Mayor Bloomberg is learning to live with the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protest in Zuccotti Park—but don't think he's really happy about it. The grumbly mayor backed off from his derisive comments regarding the longevity of the anti-greed protests, but was none-too-happy with yesterday's Millionaire's March on the Upper East Side. And it seems Mayor Bloomberg has taken on a new, heroic personality: Defender Of The Filthy Rich. "I don't appreciate the bashing of all the hard working people who live and work here and pay the taxes that support our city," he said at a press conference in a Bronx library earlier today, missing the point of yesterday's activities.
Bloomberg's point seemed to be that tax-paying rich citizens deserve more respect than they're being given by protesters. Also, their vast amounts of money leave them completely vulnerable and unable to defend themselves from big, mean words. "The city depends on Wall Street. Let's not forget, those taxes pay our teachers, pay our police officers, pay our firefighters. Those taxes we get from the profits companies and the incomes, they go to pay for this library," Bloomberg said.
In particular, Bloomberg rigorously defended the honor of JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, whose Park Avenue home was one of the stops on yesterday's march. "Jamie Dimon is one of the great bankers," said Bloomberg. "He's brought more business to this city than any banker in (the) modern day. To go and picket him, I don't know what that achieves. Jamie Dimon is an honorable person, working very hard, paying his taxes."
As The Observer pointed out, maybe Bloomberg felt a bit uncomfortable with all those unsanitary folks getting so close to his own mansion. Or perhaps he's annoyed that celebrities such as gold-chain wearing Kanye West are off-the-hook while his Wall Street friends, for some unknown reason, are given all the bad press: “You know a lot of people make a lot of money, athletes and actors, and other business people,” the mayor said.