While Governor Paterson's press conference announcing the introduction of same-sex legislation was an monumental landmark event, there was a very awkward moment. Right before Mayor Bloomberg was to speak, some music started playing which made him freak out more than a little.
It turned out that music was from a recorder owned by disabled reporter Michael Harris (of the Examiner). Harris later told PolitickerNY "a photographer knocked over his jacket which held his recorder. When it fell onto the ground, the recorded starting playing. Harris said he at first didn’t realize where the noise was coming from, but once he did, he could not reach down and get to the recorder easily." So during the press conference, Bloomberg continued to show his irritation—as CityRoom reports:
The noise, which was not playing loudly enough for most other people in the room to notice, rattled Mr. Bloomberg.
“Can we just stop this, and maybe we’ll start again?” the mayor asked.
At that point the City Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, leaned over to the mayor, covered the microphone on the lectern and whispered in his ear, “He’s disabled.”
Mr. Harris’s disability, and the fact that he was clearly having difficulty reaching the recorder to shut it off, was apparently of little consequence to the mayor.
“I understand that — he can still turn it off,” Mr. Bloomberg was overheard saying.
Bloomberg apparently kept looking at Harris while saying, "Maybe we should take everything outside." Harris was upset by the Mayor's behavior, telling PolitickerNY that he was “quite embarrassed at being singled out like that... I think the mayor took something very minor and made it into something major and was a very cheap shot at me. I do think an apology would be in order here." PolitickerNY also has video of the incident (above).
Another reporter offered some choice words about the mayor to the Village Voice's Running Scared: "What a dickhead. Michael is a good guy and doesn't deserve this shit from Mayor Midget."