Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Media Spotlight--April 22

Every weekday in 2014, I'll be keeping an eye on what's happening in the media. My focus will be on some of my favorite subjects...the moguls, the pundits, the broadcast news biz, show business, and the publishing business. (Read "$everance" if you want a crystallization of my positions on those subjects.) And, of course, I'll also keep tabs on Chicago's media.

The Moguls

~Jeff Bezos Net Worth Takes A Dive
I don't want to brag, but my little internet publishing company Eckhartz Press has made me $6 billion more than amazon has made Jeff Bezos so far this year. That, my friends, is an absolutely true statement.

~Comcast Bucks Industry Trend By Adding Customers
Bloomberg's story about Comcast leaves out one little thing: One of the ways they are doing this is by crushing their competitors. Believe me, people aren't flocking to Comcast because they love it. They often are reduced to only having one choice.

The Pundits

~Jon Stewart Takes Down Sean Hannity
And his completely inexplicable love of the thieving rancher. These are my favorite Daily Show bits. Taking the person in question's own words and showing them how randomly they argue their points to suit their political agenda at the moment...

~John Oliver's Show Debuts This Weekend on HBO.
I've already set the DVR.

Broadcast News

~Forner CBS Reporter Claims Bias
Sharyl Attkisson says that CBS News has a liberal bias...and she used to work there. I think this is a fair charge. Obviously this sort of thing doesn't rise to the heights that Fox News takes it (CBS News still, for instance, fact checks, abides by the rules of journalism, and corrects errors when they are made), but it's still not good...
“The tendency on the part of some of these managers who have key influences has been they never mind the stories that seem to … go against the grain of the Republican Party,” Attkisson told “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter yesterday. “But they do often seem to feel defensive about, almost, personally defensive on stories that could make the government look bad.”

How Much Do You Hate People?

I thought I would score higher on this quiz.

I got a 22. Here's the results: "You only sort of hate people. Sometimes. When they’re being the worst. And that’s perfectly natural. You don’t put up with any nonsense but you’re probably not a dick."

A Nesting Falcon

Thanks for this incredible nature shot, "DM"...

Dylan Gardner Rocks Out

The son of Landecker & the Legends guitarist Mark Gardner is a superstar in the making. He's only 17. This is the official first single from his debut album...

Randy Richardson Book Signing

Just One Bad Century--April 22

When the Hawks game was getting too tense for me last night, I was flipping back to the Cubs, and for once...it calmed me down. Nice victory last night against the Diamondbacks.

Today on JOBC, we go back to opening day 1908. This Week in 1908 tells the tale of how that game went, as well as what else was going on in the world 106 years ago this week.

Today's Cubs birthdays feature a World Series winning manager (who played for the Cubs), the most common name in Cubs history (three different players had this name), and a guy who pulled off an unassisted triple play. That play can be seen at the A/V Club.

Today in Wrigley History goes back to 1938 and 1965. The Daily Herald's Mike Imren lists his top five favorite childhood Wrigley memories.

Today's historical event is the first Earth Day in 1970. Where were the Cubs?

In the latest Cubs news: The Cub's top pitching prospect Kyle Hendricks is dealing in Iowa. The future looks bright. Right?

Monday, April 21, 2014

The "Lost in the Ivy" Book-Launch Party

Lost in the Ivy Cover

You won't want to miss our special book launch party for the Eckhartz Press book "Lost in the Ivy." Celebrate the release of the all-new, revised edition of Randy Richardson's Wrigleyville murder mystery at Murphy's Bleachers, a baseball throw away from Wrigley Field.

Here are the details:

The Date: Friday, May 9, 2014 from 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
The Location: Murphy's Bleacher's, 3655 N Sheffield Ave (right outside Wrigley)
Admission: $20 ($25 at the door) - includes 1 signed copy of Lost in the Ivy, appetizers and drinks (beer, wine, and soft drinks). Buy your advance tickets here.

There will be door prizes and trivia contests for Cubs tickets, T-shirts and books.

Come one, come all!

Today's Best Tweets--April 21

Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...

