Relations between journalists and the subjects about whom they write feature an inherent tension. As journalists, we're asking sources to take time out of their schedules to talk with us when the results are uncertain: They don't know whether we'll write something glowing or damning about them.
"Gimme another beer, willya Mike? And a coupla Slim Jims."
"Beer's gonna kill ya, Louie. You oughta drink healthy like I do. Lemme see that paper."
"Whaddaya mean, healthy?"
"Gatorade and vodka.
Last week's cover story and editorial in the River Cities' Reader regarding DavenportOne elicited a phone call from a Davenport city staff member who was concerned that commenting on DavenportOne's first year in operation without disclosing certain facts relative to the Reader appears to be a conflict of interest for this paper.
"Welcome to another edition of Blowhard Roundtable - the fast-moving, hard-hitting, fist-banging program where Washington insiders shout at each other while you just sit there and listen."
"That's right, Fred.
As readers can see, our cover story this week features the first anniversary of DavenportOne. While congratulations are definitely in order, it was somewhat shocking for me to note the enormous weight DavenportOne gave to the City of Davenport's deal with Sentry Insurance as somehow being a feather in its own cap.
There's a stack of news clippings here labeled "McDonald's" that is getting so thick we finally had to move the Gary Condit file.
But seriously. I spent all week trying to write something funny about America's Most Successful Fast Food Chain, by way of introducing a just-leaked story that spotlights the company's latest misadventure.
Where oh where is our new Davenport city administrator? It has been over three weeks since Mayor Phil Yerington announced his choice of Craig Malin for the position, amidst some dissention from players at DavenportOne and several of the aldermen, namely Aldermen Sherwood and McGivern.
"All right, let's get started. This meeting of Underage Alcohol Marketers Anonymous will please come to order. And remember, no last names."
"Can I go first?"
I've known Mike Dassie for well over 20 years. Mike passed away last Thursday, June 28, after 57 years of a truly great presence on this earth. Mike was manager of the Davenport Country Club for thirteen years, owned O'Meara's Pub in downtown Bettendorf for five years, and then went on to operate his own successful catering business.
Q: I hear Congress still can't agree on that patient bill of rights. What's the problem?
A: Nothing's more complicated than health care in America. The latest stumbling block was when several Senators realized that checking into a hospital and hiring a prostitute both started with the same question - "How much money do you have?" - and ended with, "All right, lie down and give me your underwear.
You'll get a rundown of What's Happenin' along with your keys to the Quad Cities' culture.
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