predilection for sodomy with heroism:rnveteran cokimnist Mike Royko. Whilernthe Tribune was genuflecting before thernApril 1993 “Gay Rights March on Washington,”rnRoyko pooh-poohed it as thernfatuous nonsense that it was. And whilernthe Tribune was haranguing PresidentrnBill Clinton to repeal the ban on openrnhomosexuals in the military, Royko—rnone of the few remaining Tribune writersrnwho actually served in the military—denouncedrnthe plan, calling it “a blue chiprnin the poker game of gay obscssives” tornwin total social acceptance. Now, it appears,rnthe gay obscssives are out to makernRoyko pay for his heresy.rnThe director of something called thern”Illinois Federation for Human Rights”rnrecently demanded that the Tribune firernRoyko, a living legend in Chicago journalism,rnfor an episode of misbehavior—rnalthough not on grounds that wouldrnmake sense to most people. It all startedrna week before last Christmas, whenrnRoyko drove while intoxicated near hisrnhome in the posh Chicago suburb ofrnWinnetka and ran into another car.rnWhen police arrived on the scene andrnarrested him, Royko also struck an officer.rn(Sort of reminds you of RodneyrnKing, doesn’t it?) In May, Royko pleadedrnguilty to driving under the influence,rnfailing to yield the right of way, and re-rnMOVIN’, MOVIN’,rnMOVIN’rn”A new film version of Othello, to starrnLawrence Fishburnc as the betrayedrn[sic] Moor of Venice who kills hisrnwife, will offer more ‘conversational’rndialogue than Shakespeare imagined.rn. . . First-time director Oliver Parkerrnsaid the play’s dialogue, which gavernthe English language the phrasesrn’green-eyed monster’ and ‘one thatrnloved not wisely, but too well,’ neededrnupdating to keep the movie moving-“rn—from the Chicago Tribune,rnMay 30.rnsisting arrest. It was, sadly, far from beingrnhis first alcohol-related brush withrnthe law, and the judge stripped Royko ofrnhis driver’s license for a year, placed himrnon two years’ court supervision, finedrnhim $1,000, and ordered him to performrn80 hours of community service. At hisrnsentencing, Royko, unlike Saint Rodney,rnwas propedy contrite, even to the pointrnof thanking the Winnetka police forrnmaintaining their professionalism duringrnhis arrest, and promised to fulfill hisrncommunity service obligation by readingrnto blind people at a Chicago social servicernagency.rnMost people, no matter how reprehensiblernthey might find drunk drivingrnand punching cops, would probablyrnagree that this docs not sound like a manrnwho needs to be fired from his job—^butrnthen, Chicago’s militant homosexualsrnand their allies in local politics and thernmedia are not most people. Neady half arnvear after the accident, and nearly arnmonth after the sentencing. Rick Garcia,rnthe head of the aforementioned “humanrnrights federation,” suddenly demandedrnthat the Tribune fire Royko—not forrndrunk driving, and not for cop-punching,rnbut because Royko during his arrestrnhad reportedly uttered “derogatoryrnterms for homosexuals” to the officersrnand the ambulance crew! This tidbit ofrninformation, which had not previouslyrnbeen brought to public attention by anybody,rnfirst appeared in June in the WindyrnCity ‘Times, Chicago’s official “gay”rnnewspaper. From there, most local TVrnand radio outlets eagerly snapped it uprnand ran with it, as did the chief competitorrnof the Tribune, the Chicago Sun-rnTimes. The Tribune itself stayed mum.rn”It is a personal matter of Mr. Royko’s,”rnmumbled a spokesman for the paper.rnRick Garcia would have none of it. If thernhellish Royko were allowed to keep hisrnjob, Garcia whined to the media horde,rn”it shows that a bigot can be harboredrnand can find a position of prominence atrnthe Tribune.” (During his arrest, Roykornalso reportedly called one of the officersrn”a loser” when he noticed that the coprnhad a surname of Croatian extraction.rnAs of this writing, however, no outragedrnCroatian-Americans in Chicago haverncalled the Tribune to demand that it firernRoyko for bis “insensitivity” about thernBalkan war.)rnMost public figures probably wouldrnhave clammed up in the face of this kirrdrnof pile-on; Royko, to his credit, gave itrnright back. He noted in his column thernnext day that the reason why he andrnhis wife fled Chicago’s swanky “GoldrnCoast” for Winnetka two years ago wasrnthat after he wrote his column supportingrnthe military’s “gay ban,” members ofrnACT-UP vandalized his home in thernmiddle of the night, plastering it withrnstickers which called him a Nazi. AsrnRoyko pointed out, he never did get anrnapology for that criminal attack on hisrnproperty; nor did the Chicago mediarntake any great pains to publicize the incident,rnlet alone condemn it. And Roykornalso raised a cjucstion which almost nobodyrnelse in the local media thought tornask: Exactly how did the Windy CityrnTimes get its hands on this story? Itrncame, in fact, from the Winnetka policerndepartment’s official report of the accidentrn—but, as I know from personal experiencernas a reporter who covered suburbanrnChicago police departments, therncops rarely if ever publicize such information.rnAnd certainly the Windy Cityrn’Times doesn’t send a reporter up to Winnetkarneach week to leaf through policernreports.rnSo what we had here was an inside job:rnsomebody who had access to the policerndepartment and its reports got a copy ofrnRoyko’s file and relayed it to the WindyrnCity ‘Times, which then passed it off tornthe rest of the Chicago media—and, forrngood nreasure, other homosexual publicationsrnin New York and San Francisco.rnAs Royko also pointed out, only onernother person on the Chicago mediarnscene—conservative radio falk-showrnhost and Sun-Times columnist TomrnRoeser—thought it relevant to ask whornwas responsible for leaking the report.rn’I’he highly knowledgeable and reliablernRoeser suspects operatives of CookrnCounty State’s Attorney Jack O’Malleyrn—a liberal, “inclusive” Chicago Republicanrnand protege of former IllinoisrnGovernor James Thompson, who has alwaysrncourted militant homosexuals, radicalrnfeminists, minority “activists,” andrnthe other usual professional victimrngroups.rnOf course, Royko is not likely to bernfired from the Tribune, no matter howrnmuch the Rick Gareias of the worldrnmight whine for it. After all, firing Roykornwould provoke outrage—and canceledrnsubscriptions—from who-knows-howmanyrnthousands of readers who now buyrnthe paper only to read Royko.rnTerry Przybylski writes from Des Plaines,rnIllinois.rn48/CHRONICLESrnrnrn