We all knew Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s trips to Hollywood were paying off with big campaign contributions. Now, they’re paying off with big publicity, too. Robert Redford is planning to make an eight-part documentary about Chicago for CNN. Focusing, of course, on Rahm.
According to a CNN news release, Chicagoland will be:
the riveting, real-life drama of a city looking to unite at this critical moment in the city’s history. In the aftermath of a countrywide economic collapse, Chicago faces the challenges of improving its public education system, and neighborhood and youth safety. Can the city’s leaders, communities, and residents come together in ways that expand opportunities and allow aspirations to be realized?
(We’re having problems with the title. “Chicagoland” is a neologism coined by the Tribune to refer to the entire Chicago area, not just the city.)
Here’s what Redford has to say about Emanuel: “The vibrant culture and opportunities inherent in this 21st century, world-class city run alongside profound daily challenges. Much of it falls on the shoulders of its tough, visionary mayor, his team and people doing heroic work in neighborhoods throughout the city. Chicago has always had a rhythm all its own. It’s a city that wears its heart on its sleeve and I am honored to be a part of telling this story.”
Emanuel could use the stroking, considering that a new Tribune/WGN-TV poll
shows that 53 percent of Chicagoans say he is not in touch with their lives and concerns, and 40 percent disapprove of the job he is doing as mayor, while 50 percent approve. He has an eight-point deficit among the African-American voters, with 40 percent approving and 48 percent disapproving.
The miniseries could make Rahm the Ferris Bueller of the 21st Century: a guy who comes to Chicago from the North Shore and shows us how to get the most of life in this town. All we can say is, the guy must have a great agent.