Len Kasper ‏@LenKasper 1m
The game I love needs some tweaks: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20140420/sports/140429886/ …

Slate ‏@Slate 4m
Why people are freaking out over General Mills' new legal policy: http://slate.me/1h5qnOu pic.twitter.com/Pcw5vb8Y4v

Deadspin ‏@Deadspin 5m
RT @DSconcourse In praise of unhinged (and underrated) late-night king Craig Ferguson http://deadsp.in/7M7RnwX

Hub Arkush ‏@Hub_Arkush 5m
The Bears' history drafting quarterbacks isn't pretty, and they don't need to take one this year. My column: http://shawurl.com/14c1

Andy Shaw ‏@AndyShawBGA 7m
Study: Rahm's pension plan will seriously cost taxpayers and retirees, but not doing anything could be worse http://bit.ly/1lvLdL0

CBS Chicago ‏@cbschicago 8m
After one of the most brutal winters ever, the Easter weekend weather was one of the warmest on record. http://cbsloc.al/1nCIHzB

Talking Points Memo ‏@TPM 10m
New study from Princeton spells bad news for American democracy—namely, that it no longer exists: http://bit.ly/1mrUYH4

Chet Coppock ‏@ChetCoppock 14m
#Cubs vs.,#Arizona tonight at the #FriendlyConfines. if that isn't grounds for a rain out I don't know what is.

Groovyhoovy ‏@Groovyhoovy 15m
Blackhawks need to win tonight. The longer hockey can eat into the baseball season, the better. LET'S GO HAWKS!

More on the news that sources have told @ESPNFC that the sacking of David Moyes by Manchester United is "imminent."

Media Spotlight--April 21

Every weekday in 2014, I'll be keeping an eye on what's happening in the media. My focus will be on some of my favorite subjects...the moguls, the pundits, the broadcast news biz, show business, and the publishing business. (Read "$everance" if you want a crystallization of my positions on those subjects.) And, of course, I'll also keep tabs on Chicago's media.

Chicago Media

~Afternoon Radio Ratings
Robert Feder posted the top ten over the weekend. My personal choice for afternoon drive is on the list. By the way, I like the way Feder is posting these regularly now. His column is still must-reading for Chicago media types (including me).

Broadcast News

~Meet the Press Keeps On Sliding
It's number 3 in the ratings right now after dominating for many years. Articles like this one should be making David Gregory very nervous.

~The Clinton Conspiracy Memo
Remember when Hillary talked about the vast right wing conspiracy (when she was First Lady). Here's the memo that made her think that. And, based on my nearly twenty years of researching this very topic, it's exactly correct. I'm not making a judgement on whether or not the information being transmitted is accurate or not (that is always debatable), but the way it is distributed (as described in this memo) is simply the way it is distributed to broadcast news outlets. It's a fact. (It's also the basis of a good chunk of $everance). The only thing that has changed since this memo came out is that the left wing does it now too. (Using the exact same methodology)

The Moguls

~As the Rupert Turns
Another day, another lawsuit paid off. This time it was Rupert's "Sun on Sunday", and the victim was comedian Russell Brand.

The Radio Biz

~Ryan Seacrest Looking to Expand Role at Clear Channel
That's what the Hollywood Reporter is reporting today. Sounds like he's going to drop some of his TV gigs to focus on more radio (which is where the real money is for him, believe it or not).

~Randi Rhodes Ends Her National Radio Program
The talk show's last day on the air will be May 16. It had been distributed by Premiere.

Kermit & Fozzie Improv

From 1979. This is really cool...

A night at the bar

Thanks to "FC" for this one. I can relate...

Just One Bad Century--April 21

I didn't get a chance to watch the beloved this weekend, but I can read box scores and standings. They stand at 5-11. Not so good. But...but...um...bright side, bright side, think bright side...well, they had some beautiful weather. Oh, here's something else. The Diamondbacks come to town tonight, and they are also off to a terrible start. Maybe we can actually win a series.

This Week in Wrigley History goes back to 1950 and 1959. Two incredible Cubs pitching performances. (Don't forget--the 100th anniversary of the ballpark is this Wednesday. I'll be there)

Today's Cubs Birthdays at JOBC feature one of the most colorful players in Chicago history, plus a Hall of Famer, and two relief pitchers (one from the 20s and one from 80s).

The A/V Club features a clip from a movie that debuted 25 years ago today...Field of Dreams. People will come, Ray.

Today's Historical event was the death of the Red Baron in 1918. Where were the Cubs? Also, there's a full bonus-feature writeup on an event that happened on this day in 1986--The opening of Al Capone's vault.

