to answer these questions in a forum like this. And while I have no reason to doubt your sincerity, I also have no reason to doubt the loyalty you feel to your employer and to the Tribune's iconography.

While my crack about talking to the Colonel at a seance may put me in the tinfoil-hat category, I was making a point: The Tribune (spoken with a clearing of the throat) has successfully built a mythology for itself as a paragon of virtue and champion of truth. The very fact that your company owns an enterprise whose product the paper devotes an entire section to every day belies the claim of journalistic integrity.

The very origins of the paper were built on partisanship. The Tribune has boasted in its many self-referential histories over the years that it helped found the Republican Party in the 19th Century, and has taken credit for the ascention of Lincoln's political career. Its political endorsements, while not the topic of this thread, amount to little more than asking, "Who's the Republican?" To suggest that the Tribune doesn't have bias in its genes is disingenuous at best.

The corporate Tribune has lobbied vigorously and litigated all the way to the Supreme Court to allow it to buy more TV and radio stations, and the editorials, always with a tone of outrage, suggest that preventing Great Newspapers from controlling more media sources is harmful to the common good. It was because the Tribune wanted more program material for WGN-TV that it bought the Cubs in 1981, and it's been corporate synergy at its finest: the TV station, the radio station, and the publishing arm are like the three legs of a stool supporting the entertainment platform that the Cubs provide.

To argue that the broadcast properties and the Cubs make less money than the publishing division, and are therefore not as valuable, is fallacious. The papers need to fill an entire section every day and the broadcasters need to fill hundreds of hours of time. Of course the Cubs are important to the company -- to suggest otherwise is to deny the obvious.

The well-reasoned responses that have already been posted spelled out a number of examples of "bias." While that's an overused word, it's appropriate in this case. Of course the Tribune has bias -- what's so grating is the Gilbert-and-Sullivan posturing the Tribune does claiming it's not, when they are writing about and featuring one of its own key properties. Every day!

You ask why we aren't more skeptical of WSCR and of the Sun-Times. They don't own the team! The Sun-Times is often irritating and rambunctious, but it is independent of the stories it covers. WSCR is owned by Infinity Broadcasting, which has a partnership with the Sox next year, but it doesn't pretend to be the guardian of the people that the Tribune presents itself to be.

In the big picture, I know this is small potatoes. We're talking about a ball team after all. But when generations of emotional energy is tied up in something that is under relentless competitive threat by another that has as its owner the dominant source of information, then yeah, we're going to get testy.

Thanks again for posting. I do appreciate it.

The Chicago Tribune is a newspaper. It has a sports section. That sports section covers the city’s sports teams. That includes both the Cubs and the Sox.



No one asked the newspaper if they wanted the company to buy the Cubs -- or to buy the Times-Mirror papers for that matter.



But the company did. And the sports section still has to cover the Cubs because if it didn’t, it wouldn’t be much of a sports section. And sorry – but the entire section isn’t devoted to the Cubs every day.



Using this as a way to call into the Tribune’s journalistic integrity makes no sense in the world in which we live. I guess the Tribune shouldn’t cover business in Chicago because the Tribune Company is a Chicago business. Forget about TV and radio too. Can’t mention the Internet either.



Does owning the Cubs present the appearance of a conflict of interest? There is no denying that. But does that appearance translate into reality? Everyone here says yes. I disagree – and while loyal to the company, I am also loyal to what I am. And all of you who insist that every decision made at every property owned by the Tribune is made based on what is good for the Cubs … that’s just ridiculous.



The Cubs are part of the company – and I never said they weren’t valuable … I just said they don’t bring in as much money.



But the Cubs are not the heart of this company. The heart of this company is journalism – and I’m sorry, but there is no way in the world that anyone here will risk the journalistic integrity of the Chicago Tribune to get another body into the seats at Wrigley Field.



You may want to believe that this is the case, but you are wrong.

George Knue
ChicagoSports.com

George Knue
06-29-2005, 01:28 PM
George,
Thanks for posting and taking what we say into consideration.

My example of bias is that just about everyone in Chicago knows the name of either Dybas or Ligue (both admitted Cub fans) for running on the field and doing outrageous acts. But, I question why no one can name the fan who went after Randy Myers or better yet, why no one knows the name of the person who was murdered or the person who committed the crime right outside Wrigley Field in "Lakeview"? I mean attacking a coach or murder, which one warrents more publicity or knowledge? That is why I feel that the Tribune is very self serving.

Care to even mention the "Sosa Watch", "Wood Watch", or "Prior Watch" sections in the paper and on the internet, yet no "Thomas Watch" ever once published? No bias? No propaganda? Scalping tickets? How can I not be led to question the integrity of your newspaper and the stories that it creates on real matters?

Thanks, but no thanks.

For the sake of the attendance game and popularity, am I the only one who learned in high school that the more popular kids usually end up being losers in the long run?

Re Ligue/Dybas: Why is that bias? Dybas and Ligue were covered by everybody everywhere and this is an example of bias? If the Tribune never mentioned them at all, peopel would still know who they are. And I've said this before, so Ill repeat it: You cannot compare what happened with Ligue/Dybas to the murder outside Wrigley Field. Other than the obvious -- a murder is more serious -- one happened in a ballpark while a game was going on and the other happened outside a ballpark two hours after the game.

There was no Sosa Watch and no Wood Watch -- but there was a Prior Watch and a Thomas Watch. Where's the bias?

George Knue
ChicagoSports.com

George Knue
06-29-2005, 01:33 PM
Today's Trib has an article trashing Sosa's production this year for the 43-34 Baltimore Orioles. It also contains a blurb about the Minoso statute but doesn't mention that the dirty deed was done by cub fans and doesn't explain why it took them until Wednesday to report it at all.

Again, I personally am not singling out the Trib. Not to be outdone, on a day after both Chicago teams scored 2 runs and won narrow victories, the cover of today's Cub-Times sports section reports:
- "Z, Lee Put Streak at 3. Carlos Zambrano scatters three hits . . . ."
- "A Less Than Perfect 10. Mark Buehrle struggles . . . ."

Excuse me, but on what planet it is considered "struggling" for a MLB pitcher to give up 1 freaking run in 6.2 IP, earning the victory and actually lowering his already low ERA to 2.42? Also, if 3 wins in a row is a "streak," what do you call 8 wins in a row . . . something the Sox have done 3 times this year? 6 teams in MLB currently have winning "streaks" of 3 or more games.

I suspect the reason no one wrote about the Minoso statue is because no one knew. As a matter offact, the only paper that has written about the statue is the Tribune. Is that another example of bias? And a lack of journalistic integrity? And I suspect that if Scott Reifert (or someone on the Sox) had blamed Cub fans for the statue (the way the Cubs guy blamed Sox fans for the ivy), Mark Gonzales would have said so.

George Knue
ChicagoSports.com

George Knue
06-29-2005, 01:42 PM
You aren't answering the question. Prove to me that the Tribune treated this differently than it treated other murders. You still haven't done so -- you've just proved it treated it differently than other media did. That happens all the time.

Re the Stadium: The story led with the scandals and then went ont to relate what Daley said about the stadium.

I repeat -- the Chicago Tribune has not been charged with falsifying circulation figures.

Lastly -- you assume bias on the Tribune's part on everything it says that relates to the Cubs and Sox -- and as a result, dismiss its value. Yet you will not see bias on the part of others -- and instead choose to assume its value.

George Knue
ChicagoSports.com

Flight #24
06-29-2005, 01:59 PM
I repeat -- the Chicago Tribune has not been charged with falsifying circulation figures.

Lastly -- you assume bias on the Tribune's part on everything it says that relates to the Cubs and Sox -- and as a result, dismiss its value. Yet you will not see bias on the part of others -- and instead choose to assume its value.

George Knue
ChicagoSports.com

George - you like to isolate individual events and find alternate reasons for them. However, there is no individual item that clearly demonstrates the bias. It's "death by a thousand cuts". Specifically:
- A significant disparity in Cubs v. Sox coverage, catalogued last year here by Hangar18 (if you'd like, search for "Media Watch")
- Prior goes out last year, and we hear about when he farts. Thomas AND Maggs go out, no such commentary.
- Disparity in treatment between the lunkheads who got into a fight with players on the field v. the Dodgers (the names weren't even all that publicized) and Ligue/Dybas
- "soft" treatment of events at or around Wrigley. Case in point is the Taste shooting, which was p1 of the Metro section, IIRC. Of course, a shooting outside of Wrigley = "Giant Snails"
- The recent Stone example. Note, the issue is not any commentary that Stone came up with, but the raw fact that "coincidentally", a copy editor inserts a factually incorrect item that makes the Cubs come off better.

These are just some examples off the top of my head. I'm sure you can find an excuse or valid reason for each one of them. And if that one were the only such example, I could believe you. But line them up and it's a pretty clear demonstration of a theme that slants one way - north. Especially when you add in a fairly clear motive. It smells like a duck, looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and just laid some eggs that hatched into ducklings. Sure, it could be a platypus but highly unlikely.

Now I will give you that things have improved in 2005. Coverage is more fair, but that's only after the media bias has become a more public issue (thanks in large part to the efforts of those here like Hangar18).

