Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Kass Behind the Mask - One Father's Son Is An Ink-Slinger's Grist

In one of his poignant 'true grit' journalist columns several years ago, John Kass chilled readers with an icy story of intimidation - it might have actually happened the way he describes it.

Today, 12/13/2006 he had another in which the hard-boiled columnist waits in the rain - just like Allan Ladd, and almost as tall.

Here read both.,1,7007989.column?page=1&coll=,0,4667746.column?coll=chi-ed_opinion_columnists-utl

At the end of his earlier column, one that impacted on Kass personally and benefited him publicly, he made this challenge to bad guys and ne'er-do-wells:

'People who don't like what I write complain to me personally all the time. Sometimes they get angry, even tough guys get angry, but I don't write about it.

But don't mention my children or my home. Ever.

I thought that was against the rules.

It could have been a threat. Or simple stupidity. Or it could have been panic brought by a federal grand jury. I can't say.'

Okay, so in today's column he brings in another man's child in an effort to shame what appears to be a pretty solid conscience into 'talking to Kass.' Jesus what a gold-plated and talented jerk!

In August 2005 Torres was sentenced to two years in prison for pocketing more than $56,000 in bribes from at least 30 trucking companies. He didn't fight.

"From the day I walked into my attorney's office, I told him I did not want to fight this whatsoever because I was guilty," Torres said at sentencing. He didn't like telling his then-9-year-old son "that I had done something wrong when my child looked up to me and thought I was Zeus."

Out there wet on Ashland, I wasn't looking for the god of lightning. Instead, I was looking for Torres, who hung out at Tavern on Rush, fortifying himself nightly, waiting for the federally inevitable."

I guess another man's little boy is fair game. Like I said, there are bigger jerks, but John Kass will do nicely.


Cal Skinner 11:55 AM  

I understand your point to a point.

Torres himself mentioned his son in his court appearance. Isn't that a bit different?

Pat Hickey 11:58 AM  

Perhaps, Cal, in a report on the sentencing hearing and not a 'come-to-Jesus' ambush piece.

Terrence,  12:37 PM  

The disgusting Duff family threatened Kass and his kids.

Who was the head of SPECIAL EVENTS when the Duffs got all those contracts? I will give you a hint it (the name) is the opposite of fat.

Angelo Torres is a gang banger who ran a trucking program that gave trucking contracts to Outfit trucking contracts who did not do work. There is no justification.

Pat Hickey 12:44 PM  

‘TERENCE, this is stupid stuff:
You eat your victuals fast enough;
There can’t be much amiss, ’tis clear,
To see the rate you drink your beer.
But oh, good Lord, the verse you make,
It gives a chap the belly-ache.

You reminded me of Housman's Shopshire Lad - and the need to slander - the opposite of virtue Terrence, the opposite. You remind me of the sad mopes posting on a stupid slander blog. Wax poetic son! But take your evidence to the Feds! Anon! Ol Kass is in thick company.

Tom,  2:42 PM  

Nice try, Pat. The thinly veiled threat from Duff's goons was despicable. Torres brought up his boy in an attempt to gain sympathy, so that's fair game for a column. Remember Torres and Duff went to jail, not Kass. Even though they were Daley loyalists try criticizing them for once.

Pat Hickey 3:00 PM  

If, in fact, the Duffs made that threat it surely would be despicable and if, perhaps, the Duff encounter was a mere metaphor it surely raised John Kass' hackles - to use a public figure's children in any way shape or form is beneath contempt.

Mr. Kass did not just seek to lay for Angelo Torres 'in the wet Ashland' air he used Torres' sentencing statement in order to bring the man's boy into public eye. If that is fine with you, Tom, so be it. It is not fine with me. I am a voter and part of the reading public. We tend to remember what we read and we also tend to analyze how people are portrayed.

I met Angelo Torres once ( at a school clothes store)and found him to be a fine man and loving father. He did not seem to match the rather grim and seamy kind of guy who drinks up his last days of freedom at Tavern on Rush. I would tend to view him the same way if he were in any way an important impact on my life and he is not. I certainly do not accept the lampoon portrayal wit which Mr. Kass arrests the attention of some readers and political operatives.

John Kass is doing with Angelo Torres as he wishes and will continue to do so- so long as it serves his agenda. I'll state what I happen to think of that lousey bit of hypocrisy.

Bulldog,  4:00 PM  

Angelo Torres cost the taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.
Kids and family should be off limits, even for Kass.
BUT Torres bought them in to gain sympathy.
Torres may not have been at Tavern drinking away his final days but he used to hang out at the now changed name of the former Jilly's flashing thousands in cash and a gun.

