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Rahm Emanuel Sends Jon Stewart a Warning

A warning to journalists: Do not diss Chicago or its mediocre pizza

Adam Chandler
November 15, 2013
Deep Dish Pizza With Dead Fish Sent to the Daily Show by Rahm Emanuel(Twitter)
Deep Dish Pizza With Dead Fish Sent to the Daily Show by Rahm Emanuel(Twitter)

Earlier this week, we reported on Chicago Mayor (and Robin Thicke enthusiast) Rahm Emanuel’s displeasure about having his city’s Willis Tower demoted to the second-tallest building in the United States. After New York’s Freedom Tower officially topped the former Sears Tower by adding its spire, Rahm demurred, telling reporters: “I would just say to all the experts gathered in one room, if it looks like an antenna, acts like an antenna, then guess what? It is an antenna.”

Lifelong New Yorker and Daily Show host Jon Stewart seized on the renascent rivalry between the Big Apple and the Second City by taking a shot at another Chicago sacred cow–the deep dish pizza. In a segment on Wednesday, Stewart marked the occasion by pointing out that New York had already given Chicago the title of “Murder Capital of the United States” and rolled through a reel of local Chicago newscasters reminding reminding its viewers that Chicago still had deep dish pizza, allegedly the best pizza in the world. To this Stewart retorted:

“Deep dish pizza is not only not better than New York pizza, it’s not pizza. It’s a [expletive-ing] casserole. I’m surprised you didn’t think to complete your deep dish pizza by putting some canned onion rings on top of it. It’s a cornbread biscuit which you’ve melted cheese on and then, in defiance of God and man and all things holy, you poured uncooked marinara sauce atop the cheese. Atop. The cheese. Atop. The sauce–naked, cold, on display like some kind of sauce whore. You know the expression ‘There is no such thing as bad sex or bad pizza’? Your pizza is like sex with a corpse made of sandpaper. Let me tell you something. This is not pizza, this is tomato soup in a bread bowl. This is an above-ground marinara swimming pool for rats….”

Stewart went on. And on. And on.

It’s well known that Rahm Emanuel, who has confronted at least one member of Congress while entirely in the buff, doesn’t suffer slights lightly. Yesterday, the Twitter account for the Chicago Mayor’s Office tweeted out a picture of two deep dish pizzas with dead fish on top that it had sent to the writers of the Daily Show. Affixed was a note from Rahm: Jon, Deep Dish With Dead Fish. Love, Rahm

Dead fish is, of course, the infamous Sicilian death threat, which entered the public consciousness largely thanks to The Godfather.

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.