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View Full Version : Tribune unwittingly helps fan expose Trib's Frank-hate


Frater Perdurabo
12-03-2005, 10:07 AM
In today's Tribune, Sox fan John Theriault rebuts Rick Morrissey's rip-job on Frank. To their credit, at least the Cubune editors had the decency to publish it.

Link (http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/chi-0512030112dec03,1,5942748.story?coll=chi-sportsnew-hed)

Thomas was such a cancer in the clubhouse, yet the Sox somehow won this year with him around. And if Rick Morrissey (Tribune, Dec. 2) thinks Thomas had nothing to do with the amazing run this year, then he is slanting toward clueless. Thomas' stretch, albeit a short one, was nothing short of amazing, especially given his medical condition. He murdered the ball on one leg and hustled more than a lot of players do on two good ones. The White Sox kept winning when Thomas was around, in large part because of him.

Here is a guy who never had an off-field problem with the law or run-ins with fans, has undeniable Hall of Fame numbers, will sign autographs for the fans who pay his salary and has never once wanted to leave for the almighty dollar. Any other town would have made this guy an icon.

But by printing this letter, the Cubune's editors exposed themselves as propagandizing frauds. They should have published another giant snail photo instead.

To build on Theriault's point, any other town's #1 newspaper would have done everything it could to ride Frank's HOF coattails. Any other town's #1 newspaper would realize that linking to Frank's coattails would be a moneymaker. The Tribune did this with Michael Jordan. How often did the Trib put Jordan on the front page of the paper, and how many more times did it put him on the front page of the sports section? The answer is, "as often as they could," even though Jordan reportedly could be surly, often didn't get along with some of his teammates and allegedly gambled on golf and card games with mobsters and criminals. Jordan was a star player, and borrowing Jordan's "name brand" sold more papers, increased circulation and drove up ad revenues.

So what's the difference? Why the slam-job on Frank? The Tribune editors aren't stupid. Rather, they are smart and they are human.

The Tribune newspaper has internalized it's role as a profit center within the corporation (despite George Knue's protests that the Tribune's journalism is isolated from business pressures). Tribune Company's corporate officers know, and the Tribune newspaper publishers and editors know, that the Tribune Corportation can even more successfully generate higher profits, and by extension pad their own retirement savings/pensions (through their 401Ks no doubt at least partially invested in Tribune Company stock) by generating fan interest in their corporate siblings (like the Cubs) while quietly tearing down the closest competition to their corporate siblings (like the White Sox) and their star player (Frank Thomas).

So, while more photos and glowing feature stories of Frank would drive up sales and perhaps subscriptions and ad revenues, the effect would be even greater if the Tribune built up their own corporate sibling. So, the Trib published more photos and glowing feature stories on the Cubs and their many faces through the years like Ron Santo, Harry Caray, Ryne Sandberg, Sammy Sosa, Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, Dusty Baker, Darren Baker, and even Dusty's toothpick. Driving people away from the Sox and towards the Cubs would generate profits both for the Tribune newspaper and for the Cubs, a Tribune Corporation sibling. It's synergy! This is not a conspiracy. A conspiracy is something clandestine or hidden from general knowledge by design. Rather, the Tribune's anti-Sox/anti-Frank bias and pro-Cubs bias are so blatantly obvious to all who simply look at the evidence and then understand the simple profit motive and human nature.

In fact, the best possible financial outcome for the Tribune Company in the baseball/entertainment business would be for the White Sox to disappear entirely from Chicago, because then the Cubs would have a monopoly on major league baseball in the #3 market in the country! What better way to work toward that end than to smear the #1 star and face of your competition, Frank Thomas. Nothing personal. Strictly business.

