1/ OK, to anyone who cares about or covers Chicago media, I guess I have something to say about this. And I'm dovetailing a bit off a tweet my esteemed colleague @RayLong sent earlier, which I just retweeted prior to this thread.

Buckle up.

2/ First off, this story by @TheAtlantic about Alden Capital, the hedge fund that now owns my beloved Chicago Tribune, is deeply reported, scary as hell and well written. I don't mean what I'm saying here to cast aspersions on @mckaycoppins. This was an important story to tell.
3/ But I think what bothers those of us who stayed at the Tribune after the Mass Exodus of 2021 is this: We're still here. And I believe the size, quality and ferociousness of the remaining Tribune staff was considerably underplayed in The Atlantic piece, AND has been largely...
4/ ...ignored in virtually all coverage of Alden's takeover of our paper. As the staggeringly talented people who took the buyout left, they deserved 100% of the attention and kudos, along with the justifiable hand-wringing about where the paper was heading.
5/ And I'll inject real quick here that I think where the paper is heading remains uncertain. We - reporters, editors, photographers, designers and all - can only do what we do. It's the folks with the money who will make the final decisions.
6/ But as Ray alluded to in his tweet, maybe let's hold off on throwing dirt on our casket. Far more people stayed than left, and the staff of the Chicago Tribune continues its longtime habit of kicking ass.
7/ Put me aside, here, please. Because I'm the last piece of all this that matters. What matters, where the focus should be, is on the aces like @RayLong and @StacyStClair and @ChristyGutowsk1 and @JeremyGorner and @royalpratt and @jmetr22b and @_johnbyrne ...
8/ ...and @DarcelTribune and @byalisonbowen and @LAURA_N_ROD and @_phil_thompson and a whole mighty shit-ton of other folks I'm not listing here because there are too many...AND THAT'S THE DAMN POINT. Why isn't anyone writing about the people who are still here?
9/ We are smaller, weakened by waves of ownership turmoil and nervous about the future. But we are also staffed with editors like @bartonvan and @TribuneKevin and @pjurik and @RochellSleets and @michelleglopez and photographers like @erinhooley and @briancassella ...
10/ ...and AGAIN, I'm overlooking a slew of people, which, again, is the point of all this. We have a new editor who clearly saw what remains at the Tribune and thought "Let's do this" as opposed to "I'm running as fast as possible away from this mess."
11/ Our newsroom may, as the Atlantic story notes, be roughly the size of a Chipotle (and the walls, oddly enough, look a bit like guac), but dammit, I will take the remarkable people I have the honor of calling colleagues into journalism war any damn day of the week.
12/ THEY are out there keeping watch. THEY are doing all they can to keep their arms around this city and state and not let bad actors run free. THEY deserve to be talked about. THEY deserve admiration for fighting through a crap-storm and never missing a beat.
13/ So I hope, truly, that the next person who comes along to write about the woes of the Chicago Tribune - and there are woes aplenty - will devote some time and space to the people who are still proudly and professionally putting the paper out day after day after day. END

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More from @RexHuppke

11 Oct
While writing tomorrow's column about my Reader Fan Mail, I came across this, the single greatest piece of Reader Fan Mail in history. It will be prominently featured in tomorrow's column. (Which is about my Reader Fan Mail.) #Fartmouth Image
I want "Once referred to Donald Trump as 'President Fartmouth'" inscribed on my tombstone.

I want someone to create a Wikipedia page of me solely so it can read, "Known for a 2021 column in which he labeled former President Donald Trump 'President Fartmouth.'"
This was the column in question: chicagotribune.com/columns/rex-hu…
Read 4 tweets
16 Sep
1/ Hello everyone, and welcome to this meeting of the Florida GOP Committee on Health Policy. We're meeting today in this parking lot behind a Hooter's because Dale, our treasurer, died of COVID-19 last night and he had sole access to the accounts, so we couldn't rent out...
2/ ...our usual conference room space in the Best Western. Apologies for any inconvenience and thoughts and prayers to Dale's family members who have not also died of COVID-19.

My name is Tad Horkington, and I'm honored to have been named president of the committee following...
3/ ...the tragic death of Thomas Bilgenut, the interim president who last week died of COVID-19. Tom had, of course, replaced Hugh Frank, our previous president who died two weeks ago of COVID-19, along with his entire family and the youth football team he coached.
Read 13 tweets
15 Sep
1/ So Gavin Newsom prevailed and Larry Elder has conceded. But before the California recall election he was on about voter fraud and “shenanigans” and he set up a website to report it and everything. So what changed? The margin of victory was just too great to try and con people?
2/ Is this transparent GOP bullsh*t what we have to deal with in every election now? They scream RIGGED! before the vote, then if the vote is close they keep screaming it, otherwise they just drop and it and move on to the next grift? And we’re just supposed to sit back and…
3/ …accept that a certain amount of anti-democracy hogwash will come with each vote? Nuts to that garbage. This is childish, shameful and damn awful dangerous. I know folks are sick of it, but they need to raise holy hell about it. Don’t treat this party like it’s legitimate.
Read 7 tweets
9 Sep
1/ All righty, folks, let's sit down a moment, collect our breath and address the volcanic right-wing pants-crapping currently brought on by Biden's announcement of various vaccine mandates. For starters, good job, guys! You're doing that thing where you absolutely freak out...
2/ ...and throw around words like "tyranny" and "Marxism" and whatever else you found in the "Modern Conservative's Inaccurate Scare-Word-of-the-Day Calendar" you bought in the gift shop at Mar-a-Lago when you were there hoping to get a whiff of one of Donald Trump's farts.
3/ Rather than actually taking a moment to reflect on, you know, all the people dying and whatnot, you all are Pavlov's-dogging it right to "BIDEN DID A SOCIALISM ON ME!!!" bullsh*t, which only serves to raise the blood pressure of your already COVID-infected base.
Read 15 tweets
26 Jul
1/ I will not coddle Trump supporters who refuse to get vaccinated and I won’t bear the burden of “listening to Trump supporters” to better understand them. Why, you ask?
2/ Regarding the unvaccinated, they’re prolonging the pandemic, costing us a fortune when they end up hospitalized, increasing the odds a vaccine-evading variant will develop AND they made life hell for many by refusing to wear masks and mocking those who do.
3/ I'm not going to be polite in the hope they'll do the right thing. They’re not children. They’re grown-ass adults who are willfully putting me, my family and the rest of the country at risk.
Read 8 tweets
21 May
1/ Tribune Publishing shareholders just let the hedge fund Alden Global Capital buy the company. This is terrible news for the Chicago Tribune and all our sister newspapers. It's also terrible news for the communities these papers cover and, I'd argue, for the country.
2/ So I'm going to take a moment to feel angry, disappointed and a bit scared. Then I'm going to do exactly what my colleagues here in Chicago, and my colleagues in Baltimore and New York and Hartford and Orlando and in newsrooms across the country, will do: get back to work.
3/ I can't be bothered with people who view newspapers as businesses to be squeezed for profit, or as disposable investments. None of us got into this to make money. We got into it because we have the unshakable ailment of giving a damn about the word around us and wanting to...
Read 8 tweets

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