by tom moodyComments Off on Guiliani - Bully of the Airwaves
Lead paragraph of Joan Walsh's Salon article today (prob. subscription-only):
I loved this story today: Rudy Giuliani, radio host. The New York Times looked at the glory years, when the mayor had his own weekly radio show on WABC-AM, from 1994 to 2001. Mostly the Giuliani we see on the campaign trail today seems to have lost his mojo, and maybe it's because he's trying so hard to suppress the fully alive Rudy of old. Sure, he could be a bully and a braggart, but he also had a damn good time running Manhattan, and it showed. Michael Powell captures Rudy practicing psychology without a license many times -- he enjoyed telling his critics they were crazy in a variety of colorful ways.
My letter in reply (prob. subscription-only--edited slightly here for clarity):
The Mayor on Shooting Kids Armed with Water Pistols
As for the Mayor "loving a good brawl," check out the 1998 recording of Hizzoner intimidating a caller who was concerned about the police shooting of a water pistol-toting 17 year old. Giuiliani heaped scorn and condescension on the caller, insisting the guy was "prejudiced against the police" for voicing his concern. Giuliani bore down with all his cheap prosecutor tricks on this average citizen, who was clearly outmatched but still struggled to be heard over the O'Reilly-esque bullying. The caller characterized the gun as a "toy pistol"--Giuliani corrected him that it was a "toy submachine gun" and then dropped the "toy" altogether in subsequent references. The Mayor spun the pure hypothetical that the youth could only have been riding his bike at 2:30 am with a "submachine gun" because he wanted to "impress the gangs." Sounds good but where's the proof? The caller said a witness saw the boy trying to put the gun down. "Other witnesses said he wasn't," riposted Giuliani, offering no specifics. Instead of considering what the caller had to say, the Mayor loudly and unapologetically defended the killing of a minor. It was reminiscent of the Bush we saw bullying the Prime Minister of Spain in those recently surfaced tape transcripts. Another arrogant narcissist with the means to "win" arguments but nothing good to do with that power.