And lo, City Hall ordered the heralds to cry the mayoral decree from the top of every two-flat and skyscraper in his domain:
No advertising of the movie “The Nativity Story” at City Hall’s approved German Christmas festival, called Christkindlmarket, right across the street from City Hall in Daley Plaza.
Christkindlmarket literally means “Christ child market” in German. The sponsors included the producers of “The Nativity Story,” a film about the birth of Christ. The market wanted to run ads about the movie at the festival that commemorates Christmas.
But City Hall determined such ads would offend. Jim Law, mayoral herald and director of the Mayor’s Office of Special Events, explained:
“Our guidance was that this very prominently placed advertisement would not only be insensitive to the many people of different faiths who come to enjoy the market for its food and unique gifts, but also it would be contrary to acceptable advertising standards suggested to the many festivals holding events on Daley Plaza.”
“Our guidance?” What manner of spirit visited City Hall to shape this statement? The ghost of George Orwell?
I am working on arranging a free screening of The Nativity Story for Mayor Daley and 199 other City of Chicago employees at a theater a mile and a half from the mayor’s vast office complex. Perhaps if Mayor Daley sees it he’ll realize what a truly dumb move this was and restore the movie to its sponsorship spot. Or perhaps his dad will appear Marley-like before him and give him fair warning.