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Throwback Thursday

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Essential stories of Chicago Police Department misconduct

Posted By on 11.25.15 at 06:48 PM

Chicago police torturer Jon Burge
  • Chicago police torturer Jon Burge

The Reader has covered the issue of CPD misconduct, particularly officer-involved shootings, for decades. If you're new to the issue, or just need a refresher, here are a handful of stories from the archive that give context to the recent events. 

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

When you're eating pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving, give thanks to the unsung laborers of Morton, Illinois

Posted By on 11.12.15 at 04:42 PM


Pumpkin pie became Illinois's state pie this summer when, in acknowledgment of the Land of Lincoln's status as the country's top pumpkin producer, Governor Bruce Rauner signed a bill giving the dessert that official designation. It now shares equal billing with the state's official fruit (the Goldrush apple) and snack food (popcorn).

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

A look back at racial bias in Cook County jury selection

Posted By on 11.05.15 at 01:30 PM


Earlier this week, the Supreme Court debated the issue of racial discrimination in jury selection. The argument stemmed from a Georgia case in which an all-white jury convicted Timothy Foster, a black man, of murdering an elderly white woman and then sentenced him to death. The killing happened nearly three decades ago, but the defense lawyers didn't obtain the prosecution's notes until 2006 through an open-records request. Those notes showed what Foster's lead attorney characterized as "an arsenal of smoking guns" with regards to evidence of racial discrimination.

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Taking the David Foster Wallace magical mystery tour

Posted By on 08.27.15 at 01:11 PM


The David Foster Wallace Industrial Complex that's sprung up in the seven years since his suicide has birthed an unlikely new film out this month. Called The End of the Tour, it's based on writer David Lipsky's memoir Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself. It stars Jason Segel as the late author and Jesse Eisenberg as Lipsky, who was sent by Rolling Stone to profile Wallace in 1996 as the late novelist promoted Infinite Jest. Part bromantic road movie and part heady Dinner With Andre-style talkathon, The End of the Tour has earned stellar reviews (including from our own J.R. Jones) and some hand-wringing because its subject had such a tortuous relationship with fame. Surely Wallace would have cringe at the idea of Wallace the movie character, right? "I don't want to turn this into a romantic, lurid, tormented-artist thing," he tells Lipsky at one point during their five-day trip.

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

The case for ending the Chicago Air & Water Show

Posted By on 08.13.15 at 02:30 PM

Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing but the might of America’s military-industrial complex—air shows feel like a relic of the past. (Doesn’t the Obama era call for an outdoor drone show?) But that won't stop more than 1.5 million people from crowding the lakefront this weekend to watch the Blue Angels ride the highway to the danger zone during the Chicago Air & Water Show.

Aside from some muttering about the chest-rattling sonic boom emitted by squadrons of jets taking practice runs, there has been very little criticism of the loud, proud event, now in its 57th year. Most media coverage previewing the show looks like the Tribune’s—something akin to a pamphlet the city's flacks might hand to attendees.

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Remember when Geovany Soto looked like the key to a Cubs championship?

Posted By on 08.06.15 at 01:03 PM


When it come to the the Cubs, hope springs eternal from the pen of sportswriter Ted Cox. His profile of Joe Maddon, published yesterday, hints that perhaps the Cubs' iconoclastic new manager is the guy who can help Chicago's most fruitless franchise finally win a championship.

I really want to believe in Maddon—but then again the Lovable Losers have had many a great white hope move through the ranks in the 107 years since the team's last World Series championship. One of them was Geovany Soto, the subject of Cox's June 2008 Reader cover story Rookie of the Century.”

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

A former Reader writer really didn't like Lollapalooza '92

Posted By on 07.30.15 at 03:30 PM


You could probably assume as much by the review's disdainful headline, but Bill Wyman was not enamored with Lollapalooza '92. Never one to mince words, the former Reader writer, now a culture critic at Al Jazeera America, wrote a scathing critique of the second Lollapalooza to hit the Chicago area 23 years ago at Tinley Park's World Music Theater (now Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre), which you can read here.

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Chicago is a city (still) on a hot seat

Posted By on 07.23.15 at 02:50 PM


Book reviews don't often make the front page, but Harold Henderson's "City On the Hot Seat"— an analysis of Northwestern sociologist Eric Klinenberg's book Heat Wave—made for essential reading when it hit the Reader cover on July 25, 2002.

Two decades ago this July, approximately 700 Chicagoans died during a week-long heat wave that scorched the city with temperatures as high as 105 degrees and heat indexes that climbed into the 120s. It was the second deadliest week in Chicago history, yet one that the city had trouble grappling with because of the slow-burning and invisible nature of high temperatures.

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