BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter
Chicagoans appreciate Oprah Winfrey, but they also respect her privacy, Mayor Daley said today, disagreeing with Stedman Graham's portrayal of his longtime partner as the Rodney Dangerfield of Chicago.
Graham says Oprah gets no respect in her adopted home town as she prepares to pull the plug on her syndicated talk show and pull up stakes for California.
Daley respected Oprah so much, he closed off Michigan Avenue for two days to make way for her 24th season premiere. He also invited her to Copenhagen for, what turned out to be Chicago's failed Olympic sales pitch.
Today, the mayor was asked about Graham's remarks and took issue with them. Respect is one thing. Appreciation is quite another, Daley said.
"One thing about Chicagoans -- we respect your privacy. She could be in a restaurant. She could be at the East Bank Club, walking down the street. People don't run up to her. ... They respect your privacy. That's unique about Chicago," he said.