These days, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is pretty busy wooing foreign governments to secure security consulting contracts and making questionable and oddly incriminating statements about his friend and former client, President Donald Trump. But 20 years ago today, Mayor Giuliani went on his weekly WABC radio show and fielded questions from New Yorkers—and ended up going on a legendary rant about ferrets.
The caller happened to be an extremely devoted ferret enthusiast named David Guthartz from Queens. The Observer described him as a "ferret rights activist," who was upset about the city's ban on the animal. Take a trip down memory lane:
Here's a partial transcript of Giuliani's screed/monologue (The Observer has the whole exchange):
There is something really, really, very sad about you. You need help. You need somebody to help you. I know you feel insulted by that, but I'm being honest with you. This excessive concern with little weasels is a sickness.
I’m sorry. That’s my opinion. You don’t have to accept it. There are probably very few people who would be as honest with you about that. But you should go consult a psychologist or a psychiatrist, and have him help you with this excessive concern, how you are devoting your life to weasels.
There are people in this city and in this world that need a lot of help. Something has gone wrong with you. Your compulsion about it, your excessive concern with it, is a sign of something wrong in your personality. I do not mean to be insulting. I’m trying to be honest with you and I’m trying to give you advice for your own good. I know you, I know how you operate, I know how many times you called here this week. Three or 4 o’clock in the morning, David, you called here.
You have a sickness. I know it’s hard for you to accept that, because you hang on to this sickness, and it’s your shield, it’s your whatever. You know, you gotta go to someone who understands this a lot better than I do. And I know you’re real angry at me, you’re gonna attack me, but actually you’re angry at yourself and you’re afraid of what I’m raising with you. And if you don’t deal with it, I don’t know what you’re gonna do. But you called here excessively all week, and you called here at 3 o’clock in the morning. And 4 o’clock in the morning. Over weasels. Over a ferret.
There was movement in 2015 to overturn the ferret ban (you know, de Blasio's New York, etc.), but the city ultimately upheld the rule.