Friday, December 14, 2012

Almost Comically Evil

Rupert Murdoch's HarperCollins is being accused of using endangered rainforest fiber to make children's books.

It sounds like I made that up, doesn't it? Nope. The story is here.

The Rolling Stones

You'll never guess who showed up and played with the Stones last night in Newark...former Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor. It was his first time playing with them in the U.S. since 1981. This isn't the greatest quality video, but you can see and hear him...

Today's Best Tweets

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

Duane Dudek ‏@TheDudekAbides
The man who invented bar codes dies at 91. …

Peter Gammons ‏@pgammo
If I were to bet today, MLB Final 4 ten months from now-Tampa, Detroit, Cincinnati, Washington

Police: Man Tries To Drown Wife In Dog Bowl After Fight Over Frozen Pizza...

DH ‏@PeggyKinnanes
Morning Blend: “Right now I’m having amnesia and déjà vu at the same time. I think I’ve forgotten this before.” ~ Steven Wright

Groovyhoovy ‏@Groovyhoovy
Larry Potash is out today to have his lazy sphincter looked at.

Rolling Stone ‏@RollingStone
Get an inside look at Johnny Cash's collaborations over the years in this exclusive video clip:

Jeff Dickerson ‏@ESPNChiBears
@BradBiggs reports #Bears QB Jay Cutler's knee injury is a sprained MCL. Cutler still expected to start Sunday vs. #Packers.

New York Daily News ‏@nydailynews
Hugh Grant has been BANNED-FOR-LIFE from the 'Daily Show'. Find out why:

Eric & Kathy ‏@EricandKathy
Studies Show: Women are attracted to men who flirt with other men. #MIXMindBender

Bob Nightengale ‏@BNightengale
The #Cubs ownership and Theo Epstein were in Miami yesterday and presented $77 million offer, but #Tigers jumped up and stole him back

The Most Hated Blogger in America

The Columbia Journalism Review names someone the "most hated blogger in America" today in this article about him. His name is Chris Chase.

I've never heard of him, but I don't trust him. Bloggers. Sheesh. Who do these people think they are?

Um...wait a second.

Saturday Night Fever

The movie was released thirty five years ago today...

Pork Chop Murder

When I was in college my roommates Steve and Dave came to blows about an onion roll. (I kid you not). It's a good thing we didn't have a gun in the house, or it could have ended like this story.

Two roommates got into a fight about a pork chop, and one of them is now dead.

There Was Only One Watergate

I got a big kick out of Al Kamen's column in this morning's Washington Post. Here's my favorite part...

Washington generally exists in a hyperbolic state, but even the most jaded ears had to prick up when Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) declared to the Washington Times that L’Affaire Benghazi is “10 times bigger” than the Watergate and Iran-contra scandals combined. So, let’s do the math. If Watergate ended in a president’s resignation, plus dozens of criminal convictions, and Iran-contra yielded 11 convictions, and Benghazi is 10 times that serious . . . wait a sec . . . the one . . . then it will result in at least 10 presidents resigning and hundreds of convictions.

Of course it's ridiculous to constantly call everything bigger than Watergate. It's just nice to finally see somebody pointing that out.

Cubs 365, December 14

On this day in 1949, future Cub Bill Buckner was born. In his first season with the Cubs in 1977, Bill Buckner hit a respectable .284, but is there any doubt that Buckner's mustache was the finest mustache in the entire National League that year?

Billy Buck went on to have a great Cubs career, capped off by a batting title in 1980. In his seven plus seasons with the Cubs, Buckner never hit less .280. When the Cubs traded him early in 1984, it was only because they had another player to take his place at first base...Leon Durham.

Durham and Buckner, of course, share a common fate. Both of their outstanding careers will always be remembered for one little ball that went through their legs at the worst possible time.

More about Don Wade

Yesterday he announced he and his wife Roma wouldn't be returning to WLS (see story below). Today there was a lot written about Don in the trades, but I found this part very interesting in Tom Taylor's column this morning. I had NO IDEA about this...

