What did Michael Bloomberg say!


And what about Johnny Manziel: A substantial percentage of we the people are now in love with our R-bombs.

We don’t know what the percentage is. But we now have two clear proofs of our incomparable view.

First, consider the flap about what Mayor Bloomberg said. And by the way, what did Mayor Bloomberg say? At present, this is the way his remark is recorded in the transcript of a trio of interviews, starting last month, with New York magazine’s Chris Smith.

The asterisk is right there in the transcript:
SMITH (9/7/13): Then there’s Bill de Blasio, who’s become the Democratic front-runner. He has in some ways been running a class-warfare campaign—

BLOOMBERG: Class-warfare and racist.

SMITH: Racist?

BLOOMBERG: Well, no, no, I mean* he’s making an appeal using his family to gain support. I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone watching what he’s been doing. I do not think he himself is racist. It’s comparable to me pointing out I’m Jewish in attracting the Jewish vote. You tailor messages to your audiences and address issues you think your audience cares about.
That asterisk appears in the transcript provided by New York magazine. Absurdly, you have to click ahead through five pages of transcript to learn what the asterisk means.

This is what the asterisk means. Truth to tell, we still aren’t entirely sure what the asterisk means:
NEW YORK MAGAZINE: *The mayor's office asked us to amend the remarks to add an interjection that was inaudible in our audiotape of the interview, which was conducted over speakerphone. In our view the added words do not alter the meaning of the exchange as reflected in the published interview.
We aren’t real sure what that means. For the record, did New York magazine possibly borrow Maureen Dowd's tape recorder, the one on which she couldn't hear what de Blasio’s troubling wife said? Is there a functional recording device in Mayor Bloomberg’s whole city?

That explanation is pretty murky, once you find where it is. But here’s the most ridiculous part—on line, New York magazine provides videotape excerpts from the trio of interviews with Bloomberg, at least one of which was videotaped. They just don’t provide any tape of this excerpt, the one which is being discussed!

Nor do they explain why audiotape of this excerpt isn’t provided. Nor does anyone seem to care—the flap is too delicious as it is!

What did Bloomberg actually say? Given the widespread discussion, we’d like to hear what he said for ourselves. To judge from the transcript, Bloomberg seems to have dropped an R-bomb, then retracted it one second later.

But what exactly did he say? The mag hasn’t posted the tape!

Our second example takes us to Joe Nocera’s hard-hitting column in Saturday’s New York Times. Again, we ask you to ponder the foppish values of this newspaper’s upper-class op-ed brigade.

Finally! Finally, the New York Times was talking about the interests and needs of American public school students! Except Nocera's students attend state universities, where they serve as linebackers and quarterbacks!

That’s right—Nocera was immersed again in the problems of college athletics. He was discussing a pressing concern—should college football players be allowed to receive pay for signing autographs? Never mind the interests of the nation’s millions of public school students! Nocera is concerned about the interests of Johnny Manziel, winner of last year's Heisman trophy!

(Manziel got in trouble for signing a very large number of autographs for a third party. The NCAA couldn't prove that he had been paid, so he drew just a short suspension.)

Nocera’s newspaper has a very good sports section; it’s peopled by some very capable opinion writers. But there was Nocera, wasting everyone’s time by bringing this topic to the big-boy op-ed page. And here you see the very first comment his column elicited:
COMMENTER FROM POUGHKEEPSIE (9/7/13): If [Manziel] were an inner-city African-American, wouldn't he have been suspended for the season?
We rest our case! To a certain percentage of us the people, the R-bomb is the only framework we have for discussing any issue.

By the way, would Manziel have been suspended for the year if he were “an inner-city African-American?” There’s no way to know, which makes the question that much more effective! Eventually, one reader cited the NCAA’s failure to punish Heisman winner Cam Newton when he got into somewhat similar semi-trouble in 2010.

Sorry, Thurston Howell III! As far as we know, Newton wasn’t from the “inner city.” At any rate, let’s review, recalling our previous post:

Nocera worries about the interests of college football stars. Gail Collins promises we’ll hear about kittens if we just keep reading her column. Delia Ephron is then brought in to tell us about the (expensive) pastries she loves, which takes a great deal of time.

