Well, looks like Rudy Giuliani was right: Mayor Bill de Blasio is totally bringing back the bad, old days. Because he's apparently looking to overturn the city's ban on ferrets.
The NY Times reports, "The city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is urging the repeal of a policy that prohibits New Yorkers from keeping ferrets as pets, declaring that the musky, sharp-toothed mammals pose no greater risk to the public than other domesticated creatures... And it would be the de Blasio administration’s latest effort to roll back the more controversial policies of former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who instituted the ferret ban in 1999 and once accused an advocate for the animals of suffering from 'a sickness.'"
Here's the priceless audio of Giuliani's meltdown plus an excerpt of that exchange:
"There is something deranged about you.… The excessive concern you have for ferrets is something you should examine with a therapist.… There is something really, really very sad about you.… This excessive concern with little weasels is a sickness.… You should go consult a psychologist.… Your compulsion about—your excessive concern with it is a sign that there is something wrong in your personality.… You have a sickness, and I know it's hard for you to accept that.… You need help."
Ferrets had been banned over concerns that they might bite people and/or have rabies, but now health officials are recommending the ban be overturned if vaccinations are required:
In an internal memo reviewed by The New York Times, city health officials weighed the pluses and minuses of allowing ferrets to be kept as pets.
On the pro side: “Evidence shows ferrets do not bite more frequently or severely than other pets the same size.”
On the con side: “There may be injuries, especially to infants.”
Giuliani told the Times that the ferret activist who called the radio show, David Guthartz, had confronted him and his daughter in public and emphasized he "had no big ideological involvement" against ferrets. The former mayor said that if de Blasio had "the right scientific backup," it'd be fine to overturn the ban, but added/undermined, "I don’t know that he does, I don’t know that he doesn’t."