Chicagoans have a nose for BS, that somehow gets all plugged up when they enter the polling booth on election day. Almost any day other than election day the old collective snot-locker works just fine.
That is due to the fact that Chicagoans were blessed with real newsmen for so long. One could pick up one of any of the many news dailies and get the straight dope on what was going on -unvarnished, unparsed, nuance and agenda free reporting.
Like Chicago home-grown root beer, potato chips, ice cream and job security, accurate and BS free reporting is limited to a very few sources - The Tribune offers John Kass, Rick Kogan, Phil Rosenthal and Dennis Byrne on the opinion and information beat - these gents are the real deal with leather on the pavement experience reporting the news. The Sun tImes has only Steve Huntley and Mark Brown, but is blessed with great reporters like Natasha Korecki, Maureen O'Donnell, Steve Metsch, Tim Novak and Chris Fusco. The great Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Mark Konkol has moved on.
Rick Kogan is a great read and an even better listen - the man has pipes. Rick Kogan has the sexiest voice on radio. The only other voice sexier on the planet in my experience belonged to Barb Stegmiller. We tended bar at the old Reilly's Daughter in Oak Lawn before and during the Jimmy Carter Administration. Barb and I are contemporaries and moved along the same strands in the south side network - she is a daughter of St. Tommy More Parish, Queen of Peace High School and an alumna of ISU. Barb has a voice that Lauren Bacall would have murdered an orphanage full of toddlers to possess. Reilly's Daughter owner Boz O'Brien made an offer to Barb on behalf of male staff of several hundred dollars a month to call each of us periodically at 2,3, or 4 AM. " Hi . . .Pat, this is Barb . . .did I wake you? " Not to worry!!!!!!!!
Rick Kogan does exactly the same magic on female listeners and the odd gent to bats for the other side of the plate, every Sunday Morning on WGN and now on WBEZ. The deep, husky basso profundo words of welcome that links listeners to guests comes through the wires like a Wurlitzer Church Organ in Cologne Cathedral with E. Power Biggs hitting the keys.
More than Rick's great voice, his honest heart and head presents news of people with exacting detail to accuracy.
Rick Kogan's latest presentation is that of Chicago actor Danny Goldring - a guy with the Ashkenzim Irish mug - that combination of Celt & Viking Redheaded pallor that seems to charm and threaten simultaneously, unlike the more Sephardic Micks like me. Mr. Goldring is just one of the many great Chicago actors in the cast of "Boss" - Kelsey Grammer's brilliant mirror of Chicago politics. Kelsey Grammer has collected many of the best from Chicago stage Tony Mockus, Francis Guinan, Amy Morton and my personal favorite in the entire series -James Vincent Meredith as Alderman Ross.
Danny Goldring like most of the Chicago based and born cast has that familiar presence - we know this guy.
There is no BS to his character. He is a Chicagoan. Mr. Goldring plays the boyhood pal to Grammer's Mayor Tom Kane, former CPD homicide dick, conscience and saloon owner Ryan Kavanaugh. Mayor Kane came up through Streets and Sanitation and out of Bridgeport; He has gone away from what he was to the powerful monster that he has become. Goldring's Kavanaugh keeps him tethered to the roots.
Rick Kogan goes to the roots - a barbershop -to present this authentic and talented actor -
Look at that face in the photo and try to tell me that is not a great neighborhood face. Aging handsomely and full of life, it is the face of actor Danny Goldring — even the name is neighborhood perfect, Danny — sitting in the barbershop that he has visited with regularity for the last 20 years.
The guys, barbers and customers, at Alfredo's, at 833 N. State St., greeted the actor warmly last Saturday morning. Stories were swapped, a few wicked but well-meaning wisecracks filled the air, and fading photos of customers and barbers past lined the walls.
"I love this place," says Goldring. "It's old school. A lot of characters."
Boss presents an authentic portrait of Chicago politics - it is pure prose, tough quotidian, smelly, nasty and broad shouldered. Grudges are the grease of our government. Politics is the sport of mooches and career of geniuses. These days, Chicago politics is characterized by milquetoasts with power and feebs with cover: Could a ninny like Pat Quinn have been governor twenty years ago? Could a suburban grifter and name-dropper ever have gotten into the elevator to the Fifth Floor at City Hall, before Richie Daley sold off every asset and authentic apparatus in city government? I think not.
Chicagoans like authentic for the most part. That is why Ed Burke and Mike Madigan manage to do some good for people. while the milquetoasts gab on Chicago Tonight.
Kelsey Grammer has done more for political science than Thundering Dick Simpson is allowed to do.
We know BS and genuine PS when we see it.
Actors and newsmen men like Goldring and Kogan keep Chicago's nasal passages clear.