The New York Times is indelibly foppish. Its writers and editors don’t give a fig about the educational interests of “inner city” kids, or of kids who are recent immigrants, or of kids who come from low-literacy backgrounds.

They don’t seem to care if you know that. If they’ve given the question any thought, they may feel that you don't care.


  1. News: George Zimmerman threatens wife's family with a gun...Is detained in Lake Worth,FL.

  2. Cam Newton went to Westlake High School in Atlanta, GA, a school with a class that was 97% black.

    1. And Cam Newton and Auburn weren't under investigation as I recall. Cam's father and Mississippi State were investigated for a totally different set of violations.

      There was a basketball player at the University of Texas who was suspended for almost a whole season because he didn't disclose who paid to send him to a camp.
      He was African-Canadian, however.

      But don't you love TDH holding newpapers semi accountable for comments of their readers? Howler regulars still love to debate the White Hispanic love object of Second Amendment activists. Who will do a post about that?

  3. To all you Daily Howler Dittoheads...September 9, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    To all you Daily Howler Dittoheads who couldn't grasp the true (and patently obvious) nature of George Zimmerman after Trayvon Martin:

    Maybe this latest Zimmerman eruption will help clarify things for you:

    (CNN) -- No charges will be filed against George Zimmerman after an alleged altercation with his estranged wife and her father, Lake Mary, Florida, Police Chief Steve Bracknell said Monday.
    "Shellie Zimmerman has declined prosecution (after consulting with her attorney)," Bracknell said.
    George Zimmerman had been temporarily detained by police after Shellie Zimmerman told 911 Monday that he had threatened her and her father with a weapon.
    On the 911 call, Shellie Zimmerman, who filed for divorce last week, is breathing heavily when she tells a dispatcher that Zimmerman is still at the house.
    "He's in his car and he continually has his hand on his gun, and he's saying, 'Step closer.' He's just threatening all of us with his firearm," she says.
    Shellie Zimmerman also tells 911 that George Zimmerman punched her father in the nose, then smashed her iPad before getting in his truck.
    "I don't know what he's capable of. I'm really, really scared," she says.

    1. Oh, bullshit. Very few people argued that Zimmerman was a saint or even untroubled.

      Learn the difference between arguing that the prosecution had a terrible case and the media was trying to railroad Zimmerman, from saying something about his character.

    2. To all you Daily Howler Dittoheads...September 9, 2013 at 8:30 PM

      You can perceive Zimmerman is behaving in a threatening way when menacing his wife, because race is removed from the equation.

      But when he acted in a strikingly similar fashion with Trayvon Martin, you were blinded, because of the latter's race, to just how threatening Zimmerman's behavior was OBJECTIVELY.

    3. I perceive that you don't know to read.

    4. Folks, why don't we spare ourselves the 50+ comment posts on TDH and declare Zimmerman guilty as charged and move on?

    5. Apparently, we're supposed to think

      that today's incident should have been introduced as evidence in Zimmerman's trial,

      that you know Zimmerman's "true" and "patently obvious" nature,

      that the "true nature" of a defendant is sufficient evidence to convict him,

      that you somehow know that Zimmerman acted "in a strikingly similar fashion" the night he killed Martin,

      that capitalizing the word "OBJECTIVELY" makes you objective. And clairvoyant,

      that we're to ignore the police chief when he says, "“Keep in mind, this is only her side of the story."

    6. Is there a transcipt anywhere of the 911 call. What does the estranged Missus say when the ineveitable question comes from the dispatcher: "Is he white, black , or Hispanic?"


    7. After all of the turgid, repetitious and dishonest defenses of George Zimmerman that Somerby has posted here (and that Somerby's audience largely applauded), I think "To all you Daily Howler Dittoheads" is making a fair comment.

      And yes, there is a transcript (as well as actual audio) available online of Shellie Zimmerman's 911 call.

    8. What is fair about TDH Dittohead's comment, S.R.?

    9. "Very few people argued that Zimmerman was a saint or even untroubled."

      Zimmerman's violent past should have raised more red flags than were seen in Moscow during 1972's Mayday Parade.
      It wasn't the number of fools who argued Zimmerman was a saint or even untroubled. It was the power they wielded. The NRA likes to talk about defending upstanding citizens' right to bear arms, but they'll be just as happy to defend the rights of trouble-makers to do so, because they are nothing more than the marketing arm of gun manufacturers.


