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Tribune's Kass Smacked Down By Chicago Now Blogger

By Chuck Sudo in News on Oct 20, 2010 5:25PM

2010_10_20_geek.jpg Tribune columnist John Kass, in the middle of his column on how it's still business as usual in the newsroom despite the Tri-Lambda atmosphere of the executive level, takes an unnecessary swipe at the blogger cliche we all thought was punctured years ago. Here's the quote in question:

"Chicago Tribune reporters work in difficult and sometimes dangerous conditions. They do not blog from mommy's basement, cutting and pasting what others have reported, while putting it under a cute pen name on the Internet."

Weren't we past this? Maybe Kass had the steady stream of internet rehashing of the New York Times expose of the Tribune Co. on his brain when he wrote the column. Anyway, it's water off the collective back of the Chicagoist staff, but Chicago Now blogger CubbieJulie (of CN's "A League of Her Own" blog) took umbrage to it and penned a smackdown of Kass and, by extension, this town's culture of equating newspaper columnists as rock stars. These days, few columnists really use their platforms for change. There are exceptions, such as Mary Mitchell of the Sun-Times; you may disagree with her or question her clarity, but Mitchell provides a much-needed voice for a group of people in desperate need of one. Otherwise, you have Neil Steinberg writing about why people don't respect the opera or Richard Roeper's "six columns in one" thingies.

CubbieJulie's words are lent added gravitas by the fact that Tribune employs both her and Kass. A good inter-company dispute is always fun to read.