Chicago Tribune

Photo of the Day

The Chicago press covered Linda Taylor’s 1977 trial extensively, and she dressed to court the cameras.
Charles Knoblock/Associated Press

Reagan’s ‘Welfare Queen’ Was a Real Person

Her Story Is Bananas

Back in the 80s, Ronald Reagan paid a lot of rhetorical attention to the story of an anonymous “welfare queen” who drove a Cadillac and lived high on the taxpayer’s dime. For those who knew her decades ago, Linda Taylor was a terrifying figure.

The life and times of “Linda Taylor” (in quotes because that’s only one of her many, many aliases),is the real woman who served as the basis for Reagan’s story. Taylor really did drive a Cadillac and perpetrate a decent amount of welfare fraud. But her story isn’t really representative of the typical sort of welfare fraud — let alone the typical welfare recipient, in general. In fact, Taylor was the sort of person that gets armchair diagnosed as a sociopath. She spent most of her life grifting somebody and was possibly involved in the deaths of multiple people.

She was a woman who destroyed lives, someone far more depraved than even Ronald Reagan could have imagined. In the 1970s alone, Taylor was investigated for homicide, kidnapping, and baby trafficking. The detective who tried desperately to put her away believes she’s responsible for one of Chicago’s most legendary crimes, one that remains unsolved to this day. Welfare fraud was likely the least of the welfare queen’s offenses.

Reagan told the story of a benefit stealing “welfare queen” to argue for smaller, leaner government. Liberals have complained about the generalization ever since. It turns out there was a real welfare queen, and that name was given to her by the Chicago Tribune, not Ronald Reagan.

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Photo of the Day

A jubilant Harry Truman holds up a Chicago newspaper emblazoned with the (erroneous) headline, “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN,” St. Louis, Missouri, November 4, 1948.
The photo was taken by W. Eugene Smith for Time Life Pictures. In the biggest political upset in U.S. history, Harry S. Truman surprised everyone when he, and not Thomas E. Dewey, won the Presidential election.

Dewey Defeats Truman

No political photo is more famous than W. Eugene Smith’s shot of Harry Truman holding aloft a newspaper with the (erroneous) headline, DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN.

Just after the 1948 election, President-Elect Harry S. Truman stepped off a train in St. Louis and, with a large grin on his face, held up a copy of the November 3 edition of the Chicago Tribune for reporters and photographers to see.

“Dewey Defeats Truman” was the famously incorrect banner headline on the front page of the first edition of the Chicago Tribune on November 3, 1948. Incumbent United States President Harry S. Truman, who had been expected to lose to Republican challenger and Governor of New York Thomas E. Dewey in the 1948 presidential race, won the election. A delighted Truman was photographed at St. Louis Union Station holding a copy of his premature political obituary. Only a few hundred copies of the paper were published before the Tribune issued a second edition that backed off from proclaiming a winner. The headline is a cautionary tale for journalists about the dangers of being first to break a story without being certain of its accuracy. It is also a caution about allowing editorial preference to cloud judgment; the Tribune had been strongly against Truman throughout the campaign.

The newspaper had most definitely gotten the story wrong. The headline became known as the most infamous blunder in American newspaper history.

The reason for the picture’s immortality? It’s not the headline itself—although that titanic error is, in its own way, rather marvelous. Instead, the picture endures because of the look of unabashed, in-your-face delight in Truman’s eyes.

It is the greatest photograph ever made of a politician celebrating victory. Period.

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Cartoon removed by media organisation because it offends Muslims

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WARNING: If you would be offended by viewing a cartoon that mocks ISIS do not click “view more”. If seeing a cartoon that shows an ISIS terrorist praying in the Muslim way offends you please do not look over the break. If satire based on the evolution of man but reversed in order to show an ISIS terrorist as the lowest of the low offends you please do not look over the break. If making a link between ISIS, the Islamic religion and Islamic prayer offends you please do not read any further.

The following (after the break) editorial cartoon has been removed by the Chicago Tribune due to complaints made by Muslim leaders. Titled “De-evolution”, the image by Michael Ramirez parodied the iconic “March of Progress” illustration (below), which shows human evolution as a series of figures evolving from apelike ancestors to modern humans standing erect.

In a letter of complaint to the newspaper, Ahmed Rehab of the terrorist-linked and Saudi-Arabia-funded group CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) said…

“It makes it as if ISIS is just your average, mainstream Muslim who’s prostrating in prayer  – something we all do – as opposed to what is unique and problematic about them,” 

“The cartoon does a great disservice to Muslims and promotes further Islamophobia,”

What he failed to mention was that the ISIS terrorist was clearly drawn as a terrorist because of his clothing and weapon. He actually has the word ISIS on his back in case there was any doubt as to whom the cartoonist was referring. The praying man was clearly not a moderate Muslim. ISIS terrorists do pray and they consider themselves Muslim even if other Muslims that they slaughter do not. Like it or not, it is relevant to portray one as praying since they justify all their atrocities as being for Allah and they claim that their actions are sanctioned by the Koran and Hadith.

No doubt with the slaughter of the cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo in mind, the Chicago Tribune were quick to remove the cartoon from their website.

“We understand the deep concerns about Michael Ramirez’ cartoon and have moved quickly to publish responses from Islamic leaders and other readers that reflect those concerns,”

-John McCormick, Editorial Page Editor

In a free country both the cartoon and the letters of complaint would be allowed to stand side by side. America, sadly, is no longer the land of the free. At least, not where the Chicago Tribune are concerned.

zallinger-ascent-of-man

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Tuesday nightCap

A journalist, trained and skilled.  Nothing much has changed it seems.