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Memo to the Sun-Times: you don’t go to war against the Tribune armed with red noses and whoopee cushions. I saw Wednesday’s front page head–“Memorial Mixup: They think I’m dead. I’m not–and it’s the Tribune‘s fault”–and I didn’t want to read the story because I just knew it would be really silly. But a reader with low tolerance for irresponsibility wrote insisting I “slap them around” so I had to do due diligence.

The story turns out to be about an East Dundee man, Orlyn Schuette, who was briefly missing in action in WWII when his bomber was shot down over Bulgaria. Last Memorial Day, his name was added to a memorial in Geneva by the Kane County Veterans Assistance Commission, which was misled by sketchy old records and a 1944 Tribune story that called Schuette’s wife a “widow.” Despite the first-person nature of the headline, Schuette had no beef with the Tribune and didn’t even mention it in the story.

The Sun-Times’s new editorial page editor, Cheryl Reed, wrote a piece the other day telling the world that a Sun-Times that has returned to its “working-class, liberal roots” now stands “squarely opposite” the Tribune, “that Republican, George Bush-touting paper over on moneyed Michigan Avenue.” 

So it’s eyeball to eyeball. And the Sun-Times is dropping its drawers to make the other guys blink.