Chicago - Dec. 9, 2019
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The [Tuesday] Papers

I hate asking for money - I feel like I long ago tapped out my readership, who've been so generous and supportive over the years, especially since the rest of the business model here collapsed somewhere around, what, 2008?

And I'm not a fan of all the begging news organizations have been doing in recent years - especially the kind that tries to guilt readers/citizens into supporting them. Let me tell you something, media: Nobody owes you anything.

But that's a topic for another time. For now, I'm conflicted because I also feel lax in not asking for money again given the #GivingTuesday madness I'm seeing out there today. I'd much rather have a tech and/or business partner, for this site and other projects, but that ship seems to have sailed far, far away many moons ago. I'm tired of even mentioning it.

Just know how grateful I am to everyone who has given to the Beachwood - or just read us - over the years. Also, the goodies you get from a Beachwood Membership are real - you just have to claim them!

So . . . one more time for 2019.

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Not So Fast Eddie Johnson
"In his first public comments since his firing, former Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson issued a statement Tuesday denying he intentionally lied to the mayor or public but admitting that he made 'a poor decision and had a lapse of judgment' on the late weeknight in October when he was found asleep in his running vehicle at a stop sign," the Tribune reports.

"That was a mistake and I know that," Johnson said in the statement. "I have no interest in fighting a battle for my reputation with those that want to question it now."

"I will simply rely on the reputation for integrity that I think I have earned during my long career, with the faith that we should all be judged by the entirety of our lives and not what happened on our worst days."

On Monday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot fired Johnson weeks before his retirement after she said she learned that the city inspector general's office had uncovered evidence that Johnson had lied about what happened in October.

Make no mistake: Johnson lied. First he told the public - via reporters - that he had a bad reaction to some new medication. Then he told the mayor he had "a couple drinks." The mayor backed him publicly, though she apparently pressed him on his phony story as the evidence developed and was presented to her by the city's inspector general. Johnson must've felt like a defendant in the former federal prosecutor's courtroom; I'm sure she dismantled his abridged version of events quite easily. But not (apparently) before he made a fool of her at his ill-advised celebratory retirement press conference, which Lightfoot now says she regrets. Lesson learned, hopefully.

Also keep in mind: The inspector general has video. It will show Johnson leaving Ceres (!) (which was trending in Chicago on Monday), and getting in a car and that car swerving on down the road.

The inspector general also has a police report from the officers who found Johnson slumped over the wheel of his car near his Bridgeport home. Or perhaps the lack of such a report. Or a report lacking. Let's just say Johnson (likely) isn't the only one who lost their job that night.

Meanwhile, in his statement, Johnson is effectively calling Lightfoot a liar. But there was no misunderstanding over what he told her.

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"Johnson's chief spokesman, Anthony Guglielmi, issued a statement that same day saying that the officers who responded to the 911 call did not notice 'any signs of impairment' on the superintendent's part and that Johnson drove himself home. Guglielmi also said the superintendent had called for an internal investigation on himself 'because of the optics.'"

My understanding is that Johnson didn't make that decision; he was told in on uncertain terms to call for the investigation.

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"I have no interest in fighting a battle for my reputation with those that want to question it now," Johnson said in his statement, released through his attorney.

In other words, he has no intention of answering reporters' questions. That is not the stance of a person accepting responsibility for their actions along with a willingness to be held accountable. So he goes out a hack, albeit one who rose to a level beyond his ability. So Chicago.

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I think (hope) we all know what this means. As reported, Johnson was at Ceres with a woman who was not his wife. It's only relevant insofar as it may help explain his motives in not coming clean about what really happened, though even without that piece of it he was still found passed out in his car.

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Meanwhile, from the precincts of ideological madness . . .

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The Trump stuff is laughable, but the narrative coming out of the pro-Preckwinkle, anti-Lightfoot camp is downright depressing. To wit :

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Now, I don't think Eddie Johnson should have ever gotten the job in the first place. I agree wholeheartedly with this piece, which, to be transparent, I assisted with before submitted:

However, being mad at Lightfoot for not firing Johnson immediately and then getting mad at Lightfoot when she did fire Johnson is the position of someone who is looking for every reason to get mad about Lightfoot. It's also highly uninformed.

First, Johnson's days were numbered. Lightfoot was going to make a change one way or another. What she said during the campaign, though, was that it would be downright dangerous to fire him upon taking office and create instability in the department with the violence of summer upon us. Instead, she said, she'd review Johnson's performance in the fall. And I've got news for you: Johnson wasn't going to survive.

Second, he was fired for getting drunk? No. He was fired for getting caught drunk driving, waving away investigating officers and lying to reporters and the mayor about it. Should he not have been fired for these actions? Talk about twisting yourself in knots.

I only bring this up because it's already a familiar refrain in some progressive/lefty/radical quarters, and it's coming from the same people who demonized Lightfoot during the campaign in the service of trying to get the chair of the Cook County Democratic Party (aka The Machine) elected mayor. The one who pals around with the Burkes and counts Joe Berrios as a close friend and political ally. Just think about how upside down that is.

Also, this animus to Lightfoot - and for the millionth time, I'm not here to defend her, I'm just here to explain the situation and defend the facts - is exactly what drove the CTU strike. (I've since learned, not unsurprisingly, that the politics behind the strike are even worse than I knew at the time. That's another story, but christ, people, do some reporting.)

It's the same people pushing this latest line of thinking that pushed the bag of falsities the teachers' union put out, including memes that "Lori is a cop" and "Rahm 2.0." You could certainly disagree with Lightfoot and believe that she should have fired Johnson on day one, but that's an honest difference of opinion. The notion that Lightfoot's firing of Johnson is somehow more evidence of how much she sucks is beyond silly.

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Speaking of Rahm 1.0:

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Meanwhile, In State News . . .

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And In Fake News . . .

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

Lurlean Hunter's Chicago
From Clarksdale to Englewood to WBBM radio and Chicago's nightclubs.

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ChicagoReddit

Is there a Front of the Yards? from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Static-X at House of Blues on Monday night.

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BeachBook

RED ALERT: U.S. May Face French Fry Shortage!

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TweetWood
A sampling of the delight and disgust @BeachwoodReport.

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The Beachwood Deep Tip Line: Truth in a casserole.



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Posted on December 3, 2019


MUSIC - Remembering Juice WRLD.
TV - This Is Why Children's TV Is So Weird.
POLITICS - Protocols Of The Elders Of The Republican Party.
SPORTS - The Bears Are (Not) Back, Baby!

BOOKS - Americans Still Wrong About Climate Change.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Confessions Of A Chicago Tour Guide.


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