Frater Perdurabo
06-29-2005, 02:02 PM
Does owning the Cubs present the appearance of a conflict of interest? There is no denying that. But does that appearance translate into reality? Everyone here says yes. I disagree – and while loyal to the company, I am also loyal to what I am. And all of you who insist that every decision made at every property owned by the Tribune is made based on what is good for the Cubs … that’s just ridiculous.

As PaleHoseGeorge likes to say: Pot. Kettle. Black. Of course we are biased. We don't claim to be objective or fair and balanced. On the other hand, the Tribune does claim to be free of pro-Cubs bias. By it's very nature as a corporate sibling of the Cubs, the Tribune cannot possibly be unbiased when it comes to anything that remotely has to do with the Cubs.

The Cubs are part of the company – and I never said they weren’t valuable … I just said they don’t bring in as much money.

I know there's no way to gauge the extent to which your coverage of the Cubs increases circulation numbers or ad revenues, but I'd bet my left nut your marketing/advertising folks know exactly what demographics to chase to earn the highest possible profits.

But the Cubs are not the heart of this company. The heart of this company is journalism – and I’m sorry, but there is no way in the world that anyone here will risk the journalistic integrity of the Chicago Tribune to get another body into the seats at Wrigley Field.

The heart of your company, like the heart of ANY publicly-traded corporation by law MUST be to generate profits for its shareholders. Like I said before, the corporation has a fiduciary responsibility to maximize profits for its shareholders. If it fails to generate a profit, even in the name of journalistic integrity, it violates the sacred trust of its corporate shareholders. VPs, CEOs, CFOs and Chairmen of the Board lose their jobs if the corporations they run don't generate profits.

As much as Kass and Morrissey may lambast the Cubs' on-field exploits, none of them dared to mention the Tribune-owned Premium ticket scalping "service" on-line or in print.

Helping to market the Cubs is just one way of many for the Tribune Corporation to generate profits. Hence, the Cubs aren't the "heart" of the company for which all other divisions much sacrifice, but the almighty dollar is. Synergy is one method to boost profits.

Three of the most respected retired journalists in the U.S. today recognize the structural issues that keep you from pursuing the very best possible journalism.

George, while I truly appreciate your willingness to defend your company in the hornet's nest that is WSI, not only are you arguing with tebman, maurice, Jerome, Foulke and me (among many others), in claiming the Chicago Tribune is unaffected by corporate pressures to generate profits, by extension you're attempting to argue that the large-scale structural realities that journalistic "Hall of Famers" Tom Fenton, Bill Moyers and Walter Cronkite identify (and that Jim Lehrer, Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather, among others, also acknowledge) don't apply to the Tribune!

And to be fair, as journalist currently working for a corporate-owned media outlet (who I presume still has to work for a living), I don't expect you to have the independent means necessary to criticize your industry or profession as Fenton, Moyers and Cronkite can.

Thanks again for replying. I'm enjoying the dialogue!

:supernana:

Irishsox1
06-29-2005, 02:08 PM
George- Take a look at the back page of today's 06/29/05 Tribune sports section. There is a lot going on, but the two main articles are about former Chicago players Sammy Sosa and Carlos Lee. The Sosa story hits on the fact that he's slumping, he's lost his power and that he's dropping down to 6th in the Orioles lineup. The Lee story leads off with the line "He was unceremoniously dealt, dissed and disappointed". The article hits on his how he was "dissed" by the White Sox, the Brewers are very happy with Carlos and that his defense is getting better."

This is a prime example of the media bias the Tribune uses with the Cubs and the Sox. As we all know superstar Sosa was traded to the Orioles by the Cubs. This was a major move by the Cubs to dump such a big star who was known to fill the stadium, even when the Cubs were not fielding good teams (1999 67-95 & 2000 65-97). So, the Tribune publishes an article that talks up how Sosa is not producing, reinforcing the idea that the Cubs made a great trade.

The Sosa article never mentions how he skipped out during the last game, or his problems with Dusty Baker or any of the steroid allegations in the offseason and his pathetic "No speaka da english" act on Capital Hill. God forbit the Tribune insinuate that their Cubbie superstar from 1992 to 2004 was on steroids.

As for the Lee article, the key to the trade, Scott Podsednik is only mentioned as "speedy". How about the fact that Podsednik is a major defensive improvement over Lee, or that the Sox needed a leadoff hitter or that Podsednik as been one of the keys to the Sox with his .287 average and 38 stolen bases. Why not mention that it was a great trade for both teams?

This and many others stories similar to this go on whenever the Tribune covers the Sox and Cubs. It's been that way since 1984 and it won't stop until the Tribune sells the Cubs.

FYI- The Fred Mitchell article states that "The White Sox traded Carlos Lee, the current National League RBI leader, Dec. 14, 2004 in exchange for speedy outfielder Scott Podsenik and pitcher Luis Vizcaino." Mitchell failed to mention that the Sox also received a player to be named later which turned out to be Travis Hinton 1B who currently is in A ball. Oops!

Ol' No. 2
06-29-2005, 02:10 PM
When an editor writes a headline for a story, he isn’t thinking about the relative numbers of Cubs or Sox fans or about how much disposable income Cubs fans have or about their demographics. He is thinking that he has to write a headline that hopefully will inspire people to read the story – and sometimes he has to do that on deadline.

Your complaint about headlines is a common one – but the example you cited really feels like a reach. The Cubs are in second place and don’t look like they’re going anywhere – so the focus of their story is on what they have to do to get it going. The Sox are in first place and are cruising – so the focus of their story is on how they want to keep it going. Don’t the headlines reflect the stories?

I don’t know the circumstances surrounding what happened with the Sox beat writer last year – you’d have to ask him. Would the same thing happen with the Cubs? I’d have to know more about what happened to answer. I do know that in the past the newspaper hasn’t taken some trips (especially West Coast trips) with the teams – both Cubs and Sox -- in September when they are out of it.If the headline example I cited were an isolated case, I'd agree that it's a reach. But when it happens nearly every day, there's a pattern. The editor may not be consciously thinking about Cubs fans vs. Sox fans, but that's really the point. These things aren't always deliberate, but are more often a result of the built-in conflict of interest that inevitably seeps into everyday actions.

Teddy Greinstein was the beat writer for the Sox at the start of 2004. He was reassigned in mid-August, and more to the point, not replaced for the rest of the season. You work there. Why don't YOU ask him why he was reassigned? Or better yet, ask whomever did the reassigning? I can't in my wildest imagination believe that the same thing would happen with the Cubs.

Edit: BTW, here are the headlines for Wednesday:

Cubs: 3-hit shutout built on sliders
Sox: Just 1 more close victory

So the Cubs are "building" with shutouts while the Sox got lucky and managed "just" one close victory. Do you see it? This goes on day after day.

Kogs35
06-29-2005, 02:17 PM
If the headline example I cited were an isolated case, I'd agree that it's a reach. But when it happens nearly every day, there's a pattern. The editor may not be consciously thinking about Cubs fans vs. Sox fans, but that's really the point. These things aren't always deliberate, but are more often a result of the built-in conflict of interest that inevitably seeps into everyday actions.

Teddy Greinstein was the beat writer for the Sox at the start of 2004. He was reassigned in mid-August, and more to the point, not replaced for the rest of the season. You work there. Why don't YOU ask him why he was reassigned? Or better yet, ask whomever did the reassigning? I can't in my wildest imagination believe that the same thing would happen with the Cubs.

i think bob foltman was on the sox beat last year teddy was in 03.

Ol' No. 2
06-29-2005, 02:21 PM
i think bob foltman was on the sox beat last year teddy was in 03.Come to think of it, I think you're right. I don't know where or why he was reassigned, but he's still there.

tebman
06-29-2005, 02:24 PM
The Chicago Tribune is a newspaper. It has a sports section. That sports section covers the city’s sports teams. That includes both the Cubs and the Sox.

No one asked the newspaper if they wanted the company to buy the Cubs -- or to buy the Times-Mirror papers for that matter.

But the company did. And the sports section still has to cover the Cubs because if it didn’t, it wouldn’t be much of a sports section. And sorry – but the entire section isn’t devoted to the Cubs every day.

Using this as a way to call into the Tribune’s journalistic integrity makes no sense in the world in which we live. I guess the Tribune shouldn’t cover business in Chicago because the Tribune Company is a Chicago business. Forget about TV and radio too. Can’t mention the Internet either.

Does owning the Cubs present the appearance of a conflict of interest? There is no denying that. But does that appearance translate into reality? Everyone here says yes. I disagree – and while loyal to the company, I am also loyal to what I am. And all of you who insist that every decision made at every property owned by the Tribune is made based on what is good for the Cubs … that’s just ridiculous.

The Cubs are part of the company – and I never said they weren’t valuable … I just said they don’t bring in as much money.

But the Cubs are not the heart of this company. The heart of this company is journalism – and I’m sorry, but there is no way in the world that anyone here will risk the journalistic integrity of the Chicago Tribune to get another body into the seats at Wrigley Field.

You may want to believe that this is the case, but you are wrong.

George Knue
ChicagoSports.com
This is obviously an impasse. Sox fans, including me and, I assume, the other posters here, have years (or generations) of social and/or ethnic history invested in their common affection for the White Sox. There's an identity that goes along with that: an appreciation for hard work, plain-spokenness, and little patience for authoritarian cant. Hence the common suspicion of adversaries' motives.

