Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Art Of The Slam

"Mike Slams Gov Over Javits Flop" is the headline in today's Post after Mayor Bloomberg's mild criticism of the Spitzer administration's review of the Javits Center's expansion plan. Unfortunately, and as much as every New Yorker has to love the city's tabloids, this story does not rise to the level of an official "slam."

First, Mayor Bloomberg did not fume. It can't be a legitimate "slam" without a "he fumed" quote. The Mayor merely "said" the delay cost an enormous amount.

Second, the Mayor "conceded" that "maybe all the costs originally weren't put in." We can't have any concessions in an official slam. And costs are never just costs. They're "explosive" or "out of control" or (my personal favorite) "secret."

Third, a "delay" is too tame. It has to be an "unacceptable delay" that the Mayor "won't tolerate."

Illegal Eliot

Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco describes Governor Spitzer as "Illegal Eliot" with good reason. Yesterday he pardoned Frederick Lake of Brooklyn, who served a six-year sentence for armed robbery. In the news release Governor Spitzer said:

“Mr. Lake has presented his arguments to the courts, and the courts have upheld his conviction, but whether or not Mr. Lake committed this crime, he now has two young sons who depend on him for emotional support and physical supervision, and who would be devastated by his deportation.” (Emphasis added.)

But whether or not Mr. Lake committed this crime? So taking guilt into consideration for armed robbery doesn't matter when the Governor of 18 million people issues a rare pardon? This from the so-called Sheriff of Wall Street?

What an absurd statement.

How about whether or not Maurice Greenberg committed a crime. Or whether or not Howard I. Smith committed a crime. Or whether or not Dick Grasso received excessive compensation. Or whether or not securities fraud is a crime. Or whether or not payola is a crime.

Governor Spitzer is a real tough guy when he's going after Wall Street executives and their rampaging briefcases. Yet when he has to defend a pardon for an individual convicted of a violent crime New Yorkers get a dismissive "whether or not Mr. Lake committed this crime."