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Local Media Freaks Out About Chicagoans For Rio Website

By Marcus Gilmer in Miscellaneous on Sep 28, 2009 9:00PM

2009_09_28_rio.jpg Earlier today, some mainstream media outlets in town breathlessly reported on an alleged connection between the site Chicagoans For Rio and...well, Rio. Sites associated with WBBM (CBS 2 and 780 AM) - as well as the Tribune - posted a story containing the following information:

A Web site purporting to represent Chicagoans who want to see Rio de Janeiro get the 2016 Olympics has been traced to a computer in Rio and is believed to be fraudulent, according to a new report...

But the Web site reported that evidence from e-mails, Web forum posts, and Web server logs, indicate that the promoters for the site are actually in Rio.

"While the true identity of the individuals or group involved remains unknown, and there is no evidence to suggest a connection with the Rio bid committee, the professional and organized effort seems to be a deliberate ploy to sabotage Chicago 2016," reported.

Posting speculative information circulated on the Internet? For shame (we'd never do anything like that).

In truth, the site is run by local advertising creative star Kevin Lynch who, according to (a bit too) personal info posted by a commenter in the Tribune's comments section of one of their stories on the site (a hat tip to our own commenters for pointing us that way) and confirmed elsewhere, is a Chicagoan. Caught with his hand in the cookie jar, Lynch said, "I walked from the idea where I thought this was the type of city where something like that would do really well, to questions -- it was just the process after that...The intention was not to cause an international incident." Lynch also took to his own blog to further explain the inspiration behind and reason for creating the website (including the fact that he at one point was a pro-Olympics volunteer) and it's definitely worth checking out.

Of course, it's not as if Rio isn't doing their part to whip up a good, old-fashioned Hatfields-McCoys rivalry between their city and ours. Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes - displaying a gift for the spoken word we thought only our mayor had - said about Obama's decision to travel to Copenhagen, "I'm not worried. Between Obama and Chicago-Lula-Rio, Rio will give a thrashing." Oh SNAP!