The Tribune bought the hapless Cubs in 1981 and began pouring resources into the organization, including promotional muscle that in Chicago is second to none. The dominant newspaper, the dominant radio station, and an extremely profitable TV station which was an early entrant into national cable distribution.

The Sox management over the last 40 years has made enough mistakes to fill a book. Regular reading of the threads on this site will give anyone a capsule history of that. But the Tribune's quest for hegemony has given a taint to the work that well-intentioned people like yourself have tried to do. In your response to my post you made no reference to the long history of institutional bias at the Tribune -- either you thought is wasn't relevant or you didn't want to deal with it. In either case, the point remains as it has been expressed in any number of Tribune editorials over the years: the appearance of a conflict of interest is enough to give rise to suspicion. It strains credulity to say that the Cubs being on the same balance sheet has utterly no bearing on the behavior of the rest of the company.

We're Sox fans, and we've been deceived many times before by mendacious authority figures, both personal and corporate. We take it personally. While I appreciate your vigorous defense of your paper, I encourage you to step back and apply the smell test to this whole question. You may write us off as cranks, but it won't persuade us to buy your paper.

mr_genius
06-29-2005, 02:28 PM
- A significant disparity in Cubs v. Sox coverage, catalogued last year here by Hangar18 (if you'd like, search for "Media Watch")
- Prior goes out last year, and we hear about when he farts. Thomas AND Maggs go out, no such commentary.
- Disparity in treatment between the lunkheads who got into a fight with players on the field v. the Dodgers (the names weren't even all that publicized) and Ligue/Dybas
- "soft" treatment of events at or around Wrigley. Case in point is the Taste shooting, which was p1 of the Metro section, IIRC. Of course, a shooting outside of Wrigley = "Giant Snails"
- The recent Stone example. Note, the issue is not any commentary that Stone came up with, but the raw fact that "coincidentally", a copy editor inserts a factually incorrect item that makes the Cubs come off better.

These are just some examples off the top of my head.

burn

hearing that guy claim the Tribune is unbiased in their cubs / sox coverage is like Moveon.org or Bill O'reilly claiming to be unbiased news sources.\

what a homer

Frater Perdurabo
06-29-2005, 02:29 PM
:threadrules:

This tag is way past due for this thread. Kudos to the intelligent banter throughout this thread!

itsnotrequired
06-29-2005, 02:40 PM
:threadrules:

This tag is way past due for this thread. Kudos to the intelligent banter throughout this thread!

Good call. I'd more or less given up on this thread until I saw Kune posting. Excellent reading!:D:

Hangar18
06-29-2005, 02:42 PM
George - you like to isolate individual events and find alternate reasons for them. However, there is no individual item that clearly demonstrates the bias. It's "death by a thousand cuts". Specifically:
- A significant disparity in Cubs v. Sox coverage, catalogued last year here by Hangar18 (if you'd like, search for "Media Watch")
- Prior goes out last year, and we hear about when he farts. Thomas AND Maggs go out, no such commentary.
- Disparity in treatment between the lunkheads who got into a fight with players on the field v. the Dodgers (the names weren't even all that publicized) and Ligue/Dybas
- "soft" treatment of events at or around Wrigley. Case in point is the Taste shooting, which was p1 of the Metro section, IIRC. Of course, a shooting outside of Wrigley = "Giant Snails"
- The recent Stone example.

Now I will give you that things have improved in 2005. Coverage is more fair, but that's only after the media bias has become a more public issue (thanks in large part to the efforts of those here like Hangar18).

If there wasnt a clear bias, why would some random fan like myself, be contacted privately by other media outlets, wanting to know what was happening here, and how/when did I start figuring out the mess that is the
Chicago Media including the Tribune? I think its safe to say that other
media outlets have DISCOVERED the disparity in how the Tribune (the big fish in the chicago media pond) covers the SOX as opposed to covering the Cubs.

miker
06-29-2005, 02:49 PM
This tag is way past due for this thread. Kudos to the intelligent banter throughout this thread!

Yeah, usually by post #59 in any media bias thread there are about two "This Thread Sucks", three "This Thread Blows" and a "Who Cares?"

Cheers to actual discussion in a forum! :gulp:

maurice
06-29-2005, 03:01 PM
You aren't answering the question.

Sure I am. I gave you a specific example of what you termed "murders like this" -- the Taste shooting. You ignored that part of my post.

Now comes the part where you claim that any murder anybody uses as an example is not really a "murder like" the thoroughly unique and insignificant Wrigley murder. Good luck with that. That's about as convincing as your argument that a muder in front of Wrigley deserves less coverage than an idiot running onto a baseball field before getting beaten senseless (but not shot or kiled) by an umpire and/or the entire Kansas City Royals franchise.

The Wrigley murder was after the game let out? The Taste shooting was at 10:00 p.m. after 99% of folks had already vacated the area around the Taste. The Wrigley murder was in the middle of the street in front of Wrigley and not in the park itself? The Taste shooting was on Wabash, 2 blocks from the Taste grounds. (Source: Facts on the Taste shooting were gleaned from 2 different Trib stories that covered the event in great depth, using 4 different staff reporters to acquire tons of quotes about the shooting and the need to "beef up" the police presence.) Hmmm.

That happens all the time.

It happens all the time when the Cubs, Wrigley, or Wrigleyville are implicated.

Re the Stadium: The story led with the scandals and then went ont to relate what Daley said about the stadium.

. . . two completely unrealted issues that no other reporter covered together. And again, you're talking about one story, when it's actually a series of stories that link these 2 unrelated stories in a transparent effort to discredit Daley and the building department.

I repeat -- the Chicago Tribune has not been charged with falsifying circulation figures.

You're splitting hairs. This thread is about Tribune Co., which includes many news outlets and the Chicago Cubs. You're being very, vey careful to say "Chicago Tribune," because you know damn well that Trib Co. not only has been "charged with falsifying circulation figures," but also has had executive ARRESTED in connection with this and intends to pay off advertisers who were victims of the falsification. Integrity indeed!

Lastly -- you assume bias on the Tribune's part on everything it says that relates to the Cubs and Sox -- and as a result, dismiss its value. Yet you will not see bias on the part of others -- and instead choose to assume its value.

For the 3rd time, I have never limited my criticism to the Trib. In this very thread (and certainly elsewhere), I have criticized the Sun-Times for pro-cub bias. Please stop misrepresenting what I've written. It's all right there in black and white for everyone to see.

AZChiSoxFan
06-29-2005, 03:09 PM
You aren't answering the question. Prove to me that the Tribune treated this differently than it treated other murders. You still haven't done so -- you've just proved it treated it differently than other media did. That happens all the time.


George Knue
ChicagoSports.com

George, you're getting destroyed by Maurice. Why don't you just start arguing that the Earth is flat?? You might have better luck making that case. Seriously, the above post of yours is the most lame of them all. So it's just a coincidence that the murder that was a big deal to all the rest of Chicago but was virtually ignored by the Trib happened to take place outside of the Urinal? That's a stretch.

Foulke You
06-29-2005, 03:18 PM
I suspect the reason no one wrote about the Minoso statue is because no one knew. As a matter offact, the only paper that has written about the statue is the Tribune. Is that another example of bias? And a lack of journalistic integrity? And I suspect that if Scott Reifert (or someone on the Sox) had blamed Cub fans for the statue (the way the Cubs guy blamed Sox fans for the ivy), Mark Gonzales would have said so.

George Knue
ChicagoSports.com
Why is it ok then for Tribune writers to "assume" that it was Sox fans who killed the ivy in 2003 without any direct proof and it is not ok for them to make the logical assumption that Cub fans defaced the Minoso statue over the weekend? You still haven't answered why the 2003 ivy killing is on page 1 of Sports with a color photo but the Minoso statue is a blurb with no photo and very little specifics. Also, to my knowledge, the Trib never ran a follow up article to the "ivy killing" when it later came out that a Wrigley Field groundskeeper carelessly sprayed the wrong chemical on the ivy causing the dead section.

PaleHoseGeorge
06-29-2005, 04:12 PM
...
Lastly -- you assume bias on the Tribune's part on everything it says that relates to the Cubs and Sox -- and as a result, dismiss its value. Yet you will not see bias on the part of others -- and instead choose to assume its value.

George, for the record, are you stating here that other Chicago media outlets not owned by the Tribune are out to make the Tribune look bad with their biased coverage of "anti-Tribune" news?

:o:

cheeses_h_rice
06-29-2005, 04:19 PM
George, for the record, are you stating here that other Chicago media outlets not owned by the Tribune are out to make the Tribune look bad with their biased coverage of "anti-Tribune" news?

:o:

:moron

He must be talking about me.

*Blush*

Vernam
06-29-2005, 06:21 PM
Dave Van Dyck is a freelance reporter who works for the Tribune. He is one of the people who covers games on days off for the regular beat writers. And he often writes stories off the game even when the beat writer is there.

