Thursday, October 14, 2010

That Zany WGN Radio: Laski Leads In To Prof. Rosenberg's Show With B.O. Discussion

Just what are they thinking at WGN Radio 720 AM?

I am a lifelong Chicagoan. I like to think that I have some modicum of understanding of the provincial character of this city.

But I have to admit that I am truly mystified by the decision of the Chicago Tribune's, clear-channel radio megastation to give a regular 32 state audience to Jim Laski.(above left)

He is the former Democrat Alderman and elected Chicago City Clerk who went to the federal pen for pocketing $48,000 in bribes and telling the bribers to lie to the Feds about it.

This Chicago machine pol, now in his mid-fifties, is out of the slammer and they have given him a radio program on WGN, one of the major radio outlets in the USA, which issues from Chicago's storied Tribune Tower.

His speech is of the “dems and dese and dose” variety often heard at dingy sorts of corner bars on the “Nort-West and Sout-West” sides of the city.

He thinks that discussions of body odor are uproariously good talk-radio fodder.

WGN puts him on the air every weekday night and has him fill in on some weekend slots.

While this is going on, Dr. Milt Rosenberg's, Extension 720 – an evening WGN broadcast of some three decades of standing and national renown, has been relegated to a later hour and sketchy periodic regularity. It is most nights now, pre-empted by Blackhawks hockey or Cubs nightgame broadcasts.

Rosenberg, (photo right) a professor emeritus of the University of Chicago, conducts a program, so uniquely erudite and seriously insightful in character, that every major author in the English speaking world would literally kill to get on it.

His guests over the years have included British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, Henry Kissinger and President Jimmy Carter, to name just a very few.

The other night, Milt's guests were law professors from Northwestern and Loyola Universities, who specialize in effecting the exoneration of wrongfully incarcerated prisoners. They were accompanied by two young black men who were the victims of Chicago police and Cook County State's Attorney prosecutorial misconduct – and whom these pro-bono legal advocates ultimately cleared after years of wrongful incarceration.

The lead-in to this disturbingly cogent, two hour discussion was Jim Laski's show.

Moments before Laski had been guffawing on the airwaves like a giddy high-school sophomore, about people who he encountered at the “Jewels” who had bad body odor.

He was fielding calls from his, I suspect, quite limited audience, about this pressing topic.

I suspect in the coming weeks he will be doing shows which will look into the salient issues of farts and boogers.

I've noticed that when Laski does the intro to Dr. Rosenberg's subsequent show, Milt doesn't acknowledge him as he did personalities who formerly preceded him.

No more than an Arabian stallion would acknowledge the presence of a barn-fly.

I don't blame him at all.

But just what are they thinking over at WGN Radio?


  1. Sounds like they were thinking of appealing to the lowest common denominator, like the kind of people who (used to) come to my blog and talk about how great Chicago was because it has so many bars.

  2. They're not going to your blog anymore because they're all too busy listening to Laski's program. They were probably the people who were calling in to him the other night to relate their own hilarious experiences of people who had bad body odor.

    Also they're getting all the info they could ever possibly need from the Tribune's RedEye -- the free throwaway newspaper for dummies that devotes most of its news hole to coverage of the fascinating ups and downs in the life of Lady GaGa.


Comments invited, however anonymous commentors had better deal directly with the issues raised and avoid ad hominem drivel. As for Teachers' Union seminar writers -- forget about it.