Andrea Mitchell let Mayor Bloomberg more or less say whatever he wanted about the #OWS protesters without challenging any of his assertions. As he rambled on about the protesters, he compared them to the tea party, saying OWS protesters operated outside of the system, whereas the tea party worked inside the system, a patently false equivalence.
He goes on to patronize the protesters just a little more, reminding them that they have a right to protest, just not camp out in parks, as if to say that the First Amendment is just fine provided it doesn't inconvenience anyone else, or isn't too public, or isn't too obvious. How utterly one-percent of him.
There were a couple of places where I raised my eyebrows, like when he defended the NYPD's actions clearing Zuccotti park. He says this:
In spite of everybody yelling and screaming, virtually no arguments that the police abused their power. Remember, every cop has to make a decision right then and there. Somebody's starting to throw something at them or punch them, a cop's got to make a decision. It's easy to second-guess everybody but I think we have the best police department in the world. They're well-trained, they're certainly well-led, and I think they handled themselves in an exemplary manner. Would every single cop do everything right every time? Of course not, that's not the real world where everybody is pushing and shoving.
As one who observed the live stream the night they cleared Zuccotti Park, I have to take issue with Mayor Bloomberg's framing here, because the protesters in Zuccotti Park were, as best as I could tell, peaceful and nonviolent. There wasn't anyone throwing things or punching cops. In fact, one of the hallmarks of the Occupy protests around the country has been the commitment of the OWS movement to remain nonviolent. The violence has come from police using clubs and pepper spray on protesters, not protesters throwing things at police.
Further, I wonder if Mayor Bloomberg is proud of the police destroying tents, books and computer equipment alongside the bicycle generators and other possessions of protesters? That, more than many other things, cemented his leadership as authoritarian and anti-Constitutional. The images of police destroