The New York Times today made national what was reported in Chicago media circles for months regarding the frat house antics at Tribune Tower.
David Carr had a front-page story in the newspaper regarding the dysfunctional nature that has become the Tribune Co., since Sam Zell bought the company in an ill-fated $8.2 million buyout in 2007 with Tribune Chump Egomaniac Officer Randy “Court Jester” Michaels tipping waitresses to show their breasts, sexual shenanigans on the Tribune Tower balconies, poker parties in boardrooms, and Lee Abrahms sending out non-sensible and rambling memos.
Welcome to the Wacky World of Tribune Tower.
Of course, the story touched on how Tribune management has alienated audiences, clients, advertisers, and the like since Zell the Ziphead and Co. took over – you know, how the Chicago Tribune has become nothing but a Weekly World News clone, the butchering of WGN Radio, The Los Angeles Times’ front page filled with ads for NBC shows, etc.(is Lee Abrams is getting his ideas from Jeff Zucker?)
And when the story came out, Randy “Court Jester” Michaels sent an e-mail to employees, telling them to “Ignore the Noise from the New York Times Story”, apparently using the advice he read in the “covering your ass” playbook.
But what’s more galling is the number of old cronies related to Zell filling jobs they’re not qualified for (isn’t this what goes on in Chicago politics?) and laying off thousands in the process, not to mention allegations of fraud by Tribune’s creditors, who are trying to take over the company, which is mired in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
And all of this while the Chicago Tribune – once the benchmark of quality journalism in the Windy City – is urging its readers (if any left) to fight corruption in City Hall and on the Cook County Board and launched Tribune Watchdog, which is about as fake as Kim Kardashian’s breasts.
So, should we seriously take a company who talks about ethics in government while it lacks those same ethics in the corporate boardrooms?
Hell to the no.
Instead of Standing Guard for Chicago – the Tribune Watchdog’s slogan should read Standing Guard for Chicago While Our Execs Line Their Pockets With Bonuses.