This week in 1945 was posted over the weekend. It was the last stand for a bad guy in Germany, but the Cubs had a very good week. If you missed it over the weekend, it was the anniversary of the Cubs first televised game yesterday (1946), and there was also an interesting Cubs birthday: A Supreme Court Justice.

As for the latest Cubs news: There could be some late inning relief help on the way from Daytona before the end of the season (and a good one too), and here are four other players that might be up to the big club before the end of the season.

Gotta look to the future, Cubs fans. We should be used to that by now.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Have a Nice Easter Weekend!

I'm taking the Easter weekend off from blogging.

Just One Bad Century will update all weekend, but this space will remain holy. I'll be back in the blogging seat on Monday.

Have a nice holiday weekend!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday.

1992. Ebony ( Stan Lawrence) and Ivory (me...looking very Ivory) at a personal appearance of some kind for AM 1000.

Broadcaster Makes Worst Jobs List Again

It's become an annual tradition. Among the worst jobs in 2014...Broadcaster.

I've been out of the game for a decade, but it still bums me out.

Funny Across Political Spectrum

Thanks to JK for sending this...

The Worst Possible Way To Attempt Suicide

A rapper in LA from a group founded by Wu Tang Clan, cut off his own penis and then jumped from a second story balcony, trying to commit suicide. TMZ has the story.

He's still alive.

Although, it's very possible he will die of embarrassment when he finds out the news has gone nationwide. The penis thing is a sure headline grabber--you don't even need to be in a semi-famous rap group to have that part of the story reported. The second floor balcony is just the icing on top. There isn't a newscast in America that will be able to resist reporting this news.

Just One Bad Century--April 17

Well, I will say this about the Cubs yesterday. They pounded out nine hits. Granted, they played two games, and they didn't score a single run, but they did get nine hits. And the pitching didn't stink. Whoo boy, this 'cup is half-full' stuff (my new year's resolution) is hard. How do people do this?

We've got a new "This Week's Historical Events" posted at Just One Bad Century. Lots of fun stories there. Today's historical event goes back to 1964...the day that Ford revealed the first Mustang. Where were the Cubs?

Today in Wrigley Field historywill tell you about the best opening day performance in the ballpark's history...a one-hit shutout. Also, find out what happened in 1951, 1954, 1962, and 1973. The star of 1951 is featured in the A/V Club.

Today's Cubs birthdays features the greatest player in Cubs history (not named Ernie). He and Ernie are linked forever thanks to the birthday boy's shameful legacy. Five other Cubs are also featured, including a player from the first Cubs season at Wrigley, another from the 1929 pennant winners, plus Deerfoot, Baby, and Morrie.

In today's Cubs news, Alfonso Soriano was interviewed and did a real nice job of explaining the difference between playing for the Cubs and the Yankees. (By the way, in an ironic twist, the highest paid Cub this year was playing DH for the Yankees yesterday). Also, Carlos Zambrano suffered another loss in Chicago. This time it wasn't on the field. It was in the real estate market. Turns out his real estate timing in Chicago was about as bad as you can get. Are there kids in Chicago today who will look back fondly on the Soriano/Zambrano era? I actually think they will.

Dylan Gardner

Dylan is the son of Mark Gardner, former guitarist of Landecker & the Legends, and The Kind before that. When he was born we announced his birth on the air at WJMK.

Well, the youngster is 17 now, and has a record deal (album officially coming out soon). As you'll see in this video, he's got talent. As a tribute to the Beatles break-up anniversary (which was last week), he recorded this medley of Abbey Road hits. The Huffington Post headline says: Teen Covers The Beatles' 'Abbey Road' Using 15 Instruments

Here's the video...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Ten Best Places to Poop in Downtown Chicago

I kid you not. Somebody has put together a list.

Something to keep in mind if you run into a downtown emergency. The Blackstone hotel is #1:
"The Blackstone’s d├ęcor is from a marvelously stylized noir, and it tunnels down into this nearly unused facility in the lower lobby. A dramatic molding crowns over a sea of black and white marble, ebony wood walls, and a light quatrefoil wallpaper while melodies of a Pitchfork playlist call out softly from the unseen distance. It’s easy to sink into this surrounding, but don’t get carried away – the overhead lights are on a motion sensor and you might get left in the dark."

Today's Best Tweets--April 16

Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...

