Mark Kirk Inspires Writer Dennis O'Toole to Confess | WBEZ
Skip to main content

Eight Forty-Eight

Mark Kirk Inspires Writer Dennis O'Toole to Confess

Recently, Congressman Mark Kirk, who is currently a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate has been doing some damage control over statements he made about his past. That prompted writer Dennis O'Toole to fess up.

In light of the recent events in the Illinois Senate races, there are a few things I'd like to get off my chest.

I misspoke about my service in Viet Nam. I did not, in fact, win two Congressional Medals of Honor, three Bronze Stars, and a Victoria Cross. I was only 6 months old when Saigon fell, so when I said that I was "America's greatest hero in Indochina," I meant that metaphorically. I offer my sincerest apologies to anyone who misunderstood me.

My recent claim that I won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting was intended to be ironic. I have not—yet—won any award in any field. I have also been informed that there is no Nobel Prize for journalism, so I totally misspoke when I said that I had four.

I am not a member of the Windy City Rollers, nor am I a member of any competitive women's roller derby organization. Please consider my previous statement on the matter a sort of palindrome gone awry. I am, in fact, a man, despite incessant claims to the contrary. Physical violence frightens me—especially on wheeled shoes.

Although I am an excellent cook and an able baker, I have not won a James A. Beard award. Long John Silvers was not “my idea.” I have never been Oprah's personal chef, and I was at no point in my life engaged to Rachel Ray, Paula Dean, or the guy from “Barbecue University.”

I am not black. I will stop implying it in conversation.

I am not a doctor, lawyer, engineer, economist, waste management specialist, educator, professional athlete, military historian, or a climatologist. Though my lack of expertise in anything will not stop me from offering trite opinions on complex issues, I will stop telling women I am these things just to get their phone numbers.

I did cause the housing bubble. So, um, my bad on that one.

Dennis O'Toole is a writer and improv performer who lives in he says.

Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.