I've been a subscriber to the Chicago Tribune for over 25 years. I originally started because of the expanded pro sports coverage, particularly the Bulls and Michael Jordan. That ship sailed but I’ve stayed, primarily because of the Cubs and Hawks. While not a Bears fan, their football coverage is top rate as well.
It was there I discovered the incomparable Mike Royko, whom taught me the "Chicago Way." After Mr. Royko passed in 1997 I began reading John Kaas, who now very capably holds the position of token Conservative and best writer of the paper. I credit Royko, Kaas, and comedian Dennis Miller for any affinity I have for writing cynical common-sense commentary.
Established in 1847, the Trib is the eighth largest newspaper in the country. Circa 1855, when owned by General JD Webster and Dr. Charles Ray, it endorsed itself as the Conservative arm of the Republican party in the Midwest, backing Abraham Lincoln, railing against slavery, and later the chronic corruption of the city's politicians.
Then in 2008, amongst financial woes and editorial turn-over, the paper made a decidedly "left" turn. They endorsed "home-town" presidential candidate, Barack Obama, their first Democratic endorsement in 161 years...a move that surely made Lincoln, Webster and Ray turn over in their graves.
In their endorsement of Obama, they erroneously declared, "We do, though, think Obama would govern as much more of a pragmatic centrist than many people expect." Well, how did that turn out in retrospect?
Having drank the Kool-Aid, it appears they have not been able to find their way back to their roots. They had already shot their editorial mouth off in March of 2016 about not endorsing Donald Trump when they stated he was "not fit to be president." Intuition, or perhaps suspicion, undoubtedly kept them from endorsing Hillary Clinton. Having painted themselves into a corner, they then endorsed pot-smoker Gary Johnson.
And then a funny thing happened - 63 million people and the Electoral College voted in the man "not fit to be president," Donald Trump. And there the Trib Board sat, with egg all over its collective Liberal and faux-Libertarian faces.
So, what does a major newspaper, who once ran the headline, "An American Paper for Americans" under a US flag, do? They unleashed the Editorial Staff from Hell to dig under every rock; to scour the Earth for any morsel to prove the American people wrong for having the audacity to elect Trump. Editorial staff members and guest contributors, and even some of the sports writers, piled on to pontificate daily on how mistaken those 63 million Americans were, and how horrible Mr. Trump is doing.
If it weren't for Donald Trump, one member of the Editorial Board would have absolutely nothing to write about. Under the guise of "opinion" this writer gets paid to scrape together a twice-weekly column for the Trib - his only job seemingly to poke and vilify the candidate he and the Trib were so wrong about. Sour grapes?
I also wonder how much money the Trib pays the Washington Post to re-publish their daily anti-Trump blather. Perhaps they would make more profits if they were to invest the money paid the Post into Trump's stock market. Mr. Bezos, founder of Amazon and owner of the Post, really doesn't need Trib money, so maybe they might do better to hire some editorial writers who don't blindly conform to liberal media demands.
In a 2007 edition, the Trib published its statement of principles and philosophy. Among those principles they stated: "The Chicago Tribune believes in the traditional principles of limited government; maximum individual responsibility; minimum restriction of personal liberty, opportunity and enterprise. It believes in free markets, free will and freedom of expression." Pardon me, but what part of that statement does not represent the Trump presidency?
What has happened to the Editorial section of the once-great newspaper? As a flagship journal for the state of Illinois, a state leading the nation in nearly every negative category, located in what is widely reported to be the murder capital of the country, why expend so much energy berating a President that half the nation is satisfied? There is more than enough wrong in this state and the city to keep honorable columnists occupied. Perhaps we all would be better served if they were to help pull this state out of the financial quagmire it finds itself, rather than sitting in ivory towers throwing barbs at the national candidate they didn't pick.
To do otherwise, seems like fiddling while Rome burns.