Rolling Stone ‏@RollingStone 16s
10 New Wave secrets finally revealed: the hidden history of Morrissey's shirts, Mike Score's hair and more: http://rol.st/1gG7cL0

Taegan Goddard ‏@politicalwire 3m
Study finds ideology may not be entirely to blame for congressional dysfunction. Lawmakers may just be jerks.
http://wonkwire.rollcall.com/2014/04/16/personality-explains-lawmaker-behavior/ …

The Daily Beast ‏@thedailybeast 12m
A longshot challenger to Speaker of the House John Boehner is trying to use penis jokes to win election http://thebea.st/1h0mzJP

David Corn ‏@DavidCornDC 14m
"Retard." "Little bitch." "F**kers." New audio tapes show NM GOP Gov. Susana Martinez & aides behind closed doors http://mojo.ly/1t8WOki

Slate ‏@Slate 18m
The story of the elite prostitutes of 18th-century Paris and the detectives who tracked them: http://slate.me/1h1TT3a pic.twitter.com/DdgNzE08mY

The New York Times ‏@nytimes 4m
Gefilte fish is scarce this Passover. Taste buds are ambivalent http://nyti.ms/1kxZiob

Al Yellon ‏@bleedcubbieblue 8m
RT @carriemuskat: According to reports from NY, #Cubs will tweak rotation vs #Reds: Samardzija Fri, Jackson Sat, Villanueva Sun

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ‏@kaj33 32m
Today is my 67th bday & I want my fans to know only my jersey is retired. My next gig: Columnist, LA Register

Deadspin ‏@Deadspin 20m
Listen to Vin Scully tell a famous story about Jackie Robinson: http://deadsp.in/k74YzlW

Ben Bradley ‏@BenBradleyABC7 26m
"One can accept money without it being a bribe" -A rather novel defense from attorney Sheldon Sorosky on Rep Derrick Smith's bribery charge

Media Spotlight--April 16

Every weekday in 2014, I'll be keeping an eye on what's happening in the media. My focus will be on some of my favorite subjects...the moguls, the pundits, the broadcast news biz, show business, and the publishing business. (Read "$everance" if you want a crystallization of my positions on those subjects.) And, of course, I'll also keep tabs on Chicago's media.

Chicago Media

~Don Bouloukos Reitres
The former WLS executive has been in New York. From today's Tom Taylor column:
Don started in Chicago as an account executive at WLS in 1974. Five years later, he was the VP/GM of both WLS (890) and its sister at 94.7 and he soon moved to New York as VP/Operations for the proud ABC radio station group. He became President of CapCities/ABC Radio stations in 1986 and held that job for a decade – until he joined Steve Dodge and folks like John Gehron and David Pearlman at American Radio Systems. That was sold to CBS in 1998 (a lot of ARS folks had a nice payday), and Bouloukos stayed on with CBS until 2002. He left for a year, came back in Philly, and has been running New York for Dan Mason since 2007. Now we get to the retirement news – Don says “after 41 years, it’s time.”

The Moguls

~As the Rupert Turns
Today's installment features former Rupert editor (and British PM spokesperson) Andy Coulson testifying to save his own skin. The headline reads: Andy Coulson 'Shocked News Of The World Reporter Listened To David Blunkett Voicemails Over Affair'. (Shocked!) He published the story anyway, but he was dutifully shocked before he published it.

~The Washington Post Backs the Comcast/Time Warner Merger
Thanks so much, Washington Post. Yes, they have a few suggested conditions, but when the establishment starts giving a wink and a nod that they won't attack if it's approved, it's not a good sign.

Broadcast News

~Scott Pelley Seeking Big Raise
You can understand why. He makes a piddly $5 million a year. And by the way, his numbers are going down.

~Vice Reporter Smokes Joint While Interviewing Uruguay President
There's a reason for it. Uruguay has legalized pot. But still...


Colbert to Appear on Letterman
The date has been set. April 22nd. Now my DVR needs to be set.

Total Eclipse of the Moon

Time-lapse of the blood moon, and a wacky song about it. Check it out here.

Is AC/DC Breaking Up?

Say it ain't so! That's what this piece in the Huffington Post claims.

Malcolm is ill, and the band has made a vow not to replace any more members.

They've been together for more than 40 years.

Flight Attendant Comedian

Are You A Music Snob?

I took this test, and no, I'm not a snob.

But I am a nerd.