The Duffs are despicable, they were mob associates of Accardo, the one Duff threatened to kill a cop and chop up his children and wife because he was busted picking up a tranvestive prostitute. They treated their workers poorly, lots of complaints. They had no bid contracts that were based on sham minority companies that exploited Blacks and Women. They were all about the money. Also, they did not obey union rules, hired illegal aliens, violated workmens comp rules etc.

Torres was a TWO SIX gang member (he was not singing Gregorian chant in the gang) He ran a procurement program (without education and experience) where he took bribes with other sleazy characters for trucking companies (non union) that did NO work costing us tens of millions in extra taxes)

You can blame Kass, or Peter Fitzgerald, or Patrick Fitzgerald or this or that but Angelo Torres is a criminal. Kass exposed a lot of criminals and did a lot of good. There is no justification or excuse.

Anonymous,  4:06 PM  

Torres mentioned his son in his first.

You are reaching as Kass does in all of his opinion pieces. Kass is a bore as was this story.

Pat Hickey 4:06 PM  

No arguement. Sure he did. The sad fact of the matter is that it is not enough for him. He wrote a a crummy column.

Angelo Torres went to jail. He is out. He paid his debt. Is that not enough? According to our laws and customs it is.

Hey, Kass is a born-again tough guy; he can take a little criticism.

Hell, they threw the book at Mr. Torres.

His little boy is off limits - to paraphrase John Kass.

Bill 9:07 PM  

Kass is a punk who is still trying to get even with the Irish and Italian kids who used to pick on him and chase him home from school and make fun of his parents.He makes up most of what he writes and the rest is lies.

Tom,  9:35 PM  

"Bill", please use your real name, Fred Barbara.

Milton 10:23 PM  

{According to our laws and customs.}

According the constitution, there is a freedom of the press also. So I don't reed Kass or the other funny looking (Buck Teeth can't recall his name) guy at the Trib. Besides, the Tribune Company is as washed up finished as the Cubs. Conrad Black would not waste his time with it, because there is no solvency to it.

I miss Mike Royko and Steve Neal.

Bill, There is nothing wrong with making right with what the Irish and Italian have done.


--- Prof. Leland Milton Goldblatt

Danno,  10:51 PM  

PAT HICKEY writes:

"You reminded me of Housman's Shopshire Lad - and the need to slander - the opposite of virtue Terrence, the opposite. You remind me of the sad mopes posting on a stupid slander blog. Wax poetic son! But take your evidence to the Feds! Anon! Ol Kass is in thick company. "

Slander implies there is something that is false, LYING? What is lying here? Patrick ole boy you are good at the non sequitor, the straw man comeback, the gaelic qoute, the poetry or literary or lyrical citation YET when it comes to actually engaging argument or fact you fall short.

I am not sure where the virtue is in defending Angelo Torres or Sheriff Sheehen. Sheriff Sheehens people officers shot at African American civilians while they were drunk (Lanigan) at yelled racial slurs (on the record). Sheriff Sheehen never had African Americans in upper management (but there were McGings, Walsh, O'Grady, Brennan, and Ryan--all in good paying, not do too much, violation of the Shakman--will agree with you it is bullshit anyway decree---none of those great Irish names are cousins with Angelo Torres nor great African American boxers with Irish names even from Juan O'Donahue or the San Patricios.

Angelo Torres, he mentioned his kids, didn't he? And your point is? Are you saying Kass is lying about the Duff's threatening his kids? Are you defending Skinny Sheehan or are saying it is not true that he did not give contracts to the Duff's? Was he not at Special Events? Did he not send crews out for Mayor Daley, Sheriff Sheehan, Mike Quigley, Jimmy Sheehan, Judge Ryan, Judge McGing, Dick Devine (not Dick Phelan)--not all Irish? not handing out jobs and contracts? Not not knowing that the Duff's weren't elderly women or African American?

I miss Steve Neal too Milton--that was the only way to know which way Jerry Joyce was going or who was paying off too. Just ask the Sun Times and Dick Durbin--they know but wants you are gone all is forgotten. RIP but truth is still truth.

Anonymous,  11:06 PM  

Where are the mopes on the stupid slander blog Pat?
We want to wax poetically.

Amjat Ali,  8:01 AM  

Who runs the slander blogs?
What is the adress, I want some humor

John,  8:31 AM  

Hickey is a sick joke.

Anonymous,  8:56 AM  

hickeys to gutless to go there:

Pat Hickey 10:17 AM  


You're right - I don't care to 'go there' because I get all itchy just opening the blog - makes me feel like I wore spun-glass jammies.

