A man identified as "Louis in the Village" called in to The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC this morning to express his disappointment in how the City Hall press corps has fixated on Mayor de Blasio's so-called "optics." The WNYC control room appears to be convinced the caller was in fact Louis C.K., and the audio certainly sounds like the comedian/masturbator we know and love. He comes on at the 18:38 mark.
Here's the rush transcription:
"Hi there. You know I really like this mayor and it's bothered me that there's sort of a culture of clickbait in the news right now, that only little negative stories get attention and the idea that the criticism of this mayor is that he doesn't go out and hold rallies to prove how great he's doing, and that he doesn't exert a massive effort that other mayors have to have the perception of how well he's doing... To me that's a huge waste of time.
"I don't want a mayor that spends all his time bragging and taking victory laps. You want a guy or a woman who just does good and then moves onto the next thing. But the press today, they don't make any money on articles about 'look this job number's up.' They make money on articles about, 'Hey look at this little pointless gaffe that the mayor did. Shouldn't he have sent someone to this rally?' None of that matters but it's all that these guys write about.
"I'm a little disappointed in the New York Times, which is my newspaper, for writing an article that says that those things accumulate to a real negative because I don't think they are. I don't think they impact people's lives. Those are about the horse race and, you know, the way most politicians run their entire lives, is looking after those little things so that they can ignore the big things. So they don't have to take on the cops, so they don't have to try big moves which are sometimes embarrassing and difficult and unpopular with powerful people. That's all I have to say about it. I really like this mayor i think he deserves a better chance than he's getting."
C.K., a noted de Blasio stalker, was referring to a New York Times article published over the weekend which examined the de Blasio administration's perceived public relations shortcomings. This article came a day after City Hall reporters, in unison, filed a barrage of stories criticizing de Blasio for exercising at a YMCA before going to visit a wounded firefighter in the hospital or racing to an active crime scene. ("Cowardly De Blasio Delegates Active Crime Scene To Police Commissioner," one headline blared.)
“I think there’s a huge dichotomy between what’s happening in the mainstream media and what people are feeling and understanding,” de Blasio later told the Times. Speaking to Lehrer today, Michael Grynbaum, one of the authors of the article and the Times' City Hall Bureau Chief, acknowledged that the de Blasio administration "doesn't want to get distracted by polls, by day-to-day media coverage... They've prided themselves on what they say is an 'unshakeable focus' on the inequality platform they ran on." BORING! "BREAKING: Mayor Exercises"
— Grace Rauh (@gracerauh) August 18, 2015