"Wade’s conversion from music jock to talkhost was not atypical for pros of his generation. His bio even says “Don is proud of being fired from more radio stations than he could count…because his opinions got him in trouble.” He worked in Philadelphia, Buffalo, Dallas, Denver, Seattle (and Tacoma) before hitting Chicago. The Beatles, whom he’d interviewed, liked him enough to give him a quick cameo in their movie “Help.”

WHAT? Doggone it. I interviewed Don for the upcoming John Records Landecker memoir, and he told me some great stuff about his days in Philly (they will be in the book), but he never mentioned the Beatles story. I have to go back now and watch the movie again. Any idea where Don's cameo was in the film?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Don & Roma won't be back at WLS

This sad news for Don & Roma fans was delivered by Robert Feder today via his column: Don & Roma won't be coming back to host mornings.

Don's health is the reason why. The incredibly tiring and physically taxing morning show hours are completely incompatible with his rehabilitation from brain cancer. The decision is understandable under the circumstances.

Here's to a full and healthy recovery away from the spotlight's glare.

Today's Best Tweets

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

New York Daily News ‏@nydailynews
PHOTOS: Bruce Springsteen, other legends help blow the roof off MSG in emotional #Sandy fundraiser concert

Slate ‏@Slate
The remaining members of "Nirvana" reunited last night. They were joined by Sir Paul McCartney--WATCH:

MancowMuller ‏@MancowMuller
Nirvana reunited at a benefit for Hurricane Sandy with Paul McCartney taking the place of Kurt. So, afterward, Courtney Love killed him.

Roger Catlin ‏@rcatlin
McCartney ends with "Live and Let Die"and brings Alicia Keys back for "Empire State of Mind." More fitting than "Let It Be" or "Hey Jude."

Paul McCartney ‏@PaulMcCartney Track of the Week is 'Here Today' from the album 'Tug Of War'. Let us know what you think... …

The Onion ‏@TheOnion
[In Focus] Area Man Hasn't Told Co-Workers About His Billy Joel Fanpage Yet

Jake Tapper ‏@jaketapper
Folks who drum their fingers on desks + counters like they're the second coming of Gene Krupa: I am telling Santa to put you down as naughty

ChiTribSports ‏@ChiTribSports
Report: Dempster close to signing with Red Sox

Huffington Post ‏@HuffingtonPost
30 reasons women cheat, according to women

The Daily Caller ‏@DailyCaller
TheDC's @mattklewis: Conservative Members were purged because of ‘asshole factor,’ not voting record -

Media Ownership Rules

It turns out that I'm not the only one that notices when the F.C.C. talks about changing media ownership rules. From Inside Radio...

"FCC gets earful on its proposed ownership rules. The issue that brought all five FCC commissioners before the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology yesterday wasn’t media ownership. But the thorny subject was a recurring theme during a hearing about the FCC’s new broadband spectrum law. Subcommittee members continually brought up the commission’s controversial media ownership rules, which would abolish the radio-TV and radio-newspaper cross-ownership limit."

Nobody wants this except the big media companies (who constantly ask the F.C.C. for this). Nobody.

Find the Typo

Read this and see if you can find the typo. I'll give you a hint, the sentence begins with "Davis is recovering from..."

Bee Venom Facials?

It's supposedly all the rage these days, ever since Kate Middleton had one right before her wedding.

From the NWI Times article..."the venom is put into a cream that can slathered on the face up to twice a week, left on for twenty minutes, and then washed off. Users say the cream has a strong tingle when applied. The venom contains melittin, which is an anaphylactic responsible for the lingering pain caused by bee stings. Melittin also has anti-inflammatory abilities."

You know, as I get older, these things are sounding less and less crazy to me.


Did you see this in the Sandy Benefit last night? Nirvana with Paul McCartney. Pretty odd...

Hall & Oates in a bloody fight

It's not what you think.

Despite rumors, it wasn't started when one of them said: "I can't go for that."*

*Joke stolen from reader "BP"

Cubs 365, December 13

One of my childhood heroes turns 70 today. On this day in 1942, future Cubs Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins was born in Canada. His time with the Cubs is captured beautifully in this Canadian film...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Balding E-Handbook

It's been a handbook for several weeks now.