    10. Well, Berto, there's never been a time in this country when a sane person with no record of conviction could not own a gun,

      So far we don't take things away from rational people based upon what they might do.

      A judge can be petitioned for such, but it will still be a matter of due process.

      The NRA didn't get Zimmerman off. The prosecution didn't prove their case.

    11. Gun-toting hot-heads with violence issues shouldn't own guns. It's right there in in the 2nd Amendment under the term "well-regulated".

    12. "So far we don't take things away from rational people based upon what they might do."

      The NSA would like a word about privacy.
      The DEA would like a word about drugs.

      We take things away from rational people based upon what they might do only 365 days per year*.
      Other than being 100% wrong (I know, shocking), your point is practically correct.


      *366 days in leap years.

  4. I just thought the Bloomberg comment was small and peevish. I watched the ad in question before this 9,000th interview with Mr. Bloomberg and I thought it was a good ad.
    I know we're all supposed to say there was an OBVIOUS race-identity theme there but I actually think it was about the fact that he has a family and they live in a neighborhood. I thought it was MUCH more "I am a regular person unlike that plutocrat Mayor" than "my son is black".
    Also, he has to use his actual son if he wants to do a "my family" ad. That's really the bottom line. It would be a shame if only the bi-racial children of white (or black!) politicians had to suffer this extended analysis. It's a family ad, his son is his family. Why do we need more than that?
    I'm just not clear on why people feel they have to express every random thought that flits through their brain. Bloomberg may be very rich and very smart, but he could still spare us his race/religion campaigning insights, because they're dumb.

    1. Was there overhead helicopter coverage while the incident was in progress? Today we will call that a mystery. Tomorrow we will find out what nasty misleading things Rev. Al said about the whole affair. Perhaps there will be
      an Attorney Crump appearance.

      Meanwhile Trayvon Martin remains wrongfully, tragically, and totally dead.

      Emp. B.

    2. Rats. Meant that as a reply to deadrat.

      EB (GOTT)

    3. Yes, emperor with clothes, it appears that the Zimmerman Defense Team is already beginning to flock back to this blog, and will come in greater numbers after Somerby inevitably posts about the awful, terrible things Rev. Al has said about the neighborhood watch hero.

      And of course, the latest defense is already shaping up: "Just because he drove to his in-laws' house in another city and the cops had to be called doesn't mean Zimmerman is a hothead who starts confrontations."

      So we'll get another post with 70 or so comments rehashing the Trayvon Martin case again with absolutely nothing new said.

      Gotta keep those traffic counts up.

    4. Divorces do tend to bring out the worst in people. Can it be that the strain of being tried and being the focus of media attention helped weaken Zimmerman's marriage? She just told him the day before this encounter, and he is being accused of simply placing a hand near a gun that he apparently habitually wears. A pretty mild threat, in my opinion compared to what estranged husbands routinely do to get themselves arrested or restrained. He went to his in-laws house because that is where his wife was staying. Are you really so unfamiliar with the way people behave when divorcing?

    5. Anon9:31am, how about the defense arguing that you can't convict someone for 2nd degree murder or manslaughter "just because he's a hothead who starts confrontations"?

      How about a defense that argues just because the guy is troubled doesn't mean MSNBC has the right to frame him by editing video tape, or that it's not irresponsible for a tv host to swear he called Martin a "coon"?

      Or try the defense that says that just because Zimmerman angered Martin does not mean he cannot defend himself when attacked.

      And finally...just because you blog or report on media malfeasance in this case or interview Zimmerman to air his say, does not mean you want Zimmerman canonized.

      Those are the things that were argued here.

      Frankly, I don't know why I bother because despite the logic and commonsense of each of these statements, you'll remain a mob member.

    6. Cecelia, have fun rehashing the Zimmerman case for the millionth time. It's what Bob would want you to do.

    7. Anon1:05pm, I suppose I should be flattered that you look at a board of commenters and see only me.

  5. So as TDH surveys the media landscape, one of the most glaring problems is that the richest media mogul in the world-the very one who gets to insert what were inaudible comments in an interview-that media tycoon can't get his message out?

    To quote tennis philosopher John McEnroe, "You cannot be serious."