Good, let's pursue this further. Is it safe to assume that a freelancer has the least security in journalism's foodchain? (Next to a stringer, of course. Or, god forbid, a blogger!) Above the freelancer would be the beat reporter. Above him would be the copy editor, with rare exceptions where the beat reporter has high name recognition. Above all of them are the columnists, not all of whom are created equal, obviously. A guy like Mike Downey is talented enough to say what he thinks about the Sox, no matter how favorable. :wink: Then there's Morrisey, who's mediocre and can't risk offending the ghost of Col. McCormick, so he makes his disdain for the Sox and their fans quite plain. Van Dyke, as a freelancer, has the most incentive to write condescendingly about the Sox and, sure enough, that's exactly what he does. Is there a memo in his personnel file stipulating that he's more apt to be kept around if he characterizes the Sox as lucky when they do well and loathesome when they don't? Obviously not. But he knows it just the same. And so do all the others in the Trib foodchain. If that's not true, identify just one Trib sportswriter apart from Downey who flaunts the fact that he's a Sox fan.

If you're looking for "proof" of bias, I gather you haven't seen any of Hangar18's tracking of Cubs/Sox coverage. That's pretty quantified evidence. Claiming the Trib doesn't favor the Cubs is like saying it doesn't favor Republican politicians; you might as well insist that McDonald's doesn't prefer carnivores to vegans. In other words, you immediately lose credibility with anyone who's been paying attention over the course of decades. The more insistent you become, actually, the more you reinforce exactly how disingenuous the Trib and its employees are regarding coverage of the Sox.

VC

tebman
06-30-2005, 12:07 AM
Yet when a murder or other crime takes place near Wrigley, it's buried and it's "Lakeview." When it's near U.S. Cellular, you mention that fact in the lede and you run it on page one. And you (along with the rest of the media outlet lemmings in Chicago) still fail to acknowledge that the per capita crime rate is higher in virtually all categories in "Lakeview" than it is in Bridgeport/Armor Square.

This is another thing I read here all the time and I don’t see the evidence. I looked for the words ‘crime’ and ‘Cellular’ in the Tribune in 2005 and found two stories – <a href=” http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...1,1275024.story (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chicago/chi-0506280136jun28,1,1275024.story) “>this one and one that talked about parking near Wrigley and U.S. Cellular. The former ran on page one of the Metro section (and truly had little to do with Sox Park and the neighborhood) and the latter ran in Redeye on page 6. Doing the same search but substituting Wrigleyville for Cellular, I get several, including one discussing a rapists’ arrest and another one a murder. Both ran on Page 1 of Metro. And again you invite comparisons when they make no sense – why compare the neighborhood crime rates? There’s no context there.
<...>
Thank you … and where is that bias again?


George Knue
ChicagoSports.com
I knew something was fishy when I read that, so I looked it up. There was actual data on crimes committed in Chicago by radius around a specific location that was discussed last year in this thread (http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=31295&highlight=crime+rates). Like this discussion there's a lot of back-and-forth in there, but here's the bottom line:

The Cell: 17 crimes within 1/2 mile radius between 3/18 and 3/31

3 PERSONAL CRIMES
1 battery
2 offenses involving children

12 PROPERTY CRIMES
5 criminal trespass
3 theft
2 criminal damage
1 motor vehicle theft
1 burglary

1 PERSONAL DOMESTIC CRIME
1 battery

1 UNDETERMINED
1 financial identity theft

Wrigley: 40 crimes within 1/2 mile between 3/18 and 3/31

8 PERSONAL CRIMES
5 battery
2 assault
1 robbery

32 PROPERTY CRIMES
1 deception
5 burglary
12 criminal damage
10 theft
2 motor vehicle theft
1 criminal trespass
1 theft and recovery

Any way, or any context, in which you look at it, "Wrigleyville" is a more dangerous place. George Knue refers to the Tribune's archives to get data instead of actual crime statistics to make his point. How much more do we need to say about the Tribune being a house of mirrors?

The answers he's given to our points suggest that we're not even speaking the same language. When we see corporate self-interest, he doesn't see a thing. The Tribune says is isn't so, therefore it isn't so. He says there is no dispute because, after all, we are The Tribune.

Somehow the appearance of a conflict of interest with Rod Blagojevich, Dick Mell, Rich Daley, or any other high-profile public figure is a cause for deep concern for The Tribune. But the appearance (with heaps of circumstantial evidence that it's more than an appearance) of a conflict of interest within The Tribune is simply not an issue. There's nothing to see here...let's move on...

RedHeadPaleHoser
06-30-2005, 07:41 AM
I have read this whole thread twice, and I want to APPLAUD George Knue, and the WSI family, for keeping this intelligent, smart, honest, and above board. No one has gotten into the wet diaper, woe is us mentalilty. This is a factual, open, adult discussion. ALL who have posted with commentary, facts, & opinions get my sincere thanks. THIS is why I belong to this site. Thanks to all!!!


PS - George, if nothing else, you've learned that WSI fans are not the lot we've been carved out to be. We agree to disagree.

SOXintheBURGH
06-30-2005, 11:26 AM
This has been the most entertaining thread, I believe, since I enlisted in WSI. Cheers to all.

itsnotrequired
06-30-2005, 11:45 AM
I knew something was fishy when I read that, so I looked it up. There was actual data on crimes committed in Chicago by radius around a specific location that was discussed last year in this thread (http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=31295&highlight=crime+rates). Like this discussion there's a lot of back-and-forth in there, but here's the bottom line:

The Cell: 17 crimes within 1/2 mile radius between 3/18 and 3/31

3 PERSONAL CRIMES
1 battery
2 offenses involving children

12 PROPERTY CRIMES
5 criminal trespass
3 theft
2 criminal damage
1 motor vehicle theft
1 burglary

1 PERSONAL DOMESTIC CRIME
1 battery

1 UNDETERMINED
1 financial identity theft

Wrigley: 40 crimes within 1/2 mile between 3/18 and 3/31

8 PERSONAL CRIMES
5 battery
2 assault
1 robbery

32 PROPERTY CRIMES
1 deception
5 burglary
12 criminal damage
10 theft
2 motor vehicle theft
1 criminal trespass
1 theft and recovery

Any way, or any context, in which you look at it, "Wrigleyville" is a more dangerous place. George Knue refers to the Tribune's archives to get data instead of actual crime statistics to make his point. How much more do we need to say about the Tribune being a house of mirrors?

The answers he's given to our points suggest that we're not even speaking the same language. When we see corporate self-interest, he doesn't see a thing. The Tribune says is isn't so, therefore it isn't so. He says there is no dispute because, after all, we are The Tribune.

Somehow the appearance of a conflict of interest with Rod Blagojevich, Dick Mell, Rich Daley, or any other high-profile public figure is a cause for deep concern for The Tribune. But the appearance (with heaps of circumstantial evidence that it's more than an appearance) of a conflict of interest within The Tribune is simply not an issue. There's nothing to see here...let's move on...

For the sake of full disclosure, we might as well update these stats. Listed below are the stats for a half-mile radius around each ballpark and all crimes reported between June 10 and June 23 of this year. In that time frame, the Sox had 9 home games and the Cubs had 6.

The Cell:
11 crimes total; 3 person crimes and 8 property crimes.

The Shrine:
47 crimes total; 16 person crimes and 31 property.

2/3 the number of home games as the Sox, 4 times the number of crimes. You do the math...

EDIT: Oh, and don't let anyone tell you that there is more crime becuase more people go to the games. In the timeframe listed above, Cubs drew 234,307 while the Sox drew 261,664. But the Cubs have a higher average attendance!

tebman
06-30-2005, 11:59 AM
For the sake of full disclosure, we might as well update these stats. Listed below are the stats for a half-mile radius around each ballpark and all crimes reported between June 10 and June 23 of this year. In that time frame, the Sox had 9 home games and the Cubs had 6.

The Cell:
11 crimes total; 3 person crimes and 8 property crimes.

The Shrine:
47 crimes total; 16 person crimes and 31 property.

2/3 the number of home games as the Cubs, 4 times the number of crimes. You do the math...

Thanks for the update, inr. I didn't want to risk corrupting the original data that was published in WSI, so I quoted last year's thread. Your update makes an even more compelling case and begs even more the larger question about why the Tribune dodges this. To be sure, the Sun-Times and all the vacuous haircuts who babble on TV dodge these questions too, but like I said in a previous response, they don't own the team!

If the Tribune can't acknowlege its own conflicts of interest, how can we be assured of the veracity of other topics it chooses to follow? I'm not wishing to see the Trib pushed into the lake, but why can't more people see that the emperor has no clothes?

George's whole premise seems to be that the newspaper has a holy moat around it that is never, ever, under any circumstances, breached by the rabble in the corporate business office. Maybe not, but the people who work at the paper are human and know who signs their checks. I mean, let's get real!

itsnotrequired
06-30-2005, 12:04 PM
Thanks for the update, inr. I didn't want to risk corrupting the original data that was published in WSI, so I quoted last year's thread. Your update makes an even more compelling case and begs even more the larger question about why the Tribune dodges this. To be sure, the Sun-Times and all the vacuous haircuts who babble on TV dodge these questions too, but like I said in a previous response, they don't own the team!

If the Tribune can't acknowlege its own conflicts of interest, how can we be assured of the veracity of other topics it chooses to follow? I'm not wishing to see the Trib pushed into the lake, but why can't more people see that the emperor has no clothes?

George's whole premise seems to be that the newspaper has a holy moat around it that is never, ever, under any circumstances, breached by the rabble in the corporate business office. Maybe not, but the people who work at the paper are human and know who signs their checks. I mean, let's get real!

