Wonder how Mike Royko would have treated election? Try his Facebook page

28 Dec

The late, great Mike Royko, Pulitzer Prize winning Chicago newspaper columnist, would have had a ball covering the Feb. 22 city election. Every one of his former readers can agree on that. From Slats Grobnik, his literary alter-ego, to more direct approaches deflating political balloons, the City Hall runoffs would be target-rich turf for Mike’s one-of-a-kind style and knowledge. Here is the second segment in a periodic “Royko Retro” series leading to Feb. 22 voting for a new mayor and aldermen.

Would Mike Royko have embraced new technology?

Well, it’s been over 12 years since he wrote his last column, but he does have a Facebook page.

“If you aren’t aware of it, I started a group on Facebook called ‘Mike Royko is God.’ Check it out and join today!” said Illinois resident Robert Chiarito in a wall-post.

The creator of Royko’s Facebook page personalizes it by adding “16-inch softball, talks with Slats Grobnik, Cubs, Chicago politics, getting under Richard J. Daley’s skin, getting sued by Rupert Murdoch, satire” as Royko’s interests, along with Amazon links to “One More Time” and “Boss.”

Chicagoans, and others, are showing their loyalty to Mike through comments, shared links, pokes, likes, and photos.

Iowa resident Jueseppi Hussein Baker wrote: “Only the greatest writer in Chicago newspaper history. I miss him.”

Ohio native Bob Walker posts “An old girlfriend gave me a copy of “Boss” in 1974, and I’ve been a fan ever since.”

Missouri resident Tom Cook says, “When I was overseas serving in the military, I always received articles in the mail from my Mom and Dad that had his clippings. I laughed over and over and over again.”

Even Royko’s son, David, joined the conversation last September to boost sales for his new book. He wrote: “Royko fans might like to know I’m scheduled to be on the WGN midday (noon) news tomorrow (Friday, 9/29) talking about ‘Royko In Love.’”

Of the many comments and wall posts, those who remember Mike Royko are preaching a distinct and unilateral message: nobody since him has delivered what he did, and nobody can. Chicagoan and DePaul graduate student Kelli Heinz asks the question via Royko’s wall of “How would Mike Royko have liked writing about the upcoming Feb. 22 Chicago mayoral election?”

According to his fan following, he would have loved it, and done it better than anyone around today.

By Jennifer Schanz

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