Justin Kaufmann, host of The Download on WGN and the Brothers Klonsky.
It was more than a little strange walking into the Tribune Tower on north Michigan Avenue last night. The gothic lobby is imposing, as it was meant to be. Engraved quotes from the captains of capitalism surround you like bible verse.
My friend and fellow teacher, Mark Stefanik texted me as the show began, “McCormick is spinning in his grave at the sound of your ideas on his radio station,” referring to the Trib’s founder Colonel McCormick.
It was imposing until Justin Kaufmann, host of the nightly The Download (7-11, 720 AM and streaming over the internet) came bounding into the green room to greet my brother Mike and me.
My brother and I had been invited by Kaufmann to be on his show to talk about Martin Luther King and our history of political engagement.
I remember WGN from the days of Wally Phillips and Roy Leonard, when it was rare to find a listener of the station under the age of 60.
Kaufmann is no Wally Phillips. Wally Phillips would never have had me or Mike on his show. Maybe Milt Rosenberg, the old University of Chicago traditionalist who did a nightly show back in the day. But not Wally.