Fending off a malicious smear that went viral yesterday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has denied any affection he allegedly has or had for the loathed rock group Nickelback. "When asked if the mayor is fond of the Canadian crooners, his spokeswoman Tarrah Cooper [replied] in an e-mail 'No,'" reports Chicago tabloid RedEye

The mayor's statement was in response to a deftly-executed "un-cooling" campaign launched by a protester sympathetic to the Chicago Teacher's Union, which is on strike as it negotiates its contract with the city. The simple words "RAHM EMANUEL LIKES NICKELBACK" were scrawled on a poster and retweeted and blogged across the web. (Though the band continues to sell out stadium-sized arenas, no one needs to tell you that they're universally-despised by music critics and mentally-healthy Americans.) Emanuel was smart to get in front of this one, but the protester deserves nothing but kudos for a dastardly genius propaganda campaign. (Saul Alinsky's got nothing on you, sir.)