WLS radio announced Saturday that long-time conservative activist and journalist, Tom Roeser, was retiring from his Sunday evening "Political Shootout" broadcast.
Roeser, 82, is convalescing from an undisclosed ailment, but with the plaudits and elegies being bantered about you'd have thought that he had already joined Ronnie, Barry and WFB on the dais at the great CPAC in the sky.
The most truly smarmy of the accolades thrown Roeser's way was that of the truly smarmy Eric Zorn, one of the few remaining columnists for the sclerotic Chicago Tribune: "
"I've sparred many times with the arch conservative pundit over the years, but I wish him well in his convalescence and hope I'll be sparring with him again soon at one of his websites...." Zorn wrote.
This is the same Zorn who in 2009 called Roeser a racist, anti-semitic spewer of bile.
Zorn, a trendy of the Old Irving Park neighborhood, was coming to the defense of several of his fellow liberal Chicago journalist weasels, who had just been mercilessly pilloried by Tom Roeser.
Here's what Roeser wrote that so outraged little Zorn:
He renamed Durbin "The Dick."
He called Mike Flannery "the fawning Channel 2 CBS-TV serf."
Clarence Page was "the man hired by the Tribune to tell us how it feels to be a black man"
Dawn Turner Trice was the columnist "hired by the Tribune to tell us how it feels to be a black woman."
Neil Steinberg of the Sun Times was the columnist hired "to act like an obnoxious Brooklyn street peddler/ hustler who never fails to remind us he’s a liberal Jew in favor of civil liberties for those who want to kill us (and who hates Catholic thought)."
Richard Roeper was "the aging kid who’s long in the tooth but who still writes as an immature one."
Phil Ponce of WTTW Ch 11 was a "cardboard cutout"
Elizabeth Brackett, also of WTTW, was "Nurse Ratched."
And what most offended Zorn was Roeser's allusion to The Tribune's Mary Schmich as Zorn's "steady heartthrob."
Tom Roeser, as usual, was just telling it like it is.
I think those characterizations showed Tom Roeser at his incisive best and illustrate why he has remained such a critical mainstay of the conservative movement in Chicago for all these years.
My only complaint is that Roeser failed to add a one portrait to that rogues gallery of Chicago liberal journalism: that of the hypocritically, weasely, Eric Zorn.
Update: Tom Roeser faithfully departed yesterday, May 29th. He was 82.