If I were the CEO of Tribune Company, with part of my personal fortune tied to my company's performance and stock price, hurting my competition (the Sox) would be part of my plan. If I were the publisher of the Tribune, hoping to keep my job, get a promotion and pad my retirement, I'd internalize this unspoken goal. If I were the editor of the Tribune, hoping to keep my job, get a promotion and pad my retirement, I'd internalize this objective as well. If I was a reporter for the Tribune, hoping to keep my job, get a promotion and pad my retirement, of course these unspoken pressures would influence how I did my job. Editors and reporters are human beings, woking to put food on the table, and any journalist who denies that they have unspoken but understood pressure to toe the company line need only look in the mirror and ask themselves if they would zealously investigate, for instance (hypothetically and hyperbolically to prove my point), rumors that the CEO had ties with the child porn industry.

If Frank somehow does not make the Hall of Fame, the sole cause will have been because the Tribune orchestrated a long-term smear campaign that grew exponentially when the Sun-Times (especially Jay Mariotti), other members of the Chicago media, and a large portion of the echo chamber national media jumped aboad the anti-Frank bandwagon by repeating the stories that the Tribune exaggerated and manipulated to shed the worst possible light on Frank. Colonel McCormick and Joseph Goebbels would be proud, but Sigmund Freud and Oprah would be sympathetic, too.

Rick Morrissey and George Knue, are you paying attention? I know it's hard to reconcile the canons of journalism with your need to put food on the table. That's why I left the business. I forgive you. We're only human, after all. Happy Holidays!

:wink:

RallyBowl
12-03-2005, 10:52 AM
(RallyBowl standing and clapping)

C-Dawg
12-03-2005, 10:52 AM
Wasn't it Morrissey who slammed Frank during the summer, back when he went on the DL for good amidst speculation that his career may truly be over? You know, the article that painted a negative brush throughout the whole Sox organization, by mentioning such unrelated things as a quote from Ozzie Guillen (in 1995) saying the ballpark is as quiet as a morgue.

Would they EVER write such a negative article about, say, Kerry Woods? Of course not. Its only the Sox they kick when they're down.

tebman
12-03-2005, 11:15 AM
Wasn't it Morrissey who slammed Frank during the summer, back when he went on the DL for good amidst speculation that his career may truly be over? You know, the article that painted a negative brush throughout the whole Sox organization, by mentioning such unrelated things as a quote from Ozzie Guillen (in 1995) saying the ballpark is as quiet as a morgue.

Would they EVER write such a negative article about, say, Kerry Woods? Of course not. Its only the Sox they kick when they're down.
Maybe Morrissey sees that there's a cloud of dust generated when Mariotti writes something like that, so he tries to pile on. I don't think he could aspire to be Mariotti though -- Morrissey can actually write.

Your question about Wood is rhetorical, of course. Wood is a Tribune house pet, going on display on the TV and radio stations and with feature pieces in the newspaper. No doubt we'll one day see a lifetime statistics table showing his record in all his simulated games.

Frater, your outrage is palpable and I salute the well-reasoned argument you've made here. I once referred to the Tribune as a house of mirrors in which it continually admires itself and its Borg-like ways, but my view is that of a news consumer who smells something fishy. Your experience in the business gives us all a much richer view of how this works. Thanks.

TheVulture
12-03-2005, 11:18 AM
.

^
^
^
what he said

Frater Perdurabo
12-03-2005, 11:26 AM
I once referred to the Tribune as a house of mirrors in which it continually admires itself and its Borg-like ways...

That's an excellent analogy, Tebman!
:wink:

Dan Mega
12-03-2005, 11:38 AM
Maybe Morrissey sees that there's a cloud of dust generated when Mariotti writes something like that, so he tries to pile on. I don't think he could aspire to be Mariotti though -- Morrissey can actually write.

Not to defend him but Mariotti at least wrote one good article about Frank after the steroids hearings. His article was regarding the fact that Frank has been able to put up those kinds of numbers without ever having to get on the juice. In his opinion, that alone should get him into the hall of fame.

Morrissey is a Cub loving idiot. But since integrity isn't in his journalism dictionary, he works for the Tribune.

CaptainBallz
12-03-2005, 11:46 AM
Caveat Emptor.

And that's that.:rolleyes:

WestSox
12-03-2005, 11:55 AM
:threadrules:

kevin57
12-03-2005, 01:00 PM
Frater...

:bandance:
:Rocker:

:thumbsup: