After a month in office and a series of incidents that had put him in the national spotlight, Mayor Bill de Blasio took a comedic break, doing his debut on the popular Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
At the start of the show, Stewart discussed the current snowstorm, taking a dig at the mayor over recent reports that he had abandoned the Upper East Side during the last snowstorm in favor of Brooklyn and the other outer boroughs.
First, Stewart turned to a live report of Brooklyn. “How’d it go out in Brooklyn today? Stewart asked the show’s correspondent Jessica Williams. “Looking pretty good, Jon,” she replied , standing in front of a beach backdrop. “There are no traffic problems. In fact, it’s 82 degrees and it’s sunny.”
Stewart then turned to Aasif Mandvi, the show’s correspondent reporting from the Upper East Side.
“Not good, Jon,” he said, buried in a snowbank, only his head showing. “It seems de Blasio’s plows are actively bringing snow in.”
Jon: “Aasif, are you completely buried in a snowbank?”
Aasif: “I can’t move my legs, Jon. But hey, that’s life in de Blasio’s New York. He’s hellbent on making the city unlivable for the rich!” Adding, “Everyone’s so covered in snow that the Barneys security guards don’t even know who to detain anymore!”
Doing his debut on the show, mayor de Blasio took some jabs at Mike Bloomberg, as well as admitting failure at the Upper East Side fiasco. Stewart noted that it has been snowing a lot since he was inaugurated. “I remember Bloomberg. 12 years. It never snowed once.”
“I think he paid the right guy. I mean, he had the money,” de Blasio joked.
“I’d like the snow to end. I’ve done the snow experience, I’d like to try something else now,” he added.
Stewart also took the mayor to task over the most recent “Forkgate” incident, in which de Blasio ate his pizza with a fork and knife during a visit to Staten Island.
Stewart took out a pizza box from John’s, sausage-and-mushroom, along with paper plates and a cake slice-serving utensil, in an effort to teach the mayor how to eat a slice of pizza.
“As mayor of Napoli – I mean New York City — we are always ready for our pizza,” de Blasio quipped. [BDB took out a knife and fork apparently planted in his jacket.]
As he finished his slice, Stewart took out an enormous 7-Up Double Gulp filled with soda. Stewart told the mayor he brought a super-sized soda for him, too. De Blasio picks it up — it’s a small soda cup. “Oh, you are gigantic,” Stewart jokes. “In his hands, it looks like a regular soda.”
The late night show host and the mayor also went serious for a couple of minutes, addressing policy issues such as stop-and-frisk and the signature pre-k proposal.
“You can’t break the law to enforce the law, as simple as that,” de Blasio said about the recent settlement reached to reform the NYPD’s tactics in fighting crime. “I would argue that public safety and civil liberties have to march hand in hand. You cannot separate or oppose the two. And in the stop and frisk era, we had two different forms of policing, that’s the reality, depending on the color of your skin.”
Finally, Stewart asked Mayor de Blasio about those who fear that the city could go back to a time “when it was less orderly and things were more chaotic. How do you tell people that is not the case?”
“Whenever you see a progressive moment, whenever you see progressive leaders come in to office, that charge is thrown in one way or another,” de Blasio responded. “It’s specious. It’s not true. The bottom line is, we know the great threat to this country is inequality, the great threat to this city is inequality. People need a core hope in our society. They need a core amount of visible opportunity. And that’s been slipping away. So if you want to talk about destabilizing realities in our society, talk about inequality. But progressives can run governments effectively, progressives can be fiscally responsible, progressives can focus on public safety, but we’re going to do it in a way that respects people’s rights.”
(Jacob Kornbluh – YWN)