You kids have fun there - not my cup of Kool Aid.

Leo grad,  9:28 PM  

You drink the Jeremiah Joyce kool aid where you defend criminality for the benefit of many.

Anonymous,  10:38 PM  

Kass' writing makes me sad. Philosophically I agree with him 90+% of the time. But he's so angry at Daley (and basically everyone else) that more than half of his columns aren't worth reading because you know what they're going to say. There's very little creativity or insight any more, and it's a real shame. He's smarter and more talented that. I get as mad at his targets as he does, but he's become the columnist equivalent of political sports radio -- it's entertaining if you're obsessed with argument, but it never sheds any light on the topic.

Pat Hickey 6:45 AM  

Hey , Let's see that diploma - no Leo Man I know is a sucker puncher; no Leo Man I know recycles a tag-line; no Leo man is anonymous; no Leo Man would use skewed logic:

'defend criminality for the benefit of many.' No Leo Man hates Robin Hood. Men of Sherwood! Answer the Blackguard!

Anonymous,  8:26 AM  

Would you let your Leo men in the interrogation room with Jon Burge?

But you don't believe in torture in the fine 19th ward police officers who electrocuted testicles

Pat Hickey 8:33 AM  

Acting like ninnies won't get Somerville 20%, but you are doing just fine. The goof Blog is ensured at least another four years of 'bringing the community together.'

Nothing you clowns post - which is always 100% nonsense from self-marginalized whinners - has anything remotely to do with the post presented and you expect John Somerville to benefit by it? He'll be lucky to scratch 15%. Rave on, kids.

TAC,  11:14 PM  

Shortly hereupon Mr. Rich (afterwards Lord Rich) then newly the King's Solicitor, Sir Richard Southwell, and Mr. Palmer, servant to the Secretary, were sent to Sir Thomas More into the Tower, to fetch away his books from him.

And while Sir Richard Southwell and Mr. Palmer were busy in trussing up of his books...

Mr. Rich pretending friendly talk with him, among other things of a set course, as it seemed, said thus unto him: "Forasmuch as it is well known (Mr. More) that you are a man both wise and well learned, as well in the laws of the Realm, as otherwise, I pray you therefore, Sir, let me be so bold as of good will to put unto you this case. Admit there were, Sir," quoth he, "an Act of Parliament, that all the Realm should take me for the King, would not you (Mr. More) take me for the King?"

"Yes, Sir," quoth Sir Thomas More, "that would I."

"I put the case further" (quoth Mr. Rich) "that there were an Act of Parliament that all the Realm should take me for the Pope; would then not you, Mr. More, take me for the Pope?"

"For answer," quoth Sir Thomas More, "to your first case, the Parliament may well (Mr. Rich) meddle with the state of temporal princes; but to make answer to your second case, I will put you this case. Suppose the Parliament would make a law, that God should not be God, would you then, Mr. Rich, say God were not God?"

"No, Sir," quoth he, "that would I not, since no Parliament may make any such law."

"No more" (said Sir Thomas More, as Mr. Rich reported of him) "could the Parliament make the King supreme head of the Church."

Paddy: Pray for your enemies: the probably damned souls of the whore illgeitimate Queen Elizabeth, her father the schismatic adulterer Henry VIII, and the evil mass murderer Cromell.
Also pray for the soul of the Mayor who changed his position on every social issue, supports gay marriage, and banned the Nativity movie in the Daley Center while he and his friend hurt the poor and let the rich connected steal in unprecendented amounts since the damned yet legitimate Pope Alexander VI.

Remember good Paddy, there is natural law and right and wrong.
Not even Jerry Joyce can change.

Tom,  2:56 AM  

Uh oh..... This Kass guy is exposing the dirty dealings of the 11th-19th Ward cabal. Better vilify him.

Pat Hickey 8:36 AM  

Hi Tom,

To vilify is not my rice bowl; merely, reacting to a jerk - one who would use another person's kid to set his agenda.

BTW - Master Kass couldn't find his butt with both hands without his political handler.

Patrick McDonough 8:57 AM  

As a political watchdog, I always look forward to everything John Kass has to write. While Kass was writing about Torres and Daley, my personal hero Mark Brown was writing about farts. Some kid Mark Brown knew farting on the back of the bus, ect. Ladies passing out in church holding gas in. While I adore Mark Brown, I thought my time best spent reading Kass's column a second time.

Anonymous,  5:28 PM  

If you want to talk about "journalists" who should of been villified and had "political handlers" it was Steve Neal. But I guess when it is your skunk....

John Kass is about the most independent and best muckracker out there
Glad he is at the Trib otherwise there would be no check

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