First Tuesdays

First Tuesdays is a monthly political talk show hosted by Ben Joravsky & Mick Dumke at the Hideout bar, 1354 W. Wabansia. With the help of guests–elected officials, union leaders, activists, and other journalists–Mick & Ben aim to explain how the city, state, country and universe really works.

It all started like this: Pharaoh’s heart became hard, and he would not listen to them…. Wait–wrong story.

Not long ago, Tim Tuten, co-owner of the Hideout, had a moment of inspiration. Don’t laugh–it’s been known to happen.

Shortly before he led a room of strangers in a rousing karaoke version of Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long (All Night),” Tuten blurted out to Mick that he and Ben should start holding a live discussion about politics: “We’ll call it First Tuesdays–cause it’ll be on the first Tuesday of every month.”

When Tim was reminded of this after the beer wore off, he still thought it was a fine idea. He offered to let Mick & Ben hold the event at the Hideout. They wholeheartedly agreed. And the rest is history…

Their first show, in April 2014, featured Alderman Proco Joe Moreno, a mayoral ally; Alderman Scott Waguespack, a mayoral critic; and former alderman Richard Mell, who proudly explained how he’d once controlled 1,000 patronage jobs, some of which required work.

Since then, our guests have included aldermen, state legislators, county officials, journalists, mayoral candidates, and union leaders. They have offered their take on who holds power around here, where your tax money’s disappearing to, what’s happening in the school system, and why on earth we haven’t legalized marijuana–among other topics.

Mick & Ben are firmly committed to occasionally taking names and kicking ass, while having fun in the process. They want you to join them on the first Tuesday of next month. And the month after that.


“Ben’s the guy in the Bulls hat–what else?”


Ben Joravsky

I moved to Chicago in 1981 and have been writing about local politics ever since. We’re talking hundreds, if not thousands, of profiles, columns and features–mostly for the Reader, for whom I’ve been a staff writer since 1990. I’d say it’s a miracle I’ve kept my sanity. Except I’m not sure I have. I’ve written several books, including Hoop Dreams. And I’ve won many journalism prizes, including the 2010 Chicago Journalist of the Year Award from the Chicago Journalists Association and the 2010 Journalist of the Year Award from Northern Illinois University. I guess you could say 2010 was a good year for me, journalistically speaking. I’d like to thank my old pal, Mayor Daley, for giving me so much to write about. While we’re at it–here’s a shout out to my new pal, Mayor Emanuel, for keeping me in business. Finally, I write for The Third City, a daily humor blog that “rarely lies to the American people.”


Photo Credit:  Andrew Nelles

Mick Dumke

I credit Richard Nixon. I was born during his first administration, just months before the Watergate break-ins, and some of my earliest memories are of Nixon’s downfall and Jimmy Carter’s election. It was a happy childhood. Since then I’ve never been able to shake my passion for politics and journalism. After studying religion at Northwestern University, I taught at an alternative high school, coached youth swimming, attended seminary, and worked in a church homeless ministry before getting into journalism full time. I ended up working at newspapers in Michigan and Virginia; The Chicago Reporter; and the Chicago News Cooperative; and my work has also appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and many other publications. Since 2005, I’ve been writing for the Chicago Reader, mostly reporting in-depth stories on issues like Chicago’s notorious parking meter deal and the racially disproportionate impacts of drug policies. In my free time I’ve been known to sue the city for ignoring the Freedom of Information Act, and I cheer for a number of losing sports causes, including the Chicago Cubs and Northwestern Wildcats.