Ray Coffey should be the Standard for News writers and those who would call themselves Journalists. Ray's departure from the Chicago Sun Times was the starting gun for that paper's 90 degree plunge in credibility and honor. There might yet be hope for the Sun Times.
The Sun Times offered a sober look at the value of newspapers in yesterday's commentary.
No army of bloggers, no TV or radio station, no nonprofit journalism collective, no foundation-supported task force of political and government reporters will ever do the job so well.
The first Sun-Times exclusive hit the front page on Sunday: "Blago hit up Burris for cash." The reporters were Natasha Korecki, who covers the federal courts for the Sun-Times, and Dave McKinney, our Springfield bureau chief.
The real significance of that story was not that the brother of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich had asked Sen. Roland Burris for a sizable campaign contribution shortly before Blagojevich appointed Burris to Barack Obama's former Senate seat. No surprise there. That would be Blago's style.
The real story was that Burris had stated earlier in a Jan. 5 affidavit that he had talked to no one in the Blagojevich camp, and he had testified three days later at Blagojevich's impeachment trial that he had talked to just one person. More troubling, he never said a word about talk of money.
The real story, that is to say, is that Burris looks like a liar.
We know. That was why we quit buying the rag that bore the name - Sun Times. There are great newspaper people who have been chained to the oars of the Sun Times Sinking Ship Review for the last few years: Tim Novak, Steve Huntley, Dave McKinney, Natasha Korecki, and Kate Grossman. God love them. Tim Novak was like the Man in the Iron Mask during the last days of the Presidential Campaign. Maybe now, he can be let off the leash.
While the Sun Times has played at being a Revolutionary Organ committed to The Great Patriotic Proletarian Progress Paradee by Cheryl Reed, readers in my neighborhood and others in Chicago have pocketed the two-bit pieces.
My neighborhood, where crime happens due to the Thug Comfort Zone* that Sun Times helped create, has been insulted and caste as some kind of Third Reich Sculpture. The dampness on our backs is not rain or sweat but the dewy offerings of lazy writers and pop-eyed Advocacy nuts drawing pay from the Sun Times.
I was happy to see that the CEO and the publisher have taken their Golden Parachutes out of town.
Newspapers are essential to free Republic. Perhaps, the Sun Times will become one once again - now that the Jacobin Hat and Cap and Bells have been hung up on the hook.