No problem. I love looking at those stats. Hell, even in winter the crime around the Cell is less.

If you really want an accurate picture, look at the 1/4 mile radius. Sox have 4 while the Cubs have 23. 1/4 mile is two freakin' blocks.

I remember looking at the stats a while ago and I decided to include all of Bridgeport. It was still less than around Wrigley...

Dick Allen
06-30-2005, 12:08 PM
No problem. I love looking at those stats. Hell, even in winter the crime around the Cell is less.

If you really want an accurate picture, look at the 1/4 mile radius. Sox have 4 while the Cubs have 23. 1/4 mile is two freakin' blocks.

I remember looking at the stats a while ago and I decided to include all of Bridgeport. It was still less than around Wrigley...It's amazing what kind of effect a group of drunken young punks can have on crime statistics.

itsnotrequired
06-30-2005, 12:12 PM
It's amazing what kind of effect a group of drunken young punks can have on crime statistics.

Yep. I have no problem walking through that area on non-game days. On game days it just gets too out of hand. You never know if the upcoming group of tanked-up dudes is going to give you the business.

Walking by the Cell during a game day is a pleasure!:D:

Hangar18
06-30-2005, 12:59 PM
This has been an entertaining thread. Its also uplifting to see the good people at WSI rip into the Tribune Corporations Lies and Justifications.
And we did it with Truth, Stats and Proof. Who says Sox fans arent Smart?
Oh wait ........ the Tribune keeps saying that

Vernam
07-01-2005, 11:01 AM
I know everyone's moved on from this thread, but I want the record to reflect the following headline from today's Trib regarding the Sox three-game sweep of the Tigers in Detroit:

"Sox rolling toward danger: Sweep Tigers, head for A's house of horror"

The story by Mark Gonzalez is at http://tinyurl.com/ajqo5. While it's fair to point out they've had trouble winning in Oakland, there is zero chance the Trib would run a headline like that if the Cubs swept a divisional rival in its own park.

Interesting that the http://www.chicagosports.com link to the story uses an alternate slug: "White Sox sweep Tigers." Not too imaginative, but way more fair.

VC

tebman
07-01-2005, 11:15 AM
I know everyone's moved on from this thread, but I want the record to reflect the following headline from today's Trib regarding the Sox three-game sweep of the Tigers in Detroit:

"Sox rolling toward danger: Sweep Tigers, head for A's house of horror"

The story by Mark Gonzalez is at http://tinyurl.com/ajqo5. While it's fair to point out they've had trouble winning in Oakland, there is zero chance the Trib would run a headline like that if the Cubs swept a divisional rival in its own park.

VC
And on it goes. George Knue hasn't come back, though who knows if he was/is lurking and reading the subsequent discussion. If anyone missed it, there's a thread in progress on the new headline shenanigans here (http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=53239).

This will continue until the Sox win a World Series, and even then it might still continue. The Tribune thoroughly enjoys and revels in its position at the top of the Chicago media heap, and it will continue to react in high dudgeon whenever it's suggested that it has a conflict of interest being part of the Cubs/WGN/Superstation armada.

Maybe Reinsdorf can buy the Sun-Times. If that happened, know at least one employee there who'd be looking for work.

maurice
07-01-2005, 11:30 AM
In addition to what I've said in the other thread, I'd like to point out that the word "Danger" is about 3 times larger than the word "Sweep." In fact, the font used for the line including the word "Danger" appears to be the largest font used since "Dewey Beats Truman."

George Knue
07-01-2005, 02:16 PM
I read the headline this morning and figured I’d see talk about it today. I didn’t like it much, but I don’t work on the newspaper copy desk either. I changed it on our site.

I still think too much is made of headlines. And people who want to find bias find it. You here at WSI not only want to find it, you seek it with an unmatched enthusiasm, especially when it concerns the Chicago Tribune.

You also talk about the death of a thousand cuts – and recite a litany of wrongs to support it. Which seems an awful lot like trying “to isolate individual events and find alternate reasons for them.”

The attacks on the field were covered everywhere by everybody – the Chicago Tribune did not do more with this than anyone did. How does that make the Chicago Tribune biased? No one else made more of the Kreuter thing at Wrigley – so how is the Chicago Tribune biased by doing what everyone else did?

I read the things Hangar wrote comparing coverage. I believe he started in the offseason of 2004. The Cubs were coming off a season in which they reached the NLCS and were five outs from the Series. The Cubs had a busy offseason and the Sox didn’t. So the Cubs got a lot of coverage early in 2004 and the Sox didn’t. And the Cubs stayed in the race all season – and the Sox didn’t. Plus, Hangar brings his own biases to this – as a Sox fan who has a clear dislike of the Chicago Tribune and the media in general, not to mention the Cubs. One time – and I acknowledge it was only once – I checked his numbers against what was in the paper. He had more Cubs stories than I could find.

Hangar stopped doing it this year – perhaps after the Sox had a busy offseason while the Cubs didn’t. Or perhaps because the Sox have been a better team and have been getting more coverage as a result – which is the way it’s supposed to be. But it was stopped. You choose to give Hangar credit for the change. Fine … but might it also have something to do with what is happening on the field?

The shooting outside of Wrigley was Page 1 of the Metro section (same as the Taste shooting) – the next day’s story was page 1 of the newspaper. Which is far from being ignored. How would this prove Chicago Tribune bias? In one of two ways – if it was significantly different from the way the Chicago Tribune usually covers murders in Chicago or if it was significantly different from the way the Chicago Tribune covers murders around U.S. Cellular Field. I repeat what I said before – prove that either of those is true.

I’m not disputing what the crime figures say – or even trying to prove them wrong. All I’m saying is that they don’t matter when it comes to the question I was trying to answer: Does the Chicago Tribune soft-pedal crime in Wrigleyville, especially compared to crime in the area around Sox park? And the best source for finding out what the Chicago Tribune prints is the Chicago Tribune’s story database. And I can’t find anything that demonstrates it does.

If the story is about how much crime there is around each ballpark, then the statistics you quote have context. But that hasn’t been the story. Aha, you say – and why not? Because there isn’t any reason to compare crime around the two ballparks – unless the only reason to do so is because a lot of people at WSI seem to think it’s a great idea.

You all discuss here the power of the Tribune media machine in Chicago – but you won’t acknowledge that the way the other media in this town cover the Chicago Tribune and Tribune Company might also be affected by that. There is some advantage to them in going after the newspaper and the company. Maybe that has something to do with the Premium ticket stories in the Sun-Times.

The whole issue here is this: Does the Chicago Tribune have an extreme bias in favor of the Cubs and against the White Sox because the newspaper and the Cubs are owned by the same company ... and does every employee in the editorial department demonstrate this alleged bias daily in the performance of his work?

I’m not talking about Newsday. I’m not talking about Tribune Company. I’m talking Chicago Tribune. And the issue isn’t whether owning the Cubs has any effect on the behavior of the rest of the company – it’s what effect it has on the behavior of the Chicago Tribune editorial department.

At the Chicago Tribune, the marketing department does not tell the editorial department what to print any more than the Cubs do. The editorial department makes those decisions on its own. Sure the editorial department is affected by “corporate pressures to generate profits” – by limiting hiring, by cutting back on the space in the paper, by cutting expenses. But not by making certain that every single story written has to make the Cubs look good and the Sox look bad. You want to believe that happens, but it doesn’t.

The only way the Chicago Tribune could avoid proving the bias you all allege is to write next-to-nothing about the White Sox – and certainly nothing critical. And even in articles about the Cubs, the paper can be painted as ‘biased.’ If it is not as critical as you like, then that’s proof. And if it is critical, that can only mean the Cubs are trying to get rid of the player and the paper is out to smear him to make it more palatable. Sounds a lot like ‘damned if you do and damned if you don’t.’

I’m not trying to convince anyone to buy the paper ... I just get tired of me and my colleagues being smeared by WSI’s broad brush and have chosen to speak up. And I don’t think you are cranks. I just think your own biases prevent you from seeing the Chicago Tribune through anything but Sox-colored glasses. Which means guilty until proven guilty.

Lastly, one of you says this: “George's whole premise seems to be that the newspaper has a holy moat around it that is never, ever, under any circumstances, breached by the rabble in the corporate business office.”

I wouldn’t phrase it quite that way because I don’t think people in the corporate business office are rabble, but yes, that’s it. The editorial department of the newspaper is an entity that maintains a distance from the rest of the company – including the Cubs. It is affected by business decisions – as noted above. But its job is not to be a corporate shill.

And it isn’t. And no one has asked it to be.

George Knue
ChicagoSports.com

itsnotrequired
07-01-2005, 02:26 PM
If the story is about how much crime there is around each ballpark, then the statistics you quote have context. But that hasn’t been the story. Aha, you say – and why not? Because there isn’t any reason to compare crime around the two ballparks – unless the only reason to do so is because a lot of people at WSI seem to think it’s a great idea.

George Knue
ChicagoSports.com

I was the one who posted the latest crime figures. You're right, they have little to do with the way stories are covered. My post was more or less for general information only. Cub fans claiming how "dangerous" it is around the Cell is a huge pet peeve of mine. That's why I like to quote cold, hard, facts directly from the police department.

Good to see you response though. Let's keep this thread rolling!

iamkoza
07-01-2005, 02:46 PM
My question is why are all sox fans, myself included, obsessed with the amount (or lack of) media coverage? Couldnt the tribune make the argument that there are more cub fans than white sox fans, so why shouldnt more cub stories be written? (Playing devil's advocate is fun)

itsnotrequired
07-01-2005, 02:58 PM
My question is why are all sox fans, myself included, obsessed with the amount (or lack of) media coverage? Couldnt the tribune make the argument that there are more cub fans than white sox fans, so why shouldnt more cub stories be written? (Playing devil's advocate is fun)

It's a fine line. When you see something go against you, it is obvious. When it goes your way, you don't notice it as much. I remember last year when the Sox had a come from behind win against the Twins here at home while the Cubs were playing the Rockies (I believe) out West. Cubs got the lead story. That just sticks out in my mind. On the other hand, there may have been an instance where the Cubs beat some NL Central opponent at home while the Sox played the D-Rays in Florida. Of course, I wouldn't recall that happening...:redface:

SoxEd
07-01-2005, 02:59 PM
The attacks on the field were covered everywhere by everybody – the Chicago Tribune did not do more with this than anyone did. How does that make the Chicago Tribune biased? No one else made more of the Kreuter thing at Wrigley – so how is the Chicago Tribune biased by doing what everyone else did?

Now, I live in England, so I don't get the Chicago papers, but my take on WSI's objection to the coverage of Ligue (I bet I just cited the wrong name, if I have, someone please correct it) et al is the way in which every time the guy does any stupid thing you run a story on 'Sox Fan William Ligue now does X'.

WSI's beefs with this are:
a) according to HIS WIFE, the guy's a CUB fan who got drunk AT WRIGLEY, then came to US Cellular and acted like a jerk;
b) why give the guy more publicity for acting like a jerk?;
c) if this is genuinely 'News', why is it printed in the Sox section of the Sports pages?;
d) why consistently portray him as a Sox fan? Why not 'idiot who ran on to Field of play at game'?


The only way the Chicago Tribune could avoid proving the bias you all allege is to write next-to-nothing about the White Sox – and certainly nothing critical.

Actually, printing 'next to nothing' about the Sox is the major perceived problem - especially when contrasted with the amount of fluffy coverage that's given over to the Northsiders.

I think, to prove that no bias exists, we're expecting large amounts of coverage of the 'amazing first-place White Sox' along the lines of the adoring coverage devoted to the Cubs during the lead up to the 2003 playoffs.

Again, I live in rural England, so I'm just trying to summarize what people have posted here over the last year or so.


I read the headline this morning and figured I’d see talk about it today. I didn’t like it much, but I don’t work on the newspaper copy desk either. I changed it on our site.

We noted that you'd changed it in this (http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=53239) thread (btw thankyou) - but it then got changed back later.

Lastly, I'd just like to reiterate our thanks for your taking the time to come here and put your head over the parapet to put the other side of the debate.

Cheers,
Ed.

TornLabrum
07-01-2005, 03:13 PM
Now, I live in England, so I don't get the Chicago papers, but my take on WSI's objection to the coverage of Ligue (I bet I just cited the wrong name, if I have, someone please correct it) et al is the way in which every time the guy does any stupid thing you run a story on 'Sox Fan William Ligue now does X'.

WSI's beefs with this are:
a) according to HIS WIFE, the guy's a CUB fan who got drunk AT WRIGLEY, then came to US Cellular and acted like a jerk

You got some of the facts wrong. Ligue had no wife at the time, although I do think he had a girlfriend or fiancee. He did not get drunk at Wrigley. That was Dybas. He was not identified as a Cubs fan by his ex-wife or girlfriend. I think it was his ex-wife who identified him as "not much of a baseball fan." He was chaperoning a birthday party, iirc, went with his moron son to seats near the field and then charged Tom Gamboa.

Flight #24
07-01-2005, 04:12 PM
You also talk about the death of a thousand cuts – and recite a litany of wrongs to support it. Which seems an awful lot like trying “to isolate individual events and find alternate reasons for them.”

Come on George, you can do better than that. In most attempts to show bias, it's not about each individual decision, its' about the overall pattern. Racial, gender, etc - it's all about a pattern of individual moves that when viewed as a whole show bias. If the Tribune Company never had a female executive, I'm sure they could isolate any individual case and find a valid reason. But if there were numerous instances of that, that would indicate a pattern of bias.

As I said - any one "mistake" could be explainable, but a continuing series of them goes way beyond the borders of believability. Especially when the "mistakes" all are made in one direction.


I read the things Hangar wrote comparing coverage. I believe he started in the offseason of 2004. The Cubs were coming off a season in which they reached the NLCS and were five outs from the Series. The Cubs had a busy offseason and the Sox didn’t. So the Cubs got a lot of coverage early in 2004 and the Sox didn’t. And the Cubs stayed in the race all season – and the Sox didn’t. Plus, Hangar brings his own biases to this – as a Sox fan who has a clear dislike of the Chicago Tribune and the media in general, not to mention the Cubs. One time – and I acknowledge it was only once – I checked his numbers against what was in the paper. He had more Cubs stories than I could find.

Hangar stopped doing it this year – perhaps after the Sox had a busy offseason while the Cubs didn’t. Or perhaps because the Sox have been a better team and have been getting more coverage as a result – which is the way it’s supposed to be. But it was stopped. You choose to give Hangar credit for the change. Fine … but might it also have something to do with what is happening on the field?

OK, using your own logic, the South Side had an offseason that dramatically revamped their entire team. The North Side had an offseason that consisted of dumping one of their best position players and run producers and getting virtually nothing in return. And in any event, by about a month into the season, it was apparent which team was on a potential World Series run and which was struggling to make the playoffs. So we should see a preponderance of Sox stories, no? But instead, we see at best parity. And for your information, there isn't "more coverage" for the Sox. Hangar hasn't been doing his totals, but it's basically even on a daily basis.



You all discuss here the power of the Tribune media machine in Chicago – but you won’t acknowledge that the way the other media in this town cover the Chicago Tribune and Tribune Company might also be affected by that. There is some advantage to them in going after the newspaper and the company. Maybe that has something to do with the Premium ticket stories in the Sun-Times.

There's no doubt that the S-T, etc relish the opportunity to snipe at the Trib. But that doesn't change the core facts, which are: 1) Story gets changed unbeknownst to author, 2) Line that's added is coincidentally favorable to the sister company, 3) Line that's added is actually erroneous in nature. Sure, there's a valid explanation, but as I already noted, when seen in the light of the total history of the Tribune, it fits the pattern of bias.

maurice
07-01-2005, 04:28 PM
I read the headline this morning and figured I’d see talk about it today. I didn’t like it much, but I don’t work on the newspaper copy desk either. I changed it on our site.

So even you see the obvious bias demonstrated through this example? I mean, you've given no other reason for changing it, and the facts speak for themselves.

The attacks on the field were covered everywhere by everybody – the Chicago Tribune did not do more with this than anyone did....so how is the Chicago Tribune biased by doing what everyone else did?

Wow, massive logical flaw here. When the Trib's coverage is different (and more pro-cub) than everybody else's coverage, you argue that they can't be compared because different coverage "happens all the time" and doesn't mean anything. When multiple media outlets are equally biased against the Sox, that's okay because "everybody did it." Make up your mind . . . is it okay to compare coverage from different outlets or not?

I read the things Hangar wrote comparing coverage.

I think you need to go back and re-read them, because you're grossly misstating his findings. The cubs consistently received more coverage than the Sox, even when the Sox were in 1st place and the cubs were not. I'd go into greater detail, but Hangar can defend himself.

Hangar stopped doing it this year – perhaps after the Sox had a busy offseason while the Cubs didn’t. Or perhaps because the Sox have been a better team and have been getting more coverage as a result – which is the way it’s supposed to be.

Or perhaps his work on the issue (and the subsequent specious denials by the Chicago media) shamed them into providing greater coverage. Or maybe because slipping circulation numbers convinced some media outlets that they should stop alienating a large percentage of their readers. Or maybe the Trib's incessant claims that the cubs were a World Series team backfired, inflating expectations for the former "lovable losers" and causing cub fans for the 1st time to get angry when they failed to produce results.

might it also have something to do with what is happening on the field?

No. For example, during the 1st half of last season, the Sox were often in 1st place and the cubs were not. During the 1st half of this season, the Sox are in 1st place and the cubs are not. The circumstances "on the field" are analogous, but the relative volume of coverage is different. The biased tone remains the same.

The shooting outside of Wrigley was Page 1 of the Metro section (same as the Taste shooting)

That's a lie, unless you're splitting hairs again and claiming that it eventually became a page 1 story after the Trib was shamed by the coverage applied by the non-Trib-owned media outlets in the city. According to the other posters in this thread, the Taste shooting was immediately a page-1 story. OTOH, the Wrigley murder was buried in the middle of the Tempo section under a story about a giant snail. These two things are not remotely the "same."

How would this prove Chicago Tribune bias? In one of two ways – if it was significantly different from the way the Chicago Tribune usually covers murders in Chicago or if it was significantly different from the way the Chicago Tribune covers murders around U.S. Cellular Field. I repeat what I said before – prove that either of those is true.

