Monday, September 9, 2013

National notoriety for Second City?

Chicago is getting its share of national attention these days, what with our usual level of nonsense being capable of drawing the public’s mindset to our actions.

EMANUEL: Nation turns its eyes to you Monday
It didn’t help that the mayor of Minneapolis felt compelled to score points for his city at our expense with the issue of marriage being legitimate for gay couples in Minnesota – but not Illinois.

ALTHOUGH STEPHEN COLBERT (the actor who does a parody of a right-wing obnoxious talk show host on the Comedy Central channel) decided to use our city’s urban violence problems for his cheap laugh of the week.

Both of those men managed to get their share of snickers at our expense. Although the laughter may not yet be done.\

Because it seems that our city’s very own mayor, Rahm Emanuel, is going on national television. No, not “Meet the Press” or some other network Sunday talk show. He is going to be on the “Late Night” program Monday.

Meaning Rahm-bo will be taking on David Letterman – who isn’t any kind of policy expert, but is more than willing to have political people on his program if he thinks they can be entertaining. Particularly if he can trip them up in their own double-talk.

OFFICIALLY, EMANUEL IS going on the program as part of a segment that is promoting a new documentary about the 20 living men who have held the job of U.S. presidential Chief of Staff.

Both Emanuel and Democratic gubernatorial dreamer William Daley have held that title. It would seem that Emanuel would be expected to reminisce a bit about his couple of years being the guy who ran the White House staff for President Barack Obama.

But once you get someone on camera, it can be easy for the topic to change and unrelated questions to come up.

Will Letterman try asking some serious public policy questions, just to see if by any miracle he can get a legitimate response from Emanuel? Would Hizzoner be the touchy type who loses his temper?

OR WILL HE become one of those obnoxious types who takes affront at the nerve of someone to question him, causing him to just clam up and say nothing?

I’m not predicting at this point how Emanuel will behave on national attention. Although let’s be honest, it could be very easy for him to behave in a less-than-appropriate manner that makes himself appear to be a complete cretin and the people of Chicago.

RYBAK: Stealing business from Illinois?
Not a bad moment for a guy who once was a weatherman in Indiana-noplace.

He certainly will have material to work with. Let’s be honest. We seem to be in a silly season cycle these days – even though our next election cycle officially has barely begun.

THERE IS MOCKABLE material to be derived from Chicago these days.

Take the spectacle of R.T. Rybak, the Minneapolis mayor who literally came to Chicago to make several appearances (including a live interview on WTTW-TV’s “Chicago Tonight” program) to tell gay couples they should travel north when they want to marry.

After all, they could have a nice ceremony, celebrate it up big, and it will be Minneapolis-based businesses that make money, rather than Chicago companies.

Rybak admits there isn’t really a huge economic boost for Minnesota from this. But he does get to “rub it in” the concept that Emanuel doesn’t have enough influence at the state government level to get gay marriage passed in Illinois – even though he’s very much on the record as favoring the concept.

COULD LETTERMAN DECIDE to poke some fun on this issue?

Or will he try to follow up on Stephen Colbert’s attempt to get a cheap laugh out of the number of murders this year in the city – which actually is down by 23 percent compared to 2012 and nowhere near to the level of slayings that occurred back in the late-1980s.

Colbert actually made a serious point by saying we are too lazy in our view on violent crime; all too willing to ignore it because we feel it doesn’t impact us!

As he put it while talking about whether the United States ought to use military force in Syria, “if America cared about shooting people, we’d be invading Chicago.”

WHAT HAPPENS IF Emanuel gets asked about this? WMAQ-TV reported on their web site how the mayor has ignored their own requests to get a reaction to Colbert.

Could we get a verbal explosion if Letterman decides he’s willing to give the one-time Second City (as in comedy troupe) understudy some attention on his own program?

Monday could become one of the few times when late night television actually becomes worth viewing!


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