Here's the result: How Much Of A Music Snob Are You? You checked off 33 out of 100 on this list! You’re a major music nerd, and most people in your life consider you to be an expert. You’re very committed, but there’s some lines you don’t cross.

Just One Bad Century--April 16

Yesterday's game with the Yankees was rained out, so they will play two games at Yankees Stadium today. It's a day/night doubleheader. Let's play two, Ernie!

Today on JOBC we go back to the year after Ernie retired. On this day in Wrigley History, a young rookie pitcher tossed a no-hitter. His catcher was Randy Hundley, and he talks about that game at the A/V Club.

Today's Historical Event is the launching of Apollo 16 at Cape Canaveral. Where were the Cubs?

There are five Cubs featured at Today's Cubs Birthdays. Read about the lesser known Babe, the lesser known Sewell brother, the Octypus, a catcher with a very odd record, and a cup of coffee from the 1950s.

As for the latest Cubs news, our top prospect Javy Baez is hurt (ankle injury), and it sounds like he has been having a very rough go of it at Triple A. Darnell McDonald, who ended last season on the Cubs, has retired and was hired by the Cubs to help out in the front office. Kent Sterling has obviously not taken my cup is half full pledge based on his piece about the Cubs. He brings up some great points about the Cardinals vs. the Cubs, but again, half-full Rick is simply going to put his hands over his ears and say "blah blah blah" right now.

Potholes in the News

He's done it again. David Stern's pothole store is now in the Chicago Tribune. Read it here. (If you get the actual newspaper, it's on page 3, above the fold)

We have a new motto over at Just One Bad Century Inc: There's no such thing as a stupid idea.

Once again, enjoy some pothole music...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


You knew I was going to do it, but I thought I'd post this version from the Concert for George. Tom Petty's version of the great George Harrison/Beatles song...

Today's Best Tweets--April 15

Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...

Yankees PR Dept. ‏@YankeesPR 11m
Tonight's Yankees-Cubs game is postponed & will be played tomorrow (4/16) at 1:05pm as the first game of a separate-admission, day-night DH

Barry Butler ‏@barrybutler9 3h
Tax Day Tuesday in That Toddlin' Town @ChooseChicago @WeatherNation @HuffPostChicago @TimeOutChicago #Chicago pic.twitter.com/MuHe8mPvrH

NPR's Planet Money ‏@planetmoney 26m
Here's how some of the toughest tax collectors in the world motivate citizens to pay up: http://n.pr/1kRRv2T pic.twitter.com/KLF8OPGF8H

ThinkProgress ‏@thinkprogress 1m
Prominent Republican says women need to be paid less so they can find good husbands http://thkpr.gs/1n8ZXz3

Slate ‏@Slate 10m
How a #failedintellectual became one of Twitter's favorite nihilists: http://slate.me/1kX6cGd pic.twitter.com/QV4p1Z1Izi

MLB ‏@MLB 4h
Today, we celebrate an #icon. #Jackie42 pic.twitter.com/AxXXlFGRTU

GB Baseball ‏@GB_Baseball 4h
"I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me. All I ask is that you respect me as a human being." #Jackie42 pic.twitter.com/LTAXgSLRQv

The Associated Press ‏@AP 20m
BREAKING: Heavy gunfire heard at airport in eastern Ukraine after troops move against pro-Russia militia

PBS ‏@PBS 41m
TONIGHT: @kenburns's The Address uncovers how Lincoln's historic words motivate students even today http://to.pbs.org/1eqGXUx #TheAddressPBS

Jimmy Greenfield ‏@jcgreenx 2m
Gefilte Fish is the matzo of sushi. #passoverrealizations

Media Spotlight--April 15

Every weekday in 2014, I'll be keeping an eye on what's happening in the media. My focus will be on some of my favorite subjects...the moguls, the pundits, the broadcast news biz, show business, and the publishing business. (Read "$everance" if you want a crystallization of my positions on those subjects.) And, of course, I'll also keep tabs on Chicago's media.

