June 16, 2014

Chicago Sign War - Trump 1, Emanuel 0

June 16, 2014. Chicago. The Windy City proved why it’s perpetually stuck as the country’s second city. Those New Yorkers just whooped our Mayor, our local news outlets and our whole city without even knowing they were in a fight. Like usual, led by City Hall and the local media, Chicago beat itself. This time, it was over the most ridiculous and time-wasting confrontation yet - the artfulness of the Trump sign just hung on Trump Tower in downtown Chicago.

The Trump Tower sign that has all of Chicago in an uproar.

Apparently, the sign Donald Trump put onto the side of his 96-story skyscraper just built along Chicago’s Magnificent Mile isn’t magnificent enough for the Windy City. According to Chicago’s two major newspapers, the five-letter sign is, ‘gaudy’, ‘ugly’, ‘hideous’, ‘brash’, ‘blight’, ‘obnoxious’, ‘garish’, ‘alarming’, ‘startling’, ‘tasteless’, ‘a horror film’ and a ‘tattoo on a baby’. In reality, the Trump sign is none of those things. Its only crime is that it’s from New York and Donald Trump.

Hypocrisy and stupidity at its finest

If Chicago’s politicians, news outlets and Mayor proved one thing during their four-day public fight with Donald Trump, it’s that their hypocrisy is matched only by their arrogance. Downtown Chicago is riddled with giant, obnoxious, gaudy and ugly corporate signs. If one wants to invest a half day, half their sanity and a $15 El ride to try and attempt to enter downtown Chicago to see for themselves, the evidence is everywhere.

The 141-foot wide and 20-foot high ‘TRUMP’ sign is actually much smaller than the one proposed by developers and approved by the City of Chicago. That’s right, the sign that’s got Chicago’s elected leaders so outraged was actually approved by those same bureaucrats themselves, only on a much larger scale. Mayor Emanuel, the City Council, the Ward Alderman and the city’s zoning administrator all personally approved the sign they suddenly hate so much.

With Chicago’s Trump Tower being private property and with the city already approving it, the demands and guarantees by local press and politicians that the ugly Trump sign would soon be history were idiotic. Chicago’s second largest newspaper publisher even wrote that they would, ‘show The Donald…how such things are done west of Times Square’. Whoops. If anyone was taken to school this weekend, it was the Chicago Sun Times, not The Donald.

Media hypocrisy

And if anyone should have kept their editorial mouths shut over this particular issue, it’s the Chicago Sun Times. You see, the new Trump Tower actually sits on top of the rubble that was the old Chicago Sun Times building. Described as a dreary and ugly battleship with an even uglier giant yellow sign, the paper should have adhered to the recommendation that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

The publication however, wasn’t going to let it go. Sun Times editorial staff even presented pictures of their new building and sign side-by-side with Trump’s new building and sign. The paper describes its own sign as, ‘set demurely’, ‘backlit by the softest light, like candlelight at a quiet dinner’, ‘good neighbors, sociable but not loud’ and ‘a friendly beacon’.

How do the editors describe the Trump sign? The Sun Times calls it, ‘No friendly beacon. It is no candlelit dinner. It is anything but a good neighbor. It is, rather, an obnoxious New York interloper, not unlike The Donald himself.’ To read those words, it’s obvious the Chicago media has a problem with New York, not necessarily the Trump sign. But readers can decide for themselves. Below are the two images the paper published this weekend along with their editorial.



Well, what do you think readers? Are Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago media and Chicago City Hall right? Is the Sun Times sign a subtle, glorious, quiet, candlelit dinner with the love of your life, like a quiet walk on a moonlit beach? How about the Trump sign? By comparison, is it a loud, obnoxious, crude death-metal concert, like a topless prostitute with track marks?

No. The signs are virtually identical. One just screams New York because of the word it spells. It’s reminiscent of the outrage that erupted when Macy’s invaded the city and replaced Marshall Field. Trying to ban Macy’s from Chicago seems kind of ridiculous now, almost as ridiculous as this weekend’s sign war.


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This Week in Chicago Corruption - June 6, 2014

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