News Review: Upside Down

I’ve not read much of his work, and Uruguayan journalist Eduardo Galeano was definitely onto something when he titled one of his books, Upside Down.

I thought of the title this morning, when, after checking email and greeting my colleagues at Hoy, I spent my customary 20 to 30 minutes cranking through Google Reader to learn what is happening in the world.

Here’s what we’ve got:

Lest anyone think that the church sex abuse scandal began with John Geoghan in Boston, The New York Times wrote today about an abusive priest who was dumped in poor communities starting in the 1940s.

Meanwhile, we learned that News of the World staffers managed to get some biting clues past editor Rebecca Brooks and  into the final edition’s crossword, while Howard Kurtz argued that many of the same tactics that led to the closing of the venerable tabloid are rampant in American journalism.

One of the subjects of some of the endless fascination with tawdry details, Tiger Woods, was allegedly slated to make a major announcement today.

It didn’t happen, which was good, according to one article, because the announcement, had it happened, would have conflicted with President Obama’s address about the debt ceiling negotiations.

Speaking of those, is there anyone out there who thinks that 2 trillion is actually a small number?  I understand the point in the context of the negotiations in which President Obama is deeply involved and about which he spoke about at length during a press conference today (As of this writing, the conference had 302 page views on YouTube, while the culminating scene in Dirty Dancing is closing in on 100 million page views.).

“Now is the time to deal with these issues,” the President said before channeling Rabbi Hillel.  “If not now, when?”

Obama recently held the first ever Twitter Town Hall in which he responded to a tiny fraction of the questions people submitted.

The five-year-old network has had tremendous influence-a point made not only by the revolutions in the Middle East earlier this year, but by Ashton Kutcher’s mobilizing his Twitter clout against the Village Voice in a feud about child sex trafficking that led to American Airlines’ pulling their ads from the publication.

Eighty-four-year old Pope Benedict, who plays a key role as a young, highly conservative cardinal in one of my neighbor and friend Bob McClory’s books,  even recently joined the world of Tweeting.

Which only makes the fact that a full 50 percent of Chicago’s aldermen have not even signed up to be part of the network.

Others, like Walter Burnett, signed up and sent a single Tweet in which he asked, “What should I tweet about?”

Apparently, he is still waiting for the answer, since he has not sent another message in the past four months.

Finally, in an ironic twist of ancient empires gone wrong, the economic turmoil in Greece appears to be spilling over to Italy, where longtime leader and media tycoon has been suffering a series of defeats and where the economy is in a serious meltdown.

I’m looking forward to checking out Galeano’s book, and my guess is that, when I get there, a lot of the content will feel familiar.

I’m heading to sleep now, and am looking forward to tomorrow for many reasons, one of which is that I’ll be able to go into Google Reader and see what else has happened in the upside down world in which we find ourselves.

Until then.




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