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Fact-Checking John Cusack



Maybe it's because he was writing bleary-eyed from Bangkok, but John Cusack's debut post for Huffington Post Chicago was riddled with more errors than the 2006 Cubs.

Some - but not all - of the errors have been corrected. But really.

From a Beachwood reader:

"I submitted a comment to John Cusack's meandering love letter on the Chicago edition of the Huffington Post about eight hours ago. It hasn't posted yet. I'm wondering if one of the conditions of the pro bono agreement is that no negative comments will be brooked. Or perhaps I shone too bright a light on the lazy (or nonexistent) editing over there. I was not nasty. I simply wondered why Cusack neglected to correctly spell Biittner, Jordan, Chelios, and O'Neill (as in Eugene; I have to admit I also pointed out O'Neill was born in the U.S., not Ireland). Additionally, Cusack mistakenly wrote Eddie Gaedel pinch-hit for the White Sox and Sammy Sosa was on the '89 Cubs.

"It's no big deal, but it makes me wonder what other comments aren't being published (or taking an ungodly amount of time to post). I completely understand spelling and fact-checking make for uninteresting reading for some (okay, maybe most), but it's got to be more compelling than a bunch of 'OMG, I love Chicago, too!'"

Or, as So-Called Austin Mayor wrote, Michael Freakin' Jordan!

And that's not all.

Another Beachwood reader, Joel Reese, writes that "I grew up in Evanston. I used to do the same thing to Cubs games. There was no Express to Wrigley (we'll forgive the fact that he means 'Addison'). The El was an A/B system - trains were either A trains or B trains, and stations were either A or B (or AB). An A train stopped at A stations, a B train stopped at B stations, and both stopped at AB stops. If I remember correctly, the Cubs were such a minor deal that Wrigley (I mean) Addison wasn't an A/B stop. I could be wrong - surely that's easily found on the Web*. But the point is, there was no Express. There was the Evanston Express, which ran to Belmont, but my thinking is, it's only rush-hour."

Reese also notes:

"Cusack grew up in a massive house on Sheridan Road. Everyone knew which house it was. So it's slightly disingenuous to say he had to 'scrape' together $2.50. I'm thinking that wasn't an issue."


"Incidentally, I posted an not-positive comment about Cusack's little Chicago jerk-off piece. It didn't make it on the site, interestingly."

Indeed. As of this morning the post had 34 comments, all of them positive.

Get it right next time, John.

Or better yet, just keep your day job.


* From a Beachwood reader: Yes, it was easily found on the Web. Addison was a B stop during Cusack's childhood.


1. From Mike Kennedy:

Regarding Cusack and The Huffington Post: I'm glad to see your item about corrective comments not being posted because I also sent a comment pointing out that the Eddie Gaedel midget episode occurred when Bill Veeck owned the St. Louis Browns, not the Sox. Nothing snarky, just the facts - I always liked Cusack. I also prefaced it with a friendly "this mistake is excusable since you're writing on the fly halfway around the world . . . " And I also left out the part about there being no Express run from Howard to Addison because I moved away in the 80s and I thought maybe such a service was offered after I left. (Addison was a B stop, but usually in the couple of hours before game time, both A and B trains stopped at Addison.) So I guess getting some blogs to correct errors is as difficult as it is to get print newspapers to do so.


Thanks also to Kevin Allman. See his post on HuffPo Chicago here.


Wondering how Cusack - and any editors HuffPo may have - could misspell Michael Jordan's name? Now we know how. One of our aggrieved readers captured the original, un-corrected post:

August 14, 2008
John Cusack
Bleary-eyed in Bangkok: Daybreak Memories of Chicago
Posted August 15, 2008 | 11:45 PM (EST)

I've had pressing business in the Far East as of late so I happened to be in Bangkok working nights when my friend, the good and great Arianna, reminded me she was launching HuffPost Chicago and asked if I remembered my promise that I'd write something about my memories of the Windy City.

"Yes, of course," I lied. "When is it due?"

"Tomorrow, darling."

Since it's August and we're in a pennant race, my mind first goes to Chicago sports: Wrigley Field and all-things-Cubs, when Jose Cardenal was the only player who could really play. When it was Mick Kelleher and Larry Bittner and George " the Baron" Mitterwald - and Pete LaCock on first base and "Tarzan" Joe Wallis in centerfield. And Bruce Sutter with that unhittable split-fingered fastball . . . Ride the El up from Evanston, change on the Howard line and take the Express to Wrigley - which I did as many times as I could scrape together $2.50 for a one-way kamikaze mission, and another $1.75 for bleacher seats, then steal hot dogs and Cokes from the vendors before taking the train home after the game . . .

Through the '80s, with Gary "The Sarge" Matthews hitting third, taking us to our first division title in 7 million years. The great Andre Dawson and Sammy Sosa, getting us to the playoffs but never all the way . . .

From Jack Brickhouse and Billy Williams to Harry Caray, liquored up on a hot summer day, down by seven runs and loaded for bear, most of my childhood was at least partially centered on this Mecca of baseball, this civic shrine that is home to the Chicago Cubs. Every visit to Wrigley Field adds six months back onto one's life expectancy - doctors have proven this many times.

The next thing that comes to mind is the image of Walter Payton turning a corner. It wasn't a fall until Walter ran around defensive ends and then through linebackers. Walter would take the handoff, and it was Sunday, and the crisp frost of autumn was in the air, and there was nothing prettier than Walter in his prime.

Then there was watching Michael Jordon learning to win, defying physics and the Detroit Pistons over a grueling 7 or 8 years - making the whole city stop in the darkest, coldest days of winter to watch as he performed feats of magic every time he stepped on the court. The whole city gasped in delight and awe, knowing they were seeing something that would never be equaled on a basketball court. Michael Jordon was one of the great things about Chicago winter - consistently, spectacularly brilliant every goddamn game, every goddamn night. It was a thing to behold.

And the old Comiskey Park, where Shoeless Joe and Buck Weaver played. The one-legged owner, Bill Veeck and the midget at-bat and the players in shorts and the showers in the bleachers, and Jimmy Piersall and Harry Caray doing filthy standup in the booth. And Oscar Gamble and the South Side Hit Men, and Chet Lemon and then Ozzie Guillen and Greg " the Bull" Luzinski and Carlton Fisk and Harold Baines.

Can't forget watching old friend Chris Chellios skate for the Hawks and eating with him in Greektown after the game . . . thinking in a few years I'll be there for his Hall of Fame induction speech after he played another season or two. That was ten years ago and counting.

And the music - dozens of the best clubs and bars in America, with live music of all kinds: blues, jazz punk rock, ska, rap, always something going on, with great venues like Metro, and the Aragon Ballroom where I saw Nirvana at the peak of their formidable power.

Plus hundreds of theaters - some with only thirty seats. I rented out a bunch and produced plays in Chicago - and a good time, I hope, was had by all.

And then the old Irish bar O'Rouke's with the pictures and quotes by Yeats and Shaw and O'Neal and Brendan Behan and other Irish luminaries and lunatics. Many glorious and savage nights there.

O'Rourkes is gone now but whenever I drive by, I tip my cap.

Chicago is the best kept secret in America, or so it's been said . . . That sounds about right to me.


Posted on August 19, 2008

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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