Chicago Media

~Chicago Radio Ratings
The very latest, courtesy of Tom Taylor:
The rough Winter’s generally over, and that drops CBS Radio’s all-news WBBM (plus its FM simulcast) to second place, 6.2-6.6-6.1. #1 is Clear Channel’s urban AC “V103” WVAZ, 6.0-6.5-6.5. Third place is held (barely) by Hubbard’s hot AC “Mix” WTMX, 4.9-5.0-4.9, ahead of Clear Channel CHR “Kiss” WKSC, 4.2-4.5-4.8. That’s the best share for Kiss since August 2012, in a format that often performs better in the warm Summer months. CBS rival “B96” WBBM-FM is off, 4.1-3.8-3.6. Cumulus has a winner in WKQX (2.8-2.6-3.0), restoring alt-rock to the 101.1 frequency it’s LMA’ing from Merlin. (That should convert to a purchase in 2015.) Top-rated talk station is Tribune’s WGN, 4.0-3.7-3.8 (praying for a decent Cubs season). Cumulus talker WLS stays in its range, 2.1-2.2-2.0. In sports, there’s CBS Radio’s “Score” WSCR, 2.6-2.0-2.0 and Disney’s “EPSN 1000” WMVP, 1.7-1.4-1.7. Tribune’s just-out-of-the-box Channel 6 audio “Game” XGWG (in Nielsen parlance) dips 0.6-0.6-0.3. Surging CHR “Kiss” attracts the most Chicago cume at about 2.35 million.

~Jerry Schnake Let Go By Hubbard
Robert Feder has the details about the vice president and market manager of Hubbard Radio Chicago, who was fired in a surprising move yesterday. Schnake oversaw the Mix, the Drive, and whatever they are calling Rewind these days. By all accounts, he was doing a good job. This is a bit of a head scratcher for me.

The Moguls

~Twitter's Co-Founders Aren't Cashing Out...Yet
In May they'll be able to turn their paper fortune into a real cash one, but they say they aren't going to do that. At least not yet.

~As the Rupert Turns
Former Rupert editor (and Prime Minister Cameron spokesperson) Andy Coulson testified yesterday. Rupert's own American paper (the Wall Street Journal) reports on that testimony at the link. The story kind of glosses over the details of what Coulson knew, but it does provide some rather in-depth discussion of the affair Coulson had with Rebekkah Brooks, who is also on trial. (Anybody still wonder why I have given this ongoing story the soap-opera-like title "As the Rupert Turns")

The Pundits

~Lawrence O'Donnell injured in a traffic accident
Here's the statement from MSNBC: “Lawrence O’Donnell and his brother Michael were injured in a taxi accident on Saturday while vacationing out of the country. They were transported back to the US – Lawrence to NYC and Michael to Boston. They are both under the care of doctors and expected to make a full recovery. Lawrence will be off from MSNBC for several weeks as he recuperates. Our thoughts and support are with the O’Donnell family and we look forward to having Lawrence back on the air soon.”


~Pulitzer Prize Winners Announced
The full list is at the the link. There are no Chicago winners. The Washington Post won two, and so did the New York Times (although both of theirs were for photography).

The Radio Biz

~Clear Channel Says Radio Hosts Are Still Relevant
The CEO of Clear Channel, Bob Pittman, was interviewed by Adweek and revealed the findings of a study Clear Channel commissioned. Apparently, people still listen to what radio personalities have to say. OK, obiviously this is a bit of a self-serving report...it reminds me of Chris Christie's report absolving himself of wrongdoing...but if what Pittman is saying is true (and I think it essentially is), then I have one big question for him: Why don't you let your personalities talk?

11 Fun Facts for Blazing Saddles 40th Anniversary

Was it weally weleased 40 years ago? It's twue. It's twue. It's twue.

Here are a few fun facts about the movie you might not have known, courtesy of mental floss.

I knew this stuff already, but that's only because I worked for someone (John Landecker) who was obsessed with the movie and literally knows every single line. And because we interviewed Mel Brooks about it (and that interview, by the way, is on the "Records Truly Is My Middle Name" soundtrack)

Urban Nude Zones

Here's one thing I bet you didn't know about Germans: They love to walk around naked. It's true, although thankfully not true of the Germans I know who immigrated to this country. (And you'll be happy to hear, also not true of me.)

In Munich, they passed a law declaring six areas of the city as "Urban Nude Zones". These are public parks you can walk around completely naked. There's one called the English Garden that's just a short walk from the downtown area. They are normal public parks in every way (swing sets, playgrounds, grassy areas, food carts), except people are naked there.

