Saturday, July 23, 2011

Beachwood Reporter Steve Rhodes - Steel Spine, Razor Wit and Massive Heart

Steve Rhodes is a paragon. I get on Steve's nerves over my skepticism concerning the near universal acceptance that Jon Burge tortured every black man who stepped into Area 2 ( Old and New). Unlike most folks beyond my Zipcode, I believe that the entire Monster Burge Mythology is just that and the truth of what happened is buried under mountains of bullshit. I get Steve as sore as boil on this issue, but that is as nothing to what my presence and performance art has on most people I love. I am a good-natured pain-in-the-ass at times. Many times.

Steve Rhodes writes, edits and publishes, what I believe to be the best news and opinion post in Chicago, if not the whole damned country.

Rhodes has a nose for cant and singular moral code that escapes most of our more iconic Media creatures - Steve Rhodes is a power iconoclast. He lives integrity. Some time ago Steve Rhodes abandoned a lucrative post as an editor of NBC's Chicago website, and remained fastened to the mast of Truth. His monetary ship sank, but the juggernaut of Rhodesian Integrity still cuts through the waves of journalistic bullshit. In 2009, Steve Rhodes resigned as editor for NBC ( from Mike Miner of the Chicago Reader)

Rhodes explains why he left. It came down to a lack of trust and a lack of respect; Rhodes focuses on one post, about Randy Michaels succeeding Sam Zell as CEO of the Tribune Company, that he says NBC took down, and another post, about the suicide of Michael Scott, that it never put up. He writes that he couldn't get a straight answer about what the problem with the Michaels post was, but an NBC exec said the Michaels post "didn't meet the standards of the NBC brand." The post recalled an old lawsuit that alleged Michaels "roamed his old Clear Channel offices with a 'flexible rubber penis' tied around his neck" and accused him of "a host of other crude rituals."

Didn't meet standards? Rhodes doesn't buy that. He writes, "The Michaels post was partly about sexual harassment, not sex. It wasn't arted with yet another montage of cleavage that has become so familiar on the [NBC] site over the past few months."

As for the Scott post, Rhodes writes that he told it was "scotched because [Scott] was a friend of a high-ranking station official here in Chicago who had been 'ruffled' by the coverage of Scott's death."

Rhodes being Rhodes, he writes with a lot of heat and a fair amount of invective. He asserts at one point, "I didn't use names in this piece because I don't really intend this as a 'tell-all;' instead, to me, it's another in an incredibly long line of tales about journalism and its discontents. It's a sick, diseased industry that can't seem to get past the basics of what it is and what it's supposed to do.

This week, Steve Rhodes presents genuine analysis of the news concerning our President, his peeps, his foes and his handling of the Debt Crisis. It is his conclusion concerning lobbyists and the Obama Brand that is a masterstroke:

"The cynics, the lobbyists, the special interests who've turned our government into a game only they can afford to play," said then-Sen Obama in his February 2007 announcement speech. "They get the access while you get to write a letter . . . The time for that kind of politics is over."

Yes. Now we won't even read your letters!

"Nearly 80 percent of those who collected more than $500,000 for Obama took 'key administration posts,' as defined by the White House" iWatchNews reports. "More than half the ambassador nominees who were bundlers raised more than half a million.

"The big bundlers had broad access to the White House for meetings with top administration officials and glitzy social events. In all, campaign bundlers and their family members account for more than 3,000 White House meetings and visits."

Waiting for Superman
It's not the debt ceiling I'm worried about, it's the bullshit ceiling. Why do we keep raising that?

Click my post title for more Rhodes!

If you want the Truth, go to Steve Rhodes. He will tell you when you are a pain-in-the-ass. If you are not reading Beachwood Reporter, you should. If you are a philanthropist with a genuine love of good writing and analysis write a big check to Steve Rhodes.

If you are not any of the above, change.

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