A Former Chicagoan Remembers The Former Chicago Tribune
December 28, 2004
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Paul Nachman writes from California:
The Tribune`s metamorphosis is striking for a
native (though no longer resident) Chicagoan.
During the 1950s, my dad explained the paper`s
politics to this grade-schooler by saying the Trib
didn`t like President Eisenhower "because he`s
During the 1960s, I was sufficiently sentient to
notice that the Trib, besides
billing itself, below its nameplate, as the
"World`s Greatest Newspaper" (incidentally, the
origin of the call letters of its owned TV station,
WGN), ran a photo of the "Flag of the Day.”
This was a different American flag, flying somewhere
around the Chicago area, every day.
A brief history of the paper
backs up my youthful impressions. It says that the
Tribune "was noted for the vigor of its
anticommunism and attacks on the
New Deal, surpassing even the
Hearst papers in virulence."
But by the mid-1970s, the paper actually had one
liberal editorial writer, whom I lobbied to write an
editorial backing full wilderness protection for
Minnesota`s Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
Given the Tribune`s flinty conservative
reputation, the published piece created somewhat of a
hearings about the relevant legislation before the
House Interior Committee.
In the intervening years, Tribune managers
have apparently managed to completely exorcise the ghost
Col. Robert McCormick, the Trib`s
arch-conservative owner for the second quarter of the