Here's a comedy tip for you next time you visit an urban nude zone. The food cart guy has heard every bratwurst joke, and will cringe when you tell one. Be ready with your "Don't be a sauerkraut" retort. It may not amuse him (he's German after all), but you'll have a fun cocktail party story for your fully clothed friends later that night.

Just One Bad Century--April 15

The Cubs didn't lose yesterday. Congratulations to the boys. OK, so it was an off-day and they didn't play at all, but remember, I'm half-fulling it this year.

They play the Yankees tonight in Yankee Stadium, and the New York Times has a very snarky Cubs Quiz in the paper today in honor of that. There are 22 questions, and I got 19 right. I'll give you hints to help you on the ones I got wrong...Ernie was a Republican? What's a Donneybrook? And think gambling.

We posted a new This Week in 1908 yesterday. It's Opening Day for the Cubs, and the season starts with a player going into the stands for a fist fight. Also, don't be alarmed by the picture of the German guy with the tiny mustache. It's 1908. He's still just a failed painter. (Spoiler alert for those who hate him...which I'm hoping is everyone reading this. You're really going to love This Week in 1945 in a few weeks).

Today's Cubs birthdays include two players who died very young (around 30), two troublemakers, and two catchers. The A/V Club has video of one of those catchers on the game show "What's My Line".

Today in Wrigley Field history goes back to 1947. One of the biggest stars in the world was in the stands for the game that day...to watch the Pirates. 1961 is also featured. Here's a bit of trivia: the Cubs have never played at Wrigley Field on April 15th during a season they won the pennant (1918, 1929, 1935, 1938, 1945). Must be a tax thing.

Today's historical event is the sinking of the Titantic. Where were the Cubs?

In the latest Cubs news: The Blue Jays are still thinking about trading for Samardizja. Fujikawa may have suffered a setback in his rehab. And here are a few players the Cubs may be looking to draft this year.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Ballad of John & Yoko

45 years ago today. From Bob Dearborn's The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac...

April 14, 1969…The Beatles' song "The Ballad Of John And Yoko" was recorded by Paul McCartney and John Lennon. Paul played bass, drums and piano; John played guitars and sang the lead vocal. At the time, George Harrison was on vacation abroad and Ringo Starr was filming "The Magic Christian." The song was banned by many radio stations as being blasphemous. At some stations, the word "Christ" was edited in backwards or replaced by a guitar note to avoid the ban. Your editor worked at a station (WKNR-Detroit) that did the latter.

Media Spotlight--April 14

Every weekday in 2014, I'll be keeping an eye on what's happening in the media. My focus will be on some of my favorite subjects...the moguls, the pundits, the broadcast news biz, show business, and the publishing business. (Read "$everance" if you want a crystallization of my positions on those subjects.) And, of course, I'll also keep tabs on Chicago's media.

Chicago Media

~Tribune pushes it's debt onto Tribune Publishing
When a big corporation spins off a division, like the Tribune is about to do with Tribune Publishing, it's usually to make the rest of the company stronger. That seems to be the case here. $325 million in debt is spinning off into Tribune Publishing. I'm guessing there won't be a mad rush to buy Tribune Publishing stock.

The Moguls

~CBS Pays Two Guys $114 Million
From Tom Taylor's NOW column:
At CBS, Sumner Redstone doesn’t mind paying top execs (or himself). Like $66.9 million for President/CEO Les Moonves and $57.2 million for Redstone. The salaries for controlling stockholder Redstone and Les Moonves didn’t change much between 2011 and 2013. But some other things did. Two years ago, Moonves was being richly laden with stock option awards, worth a potential $27.3 million. Last year, that number shrank to $5.8 million – while his outright “stock awards” soared from $8.5 million to $26.5 million. Add in his base salary of $3.5 million, a huge bonus of $28.5 million, and a few other minor categories, and last year Moonves’ total compensation package totaled $66.9 million. He’s typically one of the highest-paid CEOs in the media sector and often among the highest-paid CEOs from any sector. (Media-company CEOs tend to make more than those in other industries.)

~More Obscene Pay Packages
The New York Times profile of Oracle's Larry Ellison is a pretty good hit job. Seems like jag.

The Pundits

~Michael Isikoff Leaves NBC News
From the New York Times article linked above...
NBC News and Mr. Isikoff said the decision to part ways was mutual. “It’s a totally amicable departure,” he said. “I had a good ride at NBC, and I’m proud of a lot of what I was able to do there. But it was increasingly clear they were moving in directions in which there were going to be fewer opportunities for my work.”

