Monday, June 28, 2010

Gullible's Travels

Adam Lisberg, continuing his incisive reporting on the electoral excesses of Team Bloomberg, had this interesting insight into the cavalier relationship between the mayor's minions and, well, the truth: "New York wakes up this morning with two fewer subway lines, 36 fewer bus routes, longer waits and more crowded rides all across town. Perhaps you can use the extra time on your commute to think about how Mayor Bloomberg promised you free crosstown buses last summer. It was the splashiest part of his 34-point transit plan: He said most riders on the M50 and other crosstown routes use free transfers off another bus or subway, so charging them was a waste of time. "The lost revenue is trivial," he said. "We've done the survey."

The reality? Team Bloomberg was blowing expensive smoke-and with so much money to burn, the first campaign fire casualty was the truth: "The mayor promised more: The F train would start running express on unused tracks again. Three closed LIRR stations in Queens would reopen. Staten Island would get a train line on the North Shore. A year later, none of that has come true. The MTA doesn't have enough money to keep all its trains and buses running, much less expand them or let people ride them for free. One insider says Bloomberg's city staff never thought free buses could work, even as the campaign staff ran with it. "That was the laugher," he said. "He had to know it was a joke. Nice campaign fodder, though."

And the joke is, of course on us-the "small people" that the BP chairman spoke so caringly of.. And given the patronizing comments from the Bloombergistas, all we can say is: Carl-Henric Svanberg and Mike Bloomberg-perfect together.
But anyone who had any knowledge of the transit situation knew that the Bloomberg proposals were fantasies-but where was the blow back? When someone is so clearly advantaged in resources, the only check on this kind of lying excess is the media-and particularly the editorial boards that have that snarky ability to frame an issue. But the Ed Boards were in the tank with their class president-and busy fulminating against the lesser lights of electoral skulduggery; so Bloomberg got the Pasedena.

But as bad as the MTA lie was, it doesn't begin to compare with the Bloomberg, "Five Borough Economic Development Plan.," a policy initiative that can only be described as a crushing blow to every small neighborhood business. Here was a recycled screenplay from the mayor's first run-one that was fraudulent even then. But there was no media taste testing to warn voters about this rancid use of the mayor's millions to garner an unearned third term. The lie here might not have been quite Goebbels's like-but Big it was; and the collusion of his media pals will forever be a stain on the history of NYC politics.