It's now also an e-handbook. The Balding Handbook is now available on the kindle format at amazon, and will soon be available on Apple, Sony, and Barnes & Noble (Nook).

12/12/12 Sandy Benefit Tonight

If you want to see it, you'll have plenty of opportunities.

It's being aired on 37 cable networks including HBO, AMC, and The Cooking Channel (?!).

It's being live streamed on 29 websites including AOL, hulu, and iHeartRadio.

I'll be watching. The lineup includes Paul McCartney, Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones Eric Clapton, Dave Grohl, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, Chris Martin, Roger Waters, Eddie Vedder, Kanye West and The Who. Celebrity presenters include Jon Stewart, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sean Combs and Chris Rock.

A well trained dog

If this was my dog, the kid would have been dragged across the concrete and abandoned.

The Balding Handbook

The Balding Handbook's author David Stern has been hustling. The book is selling incredibly well online, but Dave also has a carload of these things with him at all times and sells them every day to people he meets.

Yesterday he was at the Horseshoe Casino (probably researching for his next book; either an homage to flashing lights or oversized horeshoes), when he played poker with a man named Fat Ali.

I don't want to say what Fat Ali's brothers will be receiving as holiday gifts this year, but he asked Dave to mention this on the blog. Here goes: "Special shout out to Fat Ali who will be spreading holiday cheer to his six bald brothers this Christmas."

By the way, we're having a little party for The Balding Handbook this weekend and we need your advice. Is there a thematically appropriate beverage or food we should serve? Send your ideas to

The Sporting News

When I was a boy, The Sporting News was the gold standard in baseball reporting. When they named their Sporting News All-Star team at the end of the season it always sparked spirited debate on the playground of my school.

It's no secret that the company has been struggling for years, but they announced yesterday that the end of 2012 officially marks the end of their print edition.

After 126 years.

Full details are here.

The Tribune

The current owners of the Chicago Tribune (banks) have made it clear that all of the newspapers owned by the Tribune company are available. I've previously noted that Rupert Murdoch was interested...which of course would be a terrible thing.

There is another potential buyer, however, according to Reuters today: "San Diego Union-Tribune owner Doug Manchester and Orange County Register owner Aaron Kushner are interested in acquiring Tribune's stable of newspapers, according to people familiar with the situation."

Stones Medley

Got a kick out of hearing this again. John Landecker posted this on his facebook page. He and I wrote it years ago, but it's even more appropriate now.

It's one of more than 100 songs John and I wrote together. The most memorable of those songs, the news stories they were inspired by and the news coverage our songs inspired, will be covered in the upcoming "Records Truly Is My Middle Name" on Eckhartz Press.

Cumulus Lineup

Cumulus is the second biggest radio company in America these days, behind only Clear Channel, and they have been quietly accumulating a ton of right wing talk radio talent. They recently signed Michael Savage, just re-upped Don Imus, and now comes this rumor from Tom Taylor's NOW column...

"Laura Ingraham should announce her new syndication deal today. Will it be with Cumulus? That was the hallway talk at last week’s Arbitron Client Conference in Annapolis. Ingraham is the second high-profile talk personality to split from Talk Radio Network. The first one was Michael Savage, and he landed at Cumulus. Ingraham (just two syllables, please) joined TRN from Westwood in 2003 and was rewarded with a daytime slot instead of her previous nighttime gig. That helped free her up for other work, such as appearances on Fox News. When she left TRN, she said it was time to “expand and re-tool my radio program” – perhaps broadening it past politics to more topics around popular culture."

Cubs 365, December 12

On this day in 1937, the Cubs were still smarting from their 2nd place finish to the New York Giants, but Wrigley Field did not go without a championship game that year.

On December 12, 1937, the Washington Redskins came to Wrigley Field to face the Chicago Bears for the NFL championship. The Bears were the Western Division champs with a record of 9-1-1, and the Redskins were the Eastern Division champs at 8-3.

The rookie quarterback for the Redskins (Sammy Baugh) called the Wrigley turf that day "the worst I ever saw. The field had been torn up the previous week, and it froze solid with jagged clods sticking up. I've never seen so many people get cut up in a football game."

