T Dog Media Think Tank: Grow Up, Chicago

I have a feeling we’re going to lose that Olympic bid.

And we have the usual people to thank. North. Ozzie. Mariotti. CBS Radio. The Sun-Times. Daley.

It was worst enough when 5 people were shot on a CTA bus (one of them died) on the South Side and a 7-year old was killed in East Chicago (Ind.), all caught in the crossfire of gang violence recently, and both stories made national headlines.

And now this – and one that would wind up being the biggest Chicago media embarrassment since Jerry Springer set foot in WMAQ-TV’s news room.

Link: Radio daze: Guillen tunes in, lashes out (dead link)

For one thing, the staff at WSCR-AM knew they should have used the dump button on The Mike North Show, or at least, put it on delay. They did neither. The management at CBS Radio should be held accountable, and if WSCR gets fined by the FCC, they deserve every bit of it. Have they learned any lessons from the Imus debacle?

And as for Ozzie, he should have known better. Period. As a White Sox fan, I love him to death. As a person writing this think tank for media professionals, he needs to grow up and stop embarrassing the South Side – we already have Englewood for that. (No offense to the people of Englewood.) Chicago Bears Coach Lovie Smith has proven that someone can manage a team successfully with class – why can’t he?

Ozzie’s not going to apologize, so if Mike North loses his job over this, and the FCC fines the station, they should sue Ozzie and take him to the bank. I know I would.

And yes, those snakes at the Parents Television Council and the American Family Association will seize every opportunity to get publicity out of this.

And don’t get started on The Sun-Times and Mariotti. They are an embarrassment enough.

This pretty much reflects the sad state of business in both radio and baseball. One, is a dying medium that is losing listeners due to inept decisions in management (commercials, bad music, Imus, etc.) Another is a dying sport whose television ratings (and attendance) get lower each year, has a major steroids problem, and not to mention Barry Bonds’ pursuit of Hank Aaron’s homerun record.

And as for Chicago, this couldn’t have come at a worst time when the city’s image is suffering worldwide, with bad publicity from the shootings, some Bears’ fans cruelness toward the city of New Orleans, and local politicians who think it’s more important to rid foie gras from the streets instead of guns.

And to top it all off, with Ed Vrdolyak getting indicted last week, we were subjected to clips from the “Council Wars” days, when he argued with his arch nemesis, former Mayor Harold Washington, which coined Chicago “Beirut on the Lake.”

Even the Imus story got a Chicago connection when Rev. Jesse Jackson got involved.

How are we supposed to land an Olympics if we have people – from gangbangers running around with guns, to radio hosts who can’t keep their mouth shut, from newspapers who sell the city out for a buck to sports figures who can’t keep their mouth shut, from inept management from all levels of local government to our local media outlets -to rabid fans who get carried away – who act like complete idiots?

There are too many people who get carried away with their emotions over everything from Cubs-Sox to politics, and it makes the Chicago area look bad around the world. But does anyone behind this care? Hell, no. Improving the city’s image is farthest from these people’s minds.

We’re already known for Capone, Mariotti, Jerry Springer, racial segregation, and massive corruption. If Daley thought Chicago was a laughingstock only because of a foie gras law, he’d better think again. Obviously, he hasn’t lived here 50-plus years.

There are people in other cities in this country who would rather see a foreign city land the Olympics than Chicago. Think about that for a moment. So much for American pride. I guess it stops when it comes to Chicago (and probably San Francisco.)

Chicago, we’re supposed to be a world-class city. Act like it.

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