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Sneed: Rahm Emanuel invites ‘Zealot’ author Reza Aslan for City Hall chat

Mayor Rahm Emanuel entered city council meeting which discussed 2013 city budget.  Al Podgorski~Chicago Sun-Times

Mayor Rahm Emanuel entered the city council meeting which discussed the 2013 city budget. Al Podgorski~Chicago Sun-Times

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Updated: October 15, 2013 7:20AM



The Rahmster . . .

Click. Click. Pop. Pop. Pencils poised for an ecumenical happening!

Sneed hears that Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is uber-proud of his Jewish heritage, has summoned Reza Aslan — the Muslim author of the controversial New York Times best-selling book, “Zealot,” based on the life of Jesus Christ — for a private chat in his City Hall office on Friday.

Rahm, an avid reader, “is a great fan of the book,” said a Sneed source.

Controversy has swirled around the book since Fox News anchor Lauren Green chastised Aslan, a Muslim, for writing a book that calls into question some of the core tenets of Christianity and Christ’s story.

“It begs the question, why would you be interested in the founder of Christianity?” Green asked in the much-maligned interview that went viral — after Aslan detailed his four degrees in religious history.

Memo to Green, a former reporter at Channel 2 in Chicago: When you get a chance, would you mind returning the Toni Morrison book, “Beloved,” you borrowed from me years ago? Sneed never forgets such things.

The Quinn bin. . .

Yelp yak: Sneed hears that Gov. Pat Quinn is ending his search for a new pup!

◆ Translation: Does this mean the governor has finally found a new friend to replace his beloved Yorkshire terrier, Bailey?

Or is he simply calling the dogs off for now?

Stay tuned.

Tina’s beast . . .

Gruff stuff: Media maven Tina Brown’s departure from The Daily Beast, the media giant she founded in 2008, was not a shocker. Her relationship with her financial backer, Barry Diller, was increasingly chilly and headed for a split.

◆ The femme kicker: Will Brown, who intends to expand the Women in the World conferences she has been running for years, retain the conference/hosting help of fashion designer/socialite Diane von Furstenberg — who just so happens to be Diller’s wife?

The Weiner file . . .

Worm words: Anthony Weiner tells the press he has immediate plans now that he has lost the election for New York City mayor: Catch up on “Breaking Bad” and go to a Mets game.

There ya go.

Bear facts . . .

Media creation Kristin Cavallari and Chicago Bears hubby Jay Cutler want to add a new cub to their den. Now aren’t we glad we watch E! News?

Bear facts II . . .

Ex-Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher is bitter about the one Bear who hasn’t called him since he retired last year: Jay Cutler.

“I felt like I stood up for him a lot more than anybody else did over the past three or four years in the media . . . ’cause that guy takes a lot of grief,” Urlacher told the media.

Now aren’t we glad we dialed up TMZ?

Chicago connection . . .

Actress Demi Moore, who historically prefers to date much younger men, is now linked with Hard Rock Cafe mogul Peter Morton, 66. Morton got sage advice early on in the restaurant game: He’s the son of legendary restaurateur Arnie Morton of Morton’s Steakhouse.

I spy . . .

Sports eats: Film director Michael “Transformers” Bay stopped by Gibsons on Sunday, as did Chicago Bears defensive coach Mel Tucker; Bears cornerback Tim Jennings, and Detroit Tigers right-fielder Torii Hunter. . . . After the game Sunday, Chicago Bear Julius Peppers stopped by Lux Bar. . . . On Wednesday, Theo Epstein, the Cubs’ president of baseball operations, lunched at Crosby’s Kitchen with the Crane Kenney, president of business operations for the team. . . . And actor John Cusack was spotted getting some frozen yogurt at the Starfruit in Merchandise Mart on Thursday.

Sneedlings . . .

A calendar date: The Chicago Cultural Mile’s Endless Summer Stroll event on Sept. 21 will feature a karaoke contest judged by jazz saxophonist Frank Catalano; Steppenwolf star Ian Barford, and auctioneer Leslie Hindman. . . . Friday’s birthdays: Jim “Skinny” Sheahan, 67; Fiona Apple, 36, and Ben Savage, 33.



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