Social Media

~Many Twitter Accounts Never or Rarely Tweet
From the Wall Street Journal: "A report from Twopcharts, a website that monitors Twitter account activity, states that about 44% of the 974 million existing Twitter accounts have never sent a tweet." But they count when it comes to number of followers. Keep that in mind when you see someone with millions of followers.

Today's Best Tweets--April 14

Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...

Chicagoist.com ‏@Chicagoist 2m
Your first impulse will be to complain about today's forecast. Try not to. This is temporary. http://bit.ly/1m1tY0W

SportsCenter ‏@SportsCenter 8m
Crazy stat of the day: This NBA postseason will be 1st time ever the Lakers, Knicks and Celtics will all miss playoffs.

Brian Palmer ‏@PalmerBrian 16m
Jonas Salk didn't patent the polio vaccine. Does that make him a hero or a fool? @Slate http://buff.ly/1kXfpKe

Gawker ‏@Gawker 28m
The suspect in the shootings at two Kansas Jewish centers has been identified as a former leader of the KKK. http://gaw.kr/ZYRFniY

Andrew Beaujon ‏@abeaujon 28m
Sun-Times eliminates Web comments: "embarrassing mishmash of fringe ranting and ill-informed, shrill bomb-throwing” http://bit.ly/1nlBrIl

CatholicCharitiesUSA ‏@CCharitiesUSA Apr 9
CCUSA is proud to uphold Pope Francis' message of humility & service in our work to reduce poverty in America.

Jim Johnson ‏@JimJohnsonWLS 46m
They should have a trap door for guys like this rt@chicagonewsnow: Flight from Chicago lands in Neb. after man tries to exit mid-flight

Talking Points Memo ‏@TPM 50m
Wisconsin GOP to vote on secession http://bit.ly/1qxHiw5 pic.twitter.com/GjtFzZ0ZGf

Craig Larimer ‏@cklarimer 1h
Life is what happens to you while you're waiting for @rogbennett to say something nice about #Liverpool @LFC @JoeNBC pic.twitter.com/LYjiST7RiZ

Fred Jacobs ‏@fnjacobs 54m
If there's one problem that the Radio Gods could solve, it would be this one. http://wp.me/p1JoKy-3Kl

Richard Marx

Remember singer Richard Marx? He's Chicago's very own.

This is an incredibly unflattering portrait of him from Salon.

I've never met the man, so I can't comment on the accuracy of his portrayal. But Marx really comes off sounding like a spoiled little brat.

The Doom Loop of Oligarchy

A depressing but informative article about inequality, and where it is headed. The source is vox.com.

Just One Bad Century--April 14

The Cubs lost two of three over the weekend, but once again, at least they didn't get swept. (I keep saying to myself 'Half Full', 'Half Full', 'Half Full').

JOBC has a whole slew of new content for you today.

This Week in 1945 has been posted. The baseball season was set to begin this week, but it was postponed by the death of President Roosevelt. We've got full coverage of how Chicago, the nation, and the baseball world reacted to that shocking event.

Today's Cubs birthdays features the greatest pitcher ever produced by the Cubs farm system. There isn't even a close second place. The A/V club features a video of him in action in 1985, when he was still in the minor leagues with the Peoria Chiefs.

Today in Wrigley history tells the tale of the longest homer in Wrigley history, a few walk-off victories, and the day that inspired the Cubs to put up the Wrigley Field basket. (The years are 1961, 1970, 1976, and 1978)

Today's Historical Event is the birth of actor Rod Steiger in 1925. Where were the Cubs?

If you weren't around over the weekend, Saturday's birthdays included a man named Moose, and Sunday's birthdays paid tribute to a shadowy Cubs pitcher. Wrigley history from 1921, 1927, 1933, 1965, 1976, 1984 and 2003 were covered. And the historical events were the first space shuttle (1981) and Tiger's first Masters (1997).


The Chicago News website DNAinfo.com did a big story on the pothole store over the weekend, which brought a ton of traffic to Dave's site. It was written by someone who totally gets the concept, and totally gets pothole store creator David Stern.

The article just happened to coincide with the debut of the "Pothole Song" video. I wrote the lyrics with Dave, Vince Argento sang the vocals, and the video was produced by Tommy Kaempfer...