You know, I didn’t vote for Michael Bloomberg for mayor (either time!) but after viewing yesterdays “plane crash – not” press conference, I have to hand it to him. See, after years of Giuliani and then Bloomberg, I am used to “just the facts, ma’am” type press conferences and find them quite reassuring. “Something bad happened but here are all the details so you can understand. And we’re on it, so, you know, just go on with your business. Would I sound this calm if there was anything to worry about?” This is an important thing in New York where there always seems to be some larger than life event that by all rights should worry you to death.
So the juxtaposition of that with the immediate statement of the governor (I probably would have voted against him except there was no election, he just succeeded our skanky, whore-loving last governor) was somewhat jarring. I can’t seem to find a transcript of Bloomberg’s statement, probably because it was so unsexy. In contrast, Governor Patterson’s statement is everywhere and is the dominant sound bite on both the TV and radio news (I flip around a lot). So imagine Bloomberg saying, “the plane left LaGuardia at 3-whatever and had X many people on board with Y number crew. The plane encountered a bird strike and blah blah happened. Rescue boats from yadda yadda agencies surrounded it and everyone was rescued. Everybody did an excellent job and we’ll figure out what went wrong. The end.”
Then you get Patterson immediately launching into, “There is a heroic pilot, who saved himself and approximately 154 other passengers this afternoon. We have had a miracle on 34th street, I believe we now have a miracle on the Hudson.” Oh, Jebus Crikey, don’t make me hurk. He went on to say, “”I think for all the times that we have had to appear at these press conferences in rather dismal circumstances, today, we realize how blessed this city is, and how blessed all of us are, particularly the survivors and their families. In simplicity, this is really was a potential tragedy that may become one of the most spectacular days in the history of New York City’s agencies, their coordination and the greatness of the people that worked to help the passengers, who will return home to their families.”
This sort of reminded me of the Simpsons episode (most things do but you’ve probably already noticed this) where the law-talking guy, Lionel Hutz, says to Homer Simpson, “Homer, I don’t use the word ‘hero’ very often, but you are the greatest hero in American history.” This was regarding suing an all-you-can-eat seafood restaurant. I’m not saying this wasn’t a big deal. It’s a huge deal and everyone in my office, which is in one of the buildings the plane might have crushed had it not ditched into the Hudson, were all gathered around our TV’s making stunned exclamations. That’s why you don’t have to overstate it!
Of course, I can’t vote for Bloomberg now. This time I’m mad at him for changing a law New Yorkers voted for – term limits – so he could run again. I don’t care that I didn’t actually vote in favor of that law. It’s the principle of the thing! Still, I expect him to win and hold years of matter-of-fact press conferences. What’s to worry about?
Title comes from:
Paula Abdul – Straight Up