Is Oprahpalooza an Olympic Rally in Disguise?

Why do you think Daley let her do it, say observers

NBCChicago's livestreaming Oprahpalooza, check it out!

Like a facehugging Alien injecting its eggs down your esophagus, Oprahpalooza is all up in your business.

And there's nothing you can do about it.

To celebrate her 24th season premiere, Oprah's already shut down a four-block section of Michigan Ave. The Black Eyed Peas are already elephunking their way here. Chicago, you're about to have a depressingly close encounter of the mainstream kind.

Some detractors, like Transportation Committee Chairman Tom Allen, say Daley's decision to let Oprah throw her party "smacks of elitism" -- no word on whether Tom realizes the phrase "smacks of elitism" smacks of elitism. But whatevs.

Others, like Chicago Now's Craig Kanalley, say Oprahpalooza could be an Olympic PR stunt. Intriguing!

Here's Kanalley:

Let's mull over the evidence, shall we? 

  1. Major takeover of one of the city's most popular streets for an extended period of time.

  2. Lights, cameras, and an international broadcast.

  3. The IOC decision on the 2016 host is days away (Oct. 2).

Well. Not evidence. But interesting context! With several tweets from Chicago residents chiming in!

Like Chef Michael McDonald! And somebody called Anita Weissman!

But Kannelly's right. No way will Oprah get through her broadcast without touting the Olympics. She's already given her support, and she'll likely use the opportunity to do so again.

But don't think Oprah's throwing a palooza just for the Olympics. Her ratings have been sliding recently. And hey, nothing makes you popular like a party! Didn't you learn anything from PCU?

Regardless, Kanalley -- and his commenters -- are on to something. Like this guy, who thinks Mag Mile business will suffer (from an influx of thousands of people? Without coolers or chairs? When the sidewalks will be open? Really?).

But the forensic debate prize goes to the fella who penned this gem:

Oprah is being completeky [sic] selfish. The only reason she wants to shut down Michigan ave. is to outdo Rachel Ray's "Block Party" in Wrigleyville. Oprah's ego will not allow a peron like Rachel to outdo her. Oprah is like,"How dare Rachel Ray come to Chicago and try to beat me out by having her block party. Rachel, who do you think you are? I created you Rachel, and Rachel , you woulld [sic] be nobody if it were not for me. I'll show you , Rachel who rules Chicago, and " The Tyrant" Daley. I am shutting -down Michigan ave to do the Oprah Show. How do you like them apples?"

Wait. Matt Damon? Is that you?

NBCChicago's livestreaming Oprahpalooza, check it out.

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