You can repeat yourself until you're blue, but it doesn't change the fact that we've already proven that "it was significantly different from the way the Chicago Tribune usually covers murders in Chicago." Your second option is impossible to prove, given the derth of murders on the street in front of the very safe U.S. Cellular Field. The third (unstated) option is to prove that every other media outlet (the ones without a financial interest) covered the story radically differently. We've proven this also, and provided a second example in today's headlines. This is the logical corollary of your claim that the Trib is not biased if it did "what everyone else did." In these two examples, it did something remarkably different.

The whole issue here is this: Does the Chicago Tribune have an extreme bias in favor of the Cubs and against the White Sox because the newspaper and the Cubs are owned by the same company ... and does every employee in the editorial department demonstrate this alleged bias daily in the performance of his work?

No, this isn't just one "issue." This "issue" requires an answer to many different questions:
1 - Does anti-Sox bias exist in the Chicago media?
2 - Does anti-Sox bias exist in Trib-owned media outlets?
3 - Is the bias "extreme" bias?
4 - Is this bias motivated by profit?
5 - Do some Trib employees exhibit this bias?
6 - Do some Chicago Tribune editors exhibit this bias?
7 - Does "every employee in the editorial department" exhibit this bias?
8 - Does every employee in the editorial department exhibit this bias "daily"?

We're answering affirmative to questions 1, 2, 5, and 6, and have cited extensive evidence in support of our answer. By asking question #3, you're implying that bias is okay, as long as its not "extreme," whatever that means. By asking question #4, you're implying that manifested anti-Sox bias is okay, as long as it's not motivated by profit. By asking question #7, you're implying that manifested bias on the part of a few editors is okay, so long as "every" editor does not manifest bias. By asking question #8, you're implying that manifested bias on the part of literally every editor is okay, as long as it doesn't happen every single day.

I’m not talking about Newsday. I’m not talking about Tribune Company. I’m talking Chicago Tribune.

Then your response to my comment about Trib Co. is irrelevant. The conduct of Trib affiliates reflects negatively on all of Trib. Co., whether you like it or not.

Sure the editorial department is affected by “corporate pressures to generate profits” . . . [b]ut not by making certain that every single story written has to make the Cubs look good and the Sox look bad. You want to believe that happens, but it doesn’t.

First, stop telling everybody else what their "issue is" and what they "want to believe." We are more than capable of expressing that for ourselves without your help. Second, it's beyond naive to think that editors are extremely worried about the price of paperclips, but not at all worried about other economic concerns that affect Trib Co. Third, nobody has ever argued that "every single story" expresses anti-Sox bias. The Chicago Tribune has at least two columnists who typically do not express any anti-Sox bias. One of them is quoted on the main page of this very web site. So much for WSI's anti-Trib bias. Fourth, it's entirely possible that the bias exists but that it's motivated (at least in part) by something other than the bottom line, which explains why it pops up from time to time in other, non-Trib-owned media outlets.

I just think your own biases prevent you from seeing the Chicago Tribune through anything but Sox-colored glasses. Which means guilty until proven guilty.

This sums up your illogical argument nicely. What you fail to grasp is that your preconceived notion that WSI is biased against the Trib makes you think that anybody who posts on this site is "guilty until proven guilty" . . . notwithstanding the numerous undisputed facts we've cited. If you don't like a fact, you just ignore it or split hairs and pray that nobody notices. You also happen to be the only poster in this thread with an extremely obvious motive to be biased. According to you, it's impossible to trust anybody who has a motive to be biased, even when the facts they cite are undisputed. If we accept this conclusion (I don't), why should anybody pay any attention to anything you say?

Ol' No. 2
07-01-2005, 04:35 PM
I read the headline this morning and figured I’d see talk about it today. I didn’t like it much, but I don’t work on the newspaper copy desk either. I changed it on our site.

I still think too much is made of headlines. And people who want to find bias find it. You here at WSI not only want to find it, you seek it with an unmatched enthusiasm, especially when it concerns the Chicago Tribune.

You also talk about the death of a thousand cuts – and recite a litany of wrongs to support it. Which seems an awful lot like trying “to isolate individual events and find alternate reasons for them.”

The attacks on the field were covered everywhere by everybody – the Chicago Tribune did not do more with this than anyone did. How does that make the Chicago Tribune biased? No one else made more of the Kreuter thing at Wrigley – so how is the Chicago Tribune biased by doing what everyone else did?

I read the things Hangar wrote comparing coverage. I believe he started in the offseason of 2004. The Cubs were coming off a season in which they reached the NLCS and were five outs from the Series. The Cubs had a busy offseason and the Sox didn’t. So the Cubs got a lot of coverage early in 2004 and the Sox didn’t. And the Cubs stayed in the race all season – and the Sox didn’t. Plus, Hangar brings his own biases to this – as a Sox fan who has a clear dislike of the Chicago Tribune and the media in general, not to mention the Cubs. One time – and I acknowledge it was only once – I checked his numbers against what was in the paper. He had more Cubs stories than I could find.

Hangar stopped doing it this year – perhaps after the Sox had a busy offseason while the Cubs didn’t. Or perhaps because the Sox have been a better team and have been getting more coverage as a result – which is the way it’s supposed to be. But it was stopped. You choose to give Hangar credit for the change. Fine … but might it also have something to do with what is happening on the field?

The shooting outside of Wrigley was Page 1 of the Metro section (same as the Taste shooting) – the next day’s story was page 1 of the newspaper. Which is far from being ignored. How would this prove Chicago Tribune bias? In one of two ways – if it was significantly different from the way the Chicago Tribune usually covers murders in Chicago or if it was significantly different from the way the Chicago Tribune covers murders around U.S. Cellular Field. I repeat what I said before – prove that either of those is true.

I’m not disputing what the crime figures say – or even trying to prove them wrong. All I’m saying is that they don’t matter when it comes to the question I was trying to answer: Does the Chicago Tribune soft-pedal crime in Wrigleyville, especially compared to crime in the area around Sox park? And the best source for finding out what the Chicago Tribune prints is the Chicago Tribune’s story database. And I can’t find anything that demonstrates it does.

If the story is about how much crime there is around each ballpark, then the statistics you quote have context. But that hasn’t been the story. Aha, you say – and why not? Because there isn’t any reason to compare crime around the two ballparks – unless the only reason to do so is because a lot of people at WSI seem to think it’s a great idea.

You all discuss here the power of the Tribune media machine in Chicago – but you won’t acknowledge that the way the other media in this town cover the Chicago Tribune and Tribune Company might also be affected by that. There is some advantage to them in going after the newspaper and the company. Maybe that has something to do with the Premium ticket stories in the Sun-Times.

The whole issue here is this: Does the Chicago Tribune have an extreme bias in favor of the Cubs and against the White Sox because the newspaper and the Cubs are owned by the same company ... and does every employee in the editorial department demonstrate this alleged bias daily in the performance of his work?

I’m not talking about Newsday. I’m not talking about Tribune Company. I’m talking Chicago Tribune. And the issue isn’t whether owning the Cubs has any effect on the behavior of the rest of the company – it’s what effect it has on the behavior of the Chicago Tribune editorial department.

At the Chicago Tribune, the marketing department does not tell the editorial department what to print any more than the Cubs do. The editorial department makes those decisions on its own. Sure the editorial department is affected by “corporate pressures to generate profits” – by limiting hiring, by cutting back on the space in the paper, by cutting expenses. But not by making certain that every single story written has to make the Cubs look good and the Sox look bad. You want to believe that happens, but it doesn’t.

The only way the Chicago Tribune could avoid proving the bias you all allege is to write next-to-nothing about the White Sox – and certainly nothing critical. And even in articles about the Cubs, the paper can be painted as ‘biased.’ If it is not as critical as you like, then that’s proof. And if it is critical, that can only mean the Cubs are trying to get rid of the player and the paper is out to smear him to make it more palatable. Sounds a lot like ‘damned if you do and damned if you don’t.’

I’m not trying to convince anyone to buy the paper ... I just get tired of me and my colleagues being smeared by WSI’s broad brush and have chosen to speak up. And I don’t think you are cranks. I just think your own biases prevent you from seeing the Chicago Tribune through anything but Sox-colored glasses. Which means guilty until proven guilty.

Lastly, one of you says this: “George's whole premise seems to be that the newspaper has a holy moat around it that is never, ever, under any circumstances, breached by the rabble in the corporate business office.”

I wouldn’t phrase it quite that way because I don’t think people in the corporate business office are rabble, but yes, that’s it. The editorial department of the newspaper is an entity that maintains a distance from the rest of the company – including the Cubs. It is affected by business decisions – as noted above. But its job is not to be a corporate shill.

And it isn’t. And no one has asked it to be.

George Knue
ChicagoSports.comAfter beating up on you for the last few days I have to give credit where it's due. You did change the headline. In fact, that's the second time this week I've seen a headline on the on-line version changed from the print version.

However, the fact that you've done so indicates that despite your protests to the contrary, you did recognize exactly what we've been trying to point out. Today was not an isolated incident - only the most egregious example. Writing is your profession. You know better than anyone that words have connotations beyond their dictionary definition. Cubs headlines almost always include upbeat words while Sox headlines tend to include words that either minimize any success or suggest impending doom.

