Monday, February 15, 2010


Well, it looks as if the tabloid wars have entered into a unique, but probably temporary ceasefire with the NY Post's almost endorsement of a possible senatorial run by Daily News publisher Mort Zuckerman: "The emergence of real-estate magnate -- and Daily News Publisher -- Mortimer Zuckerman as a potential candidate for the United States Senate is an event all New Yorkers of good will can welcome.This isn't an endorsement of Zuckerman's candidacy. Indeed, it's not at all clear that he'll even make the run. But here's hoping he does."

In issuing its call for Mort to run, the Post picks up on what we said yesterday-absent the mordant observations about Morticia's obsequiousness to Mayor Mike: "The Senate seat in question is now held by David Paterson protégé -- and Chuck Schumer hand puppet -- Kirsten Gillibrand. She's an upstate cipher whose sole qualification for the job is that Paterson appointed her to it when Hillary Rodham Clinton gave it up to join the Obama administration."

But, since the Post brought up the hand puppet issue, how do we benefit with having a senator who is so clearly enthralled with all things Bloomberg that he in all likelihood moonlights as the mayor's food taster. Consider the pedestrian malling of Broadway-something that the Post rightly critiques, saying: "City Hall says the tourists are pleased as punch with the new arrangements. This seems hard to believe, given that the erstwhile Crossroads of the World was already a prime tourist attraction. Now the area is one vast, boring pedestrian mall -- and guess what? It's going to get worse."

Morty, on the other hand-reprising his long running Broadway hit, "Mini Me Mike," sees it, well, just like the mayor; even going so far as to parrot the mayoral propaganda: "The grand experiment that closed Times and Herald squares to traffic and opened them to umbrella tables and chairs has been declared by Mayor Bloomberg a success worth weaving permanently into the fabric of life. On balance, in a call closer than anticipated, the mayor is correct."

In Zuckerman speak, this means that the idea sucks, but, gee, isn't Mike a smart guy? And he discovers-or at least he apes the party line-that, "Voilà!" Times Square is actually safer. But as the Post points out: "Meanwhile, drops of 35 percent in pedestrian injuries and 63 percent of driver injuries were statistically meaningless, because the absolute numbers were so small. And cyclist injuries were unchanged."

So, while we agree that getting real comp for Gillibrand is a must, we don't see how Morticia resonates with the real yearning of the folks for genuine grass roots representation. Zuckerman, as the classic elite mogul, is not the kind of challenger that meshes with the needs of our time. That he's a notch up from Gillibrand is a low bar indeed.