Times Square is not going to hell, or anywhere near hell’s vicinity. Mr. de Blasio’s enemies have been predicting New York’s downfall since before the mayor took office. He should not be feeding their false narrative by panicking over some localized crudeness. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who recently said that he thought what the women were doing was illegal and had to be stopped, and that they reminded him of the “bad old days,” should stop being ridiculous.
The Times has a long relationship with our namesake square. It’s in our backyard now, since we moved to Eighth Avenue, but it was our front porch for more than 100 years. We and the city have survived rallies and riots and many, many New Year’s ball drops. More seasoned members of our staff remember how shuttle vans used to take late-shift employees in safety from our old 43rd Street building to the Port Authority Bus Terminal and Pennsylvania Station.Times Square can reveal New York at its bleakest and most brilliant. It took grit and resolve to stick with it through the bad times. This is not one of them.
It's a bullshit story and the Times is right to tell de Blasio to stop overreacting to the attacks.
De Blasio's foundering, the sharks are circling, shills for Hakeem Jeffries, Ruben Diaz Jr., Scott Stringer and Tish James are declaring they may primary the mayor in two years and Eva Moskowitz all but announced for mayor on the radio.
De Blasio's pushback early in the summer against Cuomo has set much of this stuff off - Cuomo's working overtime behind the scenes to do de Blasio in (see here for example.)
I dunno how he rights the ship, maybe he doesn't right the ship ever.
But it's important to point out when the attacks are unjustified - "ridiculous" in the words of the Times - and point out that the attacks are coming from pols and their shills with ulterior motives.
That doesn't mean de Blasio doesn't need to get a handle on this - he does.
The PR issue has been a problem from the beginning.
Ben Max has one idea how to handle it here.
I'm no political expert, but I would say the mayor needs to put his head down, get to work (on time!), stop giving his enemies opportunities to nail him on stuff (i.e., stop with the unforced errors like wondering if Times Square toplessness can be solved by pulling out pedestrian plazas), focus on issues important to New Yorkers, have the friends he has left (though that group seems to be dwindling) push his message and his "successes," and watch his back as best he can.
Overreacting to the Times Square bullshit by wondering aloud if the pedestrian plazas should be pulled out was not the way to right the ship, that's for sure.
My issue is that many of these women are not English speakers and I think they are being forced to do this. I bet they don’t get to keep most of the money.ReplyDelete
Good point - same for the people in the Elmo costumes.Delete
The various safe-streets and mass-transit advocacy communities were already feeling lukewarm at best about BDB, but this episode has made him dead to them. At the end of the day BDB is an old-school outer borough windshield-perspective guy who is annoyed and perplexed by the fact that it takes him more than 5 minutes to get from the South Slope to Brooklyn Tech or more than 15 to get from Gracie Mansion to the Prospect Park Y during rush hour. He's lost a small but loud and influential bloc for good.ReplyDelete
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