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Ponce's interview with Emanuel was the neighborly thing to do

How does one of Chicago’s most respected television hosts handle an interview with his neighbor who just happens to be the mayor?

By being up-front about it.

That’s what happened Friday when “Chicago Tonight” host Phil Ponce interviewed Rahm Emanuel on the third anniversary of his inauguration as Chicago’s mayor.

Ponce said it from the outset. He and Emanuel live a few doors down from each other in Ravenswood.

Then, the mayor had some fun with Ponce. The Hatfields and McCoys they are not.

“We are neighbors and we are friendly. I don’t want to ruin your independence by saying, ‘friends,’ “ Emanuel said.

Ponce countered: “Let’s not wreck our relationship by becoming friends.”

That prompted Emanuel, the father of three teenagers, to say: “Let’s just be Facebook buddies. Yay!…Was that you, Phil?”

The audience dissolved into laughter.