It would be perfectly understandable for you not to have noticed it because it's subtle. What you say is true - we do "look" for stuff like this. But the fact that it's too subtle for the casual observer to notice doesn't mean it isn't there. Take a look back over the last two or three weeks of headlines and see if you don't see the pattern.

Vernam
07-01-2005, 04:56 PM
I read the headline this morning and figured I’d see talk about it today. I didn’t like it much, but I don’t work on the newspaper copy desk either. I changed it on our site.
By all rights, WSI members should just declare "game, set and match" after that concession by George. But we're having way too much fun to stop . . .

The attacks on the field were covered everywhere by everybody – the Chicago Tribune did not do more with this than anyone did. How does that make the Chicago Tribune biased? No one else made more of the Kreuter thing at Wrigley – so how is the Chicago Tribune biased by doing what everyone else did?

It's common knowledge that editorial decisions made at the New York Times have a ripple effect that's more like tsunami; what's on the front page of the Times is almost inevitably the lead story on that night's three network TV newscasts, on the cable news networks, and so on. The Tribune's influence around Chicago is exactly the same. Its editors decide what is and isn't news, not just in their paper, but in the city at large. Can you really claim that isn't true?

VC

Lip Man 1
07-01-2005, 05:21 PM
As always I appreciate my friend George coming on and giving his side. I don't agree with all of it but it still is appreciated that he's willing to come here to speak his mind.

I guess my only comment is this, if people like George and some of the other writers (to use a broad term) of the Tribune Compnay see how headlines can be an issue why isn't something done about it? Has George or someone like a Phil Rogers (just to use a name as an example, nothing implied...) ever gone to the 'headline' folks and asked 'why are you using these words in connection with the Sox?' or mentioned that 'at least a segment of our readers are noticing and questioning what is going on...'

I'd be curious what the headline folks have to say. Perhaps they are the ones who are biased and it's causing headaches for George and the regular writers.

Just a thought.

Lip

tebman
07-01-2005, 06:43 PM
...I’m not trying to convince anyone to buy the paper ... I just get tired of me and my colleagues being smeared by WSI’s broad brush and have chosen to speak up. And I don’t think you are cranks. I just think your own biases prevent you from seeing the Chicago Tribune through anything but Sox-colored glasses. Which means guilty until proven guilty.

Lastly, one of you says this: “George's whole premise seems to be that the newspaper has a holy moat around it that is never, ever, under any circumstances, breached by the rabble in the corporate business office.”

I wouldn’t phrase it quite that way because I don’t think people in the corporate business office are rabble, but yes, that’s it. The editorial department of the newspaper is an entity that maintains a distance from the rest of the company – including the Cubs. It is affected by business decisions – as noted above. But its job is not to be a corporate shill.

And it isn’t. And no one has asked it to be.

George Knue
ChicagoSports.com
I feel like I'm writing a note in a bottle because I don't know if George will be back. The valedictory he wrote has an air of fatigue. He, both for himself and on behalf of his paper, feels put-upon by our remarks and the belief we clearly have that the Chicago Tribune (newspaper) is influenced by the business imperatives of Tribune Company (corporation).

Throughout all of this thread it's been apparent to me that we see one thing and he sees another. This is one of M. C. Escher's optical-illusion drawings that illustrates for me what's going on here:

http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Museum/3828/rubinvase.gif
We look at it and see two faces staring at each other. George looks at it and sees a big shallow vase. "The Tribune has an inherent bias toward the Cubs," we say. "No we don't," says George, "and there is no way it could ever be because the editorial department is hermetically sealed off from the business concerns of the corporation."

I really believe George is sincere and takes pride in his work. Why else would he spend so much energy to deal with us? But precisely because he takes pride in his product, he should be deeply concerned with this whole question. There are so many more important matters going on: a divisive war, significant changes at the Supreme Court, a malignant economic deficit, just to name a few. And if the Chicago Tribune, a name its representatives speak with an imperious intake of breath, spends its credibility defending the ownership of a sports team, how are we expected to have confidence in its veracity for those topics that have real life-and-death significance?

The Tribune recently won a libel suit filed against it by a former prosecutor. He had been involved in the botched prosecution of the Nicarico murder case and the paper wrote about it. He didn't like it and sued. To its credit, the Tribune spent big money defending itself and won. In the late 1970s, "The Progressive" magazine planned to run an article on nuclear bomb construction that showed how easy it was to get information from common sources. The U.S. Justice Department got a court order to prevent publication. The Tribune jumped in the fray and published the article itself, and publicly dared the Justice Department to do something about it. Both of those are moments the paper should be proud of.

Why then do they futz around with a ball team and raise these questions? Because the parent company has Clear Channel envy and wants to be in the "information space." It already owns a couple dozen TV stations, but has been fighting the FCC and the courts for years to buy more. Colonel McCormick is long gone, but the corporate officers want to be in the same league with Rupert Murdoch. To do that they need a brand -- George says the Tribune is the flagship brand, and that's true for the company's newspapers. But the Cubs clearly are the flagship brand of the hugely profitable broadcast sports business.

George, I sincerely hope you can maintain that holy moat I referred to and keep the corporate rabble (my word, because it fits) out of your office. I see the movie "Network" being played out here, with the corporate directors muscling out the honest editors. We really are on your side in this.

We just want a level playing field. We're sports fans, after all.

Frater Perdurabo
07-01-2005, 07:05 PM
George, thank you for your earnest replies. Kuds to tebman and maurice for your excellent rebuttals, as well. I'll say it again:

:threadrules:

BainesHOF
07-02-2005, 12:43 AM
Today was not an isolated incident - only the most egregious example. Writing is your profession. You know better than anyone that words have connotations beyond their dictionary definition. Cubs headlines almost always include upbeat words while Sox headlines tend to include words that either minimize any success or suggest impending doom.

Exactly.

Just become some on this site take cheap shots at the Tribune and make unfair accusations, that does not mean the Tribune isn't guilty. It's bias for the Cubs and against the Sox has become apparent in recent years. If people who work at the Tribune don't know this, they need to take a step back and then be honest with themselves. Most people outside the Tribune view the bias as a given with good reason.

Nellie_Fox
07-02-2005, 01:02 AM
George:

I'm not original at all in asking this question. It's been asked in a hundred different ways in a thousand different threads on WSI. But it hasn't been asked here, and I don't really think you've addressed it.

What would the Tribune's coverage look like if the records of the Sox and Cubs were reversed? If the Cubs had the best record in baseball, and the Sox were struggling to stay in the wildcard hunt?

We here know what it would look like. The Trib (and all other Chicago media) would be doing headline stories, feature stories, historical stories, about the Cubs. The Cubs would be getting 95% of all sports coverage. The Sox would only get passing mention.

But this year, the best you can do is say that the coverage is about equal. Well, it shouldn't be. It should be overwhelmingly Sox coverage.

Go back and look at your own paper (or the others, I don't care) on the days after the Sox clinched their division. Compare it to the days after the Cubs either won their division or got the "wild card championship" (whatever the hell that is.) Then tell me whether you think there is a media bias in Chicago.

I've been told that the Cubs get more coverage because they're more popular. I ask you: chicken or egg?

Ol' No. 2
07-02-2005, 08:19 AM
We here know what it would look like. The Trib (and all other Chicago media) would be doing headline stories, feature stories, hysterical stories, about the Cubs. The Cubs would be getting 95% of all sports coverage. The Sox would only get passing mention.I think that's what you really meant, isn't it?

gosox41
07-02-2005, 08:27 AM
George:

I'm not original at all in asking this question. It's been asked in a hundred different ways in a thousand different threads on WSI. But it hasn't been asked here, and I don't really think you've addressed it.

What would the Tribune's coverage look like if the records of the Sox and Cubs were reversed? If the Cubs had the best record in baseball, and the Sox were struggling to stay in the wildcard hunt?

We here know what it would look like. The Trib (and all other Chicago media) would be doing headline stories, feature stories, historical stories, about the Cubs. The Cubs would be getting 95% of all sports coverage. The Sox would only get passing mention.

But this year, the best you can do is say that the coverage is about equal. Well, it shouldn't be. It should be overwhelmingly Sox coverage.

Go back and look at your own paper (or the others, I don't care) on the days after the Sox clinched their division. Compare it to the days after the Cubs either won their division or got the "wild card championship" (whatever the hell that is.) Then tell me whether you think there is a media bias in Chicago.

I've been told that the Cubs get more coverage because they're more popular. I ask you: chicken or egg?

I'll save George some time. After the 2003 Cub almost went the WS, the Tribune spent April/May and part of June of '04 doing the countdown to 100 victories.

Well George, were about half way through the season. There's a team in Chicago that could very well win 100+ games. Where's the coverage there?

Reminds me of a thread earlier this year where the Trib was ripped. In Sunday's paper they made a point of writing all these Sox articles in the Sports and in Sec. 1. Around that same time this was going on, Frank started his rehab. Yours truly (and others) posted here wondering if there's be a FT watch like there was a Prior watch. Low and behold there was.

Don't know if WSI had any effect on that. But we'll see if the Trin columnists could show some of their alleged baseball expertise as well as skills in simple math to see the Sox are on pace for 100+ victories. If things were truly fair, the Sox would be getting the same type of countdown the Cubs got in '04.



Bob