Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Mayor Mike: "Pimp My Ride"

We have been writing extensively on Mike Bloomberg's exhaustive efforts to paint the rosiest picture possible about his administration's achievements and plans. Our main focus has been on his elaborately presented and packaged congestion tax scheme, a plan that has a great deal more fluff than substance. We've also pointed out, relying on the research of Sol Stern, how the mayor's educational successes have been given a much glossier presentation than the reality of the schools in NYC would allow.

All of this, of course, is because the mayor has been crafting a national platform, and he understands more than most that it is better to appear good than to be good. Which brings us to the story in today's NY Times about the mayor's subway riding-apparently another example of how the mayor has manged to manipulate his public image.

We have all been treated to the image of our plebeian-wannabe mayor, holding his briefcase in one arm, patiently riding the train down to City Hall. It now appears, however, that the mayor first gets into his Suburban SUV, bypasses his own subway stop a five minute walk away, and is driven to 59th Street to catch the express.

What we learn from all of this-aside from the expected sycophancy of the Transportation Alternative folks who defended their patron in the article-is that the mayor is a master media manipulator. It is high time that the press, following the Times' lead, examine many of the other gaps between symbolism and reality in the mayor's glossy resume. Congestion taxing would be a good start in this long awaited deconstruction.