The Bears were led by Hall of Famer Bronko Nagurski, but they couldn't stop the Redskins passing game and lost 28-21. Sammy Baugh became the leagues first superstar passing quarterback.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Behind the Scenes with Stewart & Colbert

I would have really enjoyed watching this live: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert on stage chatting about their early days working together.

Some good stories I hadn't heard before.

South Carolina's Top Choice?

PPP polled the people of South Carolina to find out who they most desired to be named as Senator Jim Demint's replacement.

Their top pick was Stephen Colbert.

Maybe South Carolina isn't as backwards as I thought it was.

Movin with Nancy

45 years ago today, the TV special "Movin with Nancy" aired. Here's a clip from the show...

Love the white pants and white skirts.

Today's Best Tweets

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

Newsweek ‏@Newsweek
Quentin Tarantino's 'Django Unchained' shatters a genre by tackling slavery head-on

Steve Grzanich ‏@SteveGrzanich
PHOTO: If you have youngsters, this may interest them. Photographer may have caught Santa's sleigh practice:

ColonelTribune ‏@ColonelTribune
Snackers, a treat: Jewel says it has the country's final shipment of Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Zingers.

ESPN ‏@espn
"It means Charles Barkley needs to shut up," LeBron James on the meaning of Dwyane Wade's performance last night ( )

ThinkProgress ‏@thinkprogress
Bill Clinton joins world leaders in declaring Drug War a failure, "it hasn’t worked" #icymi

Karl Klockars ‏@karlklockars
And so begins the season where women wear full body sleeping bags and call them 'coats.'

ChicagoBreaking ‏@ChicagoBreaking
Cubs leave StubHub ticket-reselling market

Drew Walker ‏@radiodrew
Would you love Burger King delivery to your front door? It could be happening SOON: (I'd prefer In & Out Burger...)

Romenesko ‏@romenesko
Columnist & “America’s most accurate psychic” Irene Hughes dies at 92. Predicted Oprah's move to Chicago.

Darren Marlar ‏@darrenmarlar
I just read that over 70% of Americans have insufficient math skills. How pathetic. I mean, that's almost half...

Cubs 365, December 11

On this day in 1973, the Cubs traded their Hall of Fame third baseman Ron Santo to the Chicago White Sox. Santo was a nine time all-star (including 1973), but was clearly on the downside of his career.

In return for Santo the Cubs got pitcher Steve Stone, catcher Steve Swisher, and pitcher Ken Frailing.

It actually turned out to be a good deal for the Cubs. Santo only played one year for the White Sox and retired after hitting a woeful .221 for them. Steve Stone, on the other hand pitched three years for the Cubs (including a 12-win season in 1975), as did Ken Frailing, and Steve Swisher became a National League all-star in 1976.

Santo was very upset by the trade, but he obviously eventually forgave the Cubs. His #10 flag will fly on the Wrigley Field foul pole forever.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Father Knows Nothing

This week's Father Knows Nothing column is called "Veto Power"

I'd love to tell you about two things that happened in my house this week, but that information has been vetoed.

In Honor of "The Balding Handbook"

Today's Best Tweets

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

Huffington Post ‏@HuffingtonPost
Holy slit! How can Paz de la Huerta even sit down in this dress?

Ezra Klein ‏@ezraklein
Feds estimate "that homelessness could be effectively eradicated" in the US for $20 billion. Current budget? $1.9b. …

MancowMuller ‏@MancowMuller
Christina Aguilera says the less clothing she wears, the better she feels. Tragically, Madonna agrees.

Romenesko ‏@romenesko
“For the love of pete, stop putting two spaces after a period," WaPo's Hank Stuever tells students.

The Associated Press ‏@AP
AP VIDEO: More than 17 inches of snow falls in Southwestern Minnesota: -RAS ‏@nwi
Chicago could break record for longest streak without snow today

Rob Hart ‏@RobHart1980
Rickles guest hosting the Tonight Show in the summer of '79: …

msnbc ‏@msnbc
“What do you do to a schoolyard bully? You punch them in the face”- @JoeNBC. Guess who he was referring to:

DH ‏@PeggyKinnanes
Morning Blend: “I find TV very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” ~ Groucho Marx

Alex Walsh ‏@ajwalsh08
Sad news in manufacturing: cassette tape players being discontinued. Wait, what?

Are you a sound sleeper?

You may think you are, but did you sleep through the sinking of the Titanic, a battle in a war, a car crashing into your house, a plane crash, or the Bounty Mutiny?

These people did.

More Love for The Balding Handbook

We've been astounded by the way "The Balding Handbook" has been flying off the shelves, so first of all, thanks to all of you who are buying it--especially those of you buying ten copies at a time. (Know a lot of bald guys?)

It's getting attention all over the country. Joe Donatelli is "The Humor Columnist" (based in Cleveland) and he has published an excerpt from the book in his most recent column. It's a section that particularly tickled his funny bone, the description of the different kinds of combovers.

You can read it here.

A Springsteen Confession

Bruce confesses he has only been to New Jersey a few the Onion.

I got a kick out of that one, for some reason.

Prank Tragedy

Every disc jockey who has ever made a prank call is rethinking his or her approach after what happened this past weekend. Tom Taylor had this report in his newsletter this morning...

Thanks to social media, Sydney’s 2Day FM is being punished by a global wash of anger and spite, after the object of a phone prank killed herself. Friday’s NOW newsletter had the story of Aussie jocks Mel Greig and Michael Christian posing as Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, and getting all the way to a nurse involved with the medical care of Kate Middleton. They considered that a bit of fun – but as you probably heard all weekend, 46-year-old nurse (and mother of two) Jacintha Saldanha committed suicide. Was that foreseeable? Probably not. And five years ago, she wouldn’t have been subjected to the avalanche of criticism from Twitter and other social media. Now the abuse has turned to Mel Greig and Michael Christian, and their station. Owner Southern Cross Austereo has suspended their show.

This is a horrible, tragic story. I should note, however, that the prank calls do go both ways. Ask that moron who will do anything in his power to get on live television shows only to say "Howard Stern". He has done so at the most tasteless times--during live coverage of horrible tragedies. Nobody killed themselves, but at the very least I'm guessing a few people were fired. I'm also wondering if that jerk who pranked me into thinking he was Michael Dukakis in 1988 (almost getting me fired from the Steve & Garry show) has any feelings of remorse for that.

Cubs 365, December 10

On this day in 1956, future Cubs fan Rod Blagojevich was born. He also became a Congressman, the Governor of Illinois, and a convicted felon--but through it all, he remained a Cubs fan.

When Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano pitched a no-hitter Sept. 14, 2008, Blagojevich proclaimed Sept. 16 "Carlos Zambrano Day."

Before the 2008 playoff series against the Dodgers, Blagojevich helped lead a big rally in support of the Cubs. He got a little long-winded that day, and the fans eventually drowned him out with a chorus of "Go Cubs Go," but still. He was pontificating about his love of the Cubs.

He handled similar honors in 2007, getting a prime slot talking to the crowd at the lunchtime playoff push rally at Daley Plaza. Here's what he said:

“As the governor, I stopped asking myself first the question ‘Is it the right thing or the wrong thing?’ Now the first question I ask myself when I govern Illinois is, ‘What would Lou do?” I’ve got to tell you, speaking for me as a lifelong Cubs fan, this is a heck of a lot better than winning elections."

When Kerry Wood had his charity bowling benefit, Governor Blagojevich was there. In July 2005, he joined Cubs legend Ron Santo on a crusade to raise money for diabetes research, and signed legislation that cleared the way for even more money to be raised for Diabetes research.

He idolized players like Santo. When he was boy, he said his dream was to play center field for the Cubs.

In 2003, when Steve Bartman was excoriated by many fans, Governor Blagojevich was one of them, blaming him publicly for the loss.

Granted, Rod has made Illinois the laughing stock of the nation, but he truly loves the Cubs. It's ironic that one of the charges against him involved extorting the Tribune to fire editorial staff in exchange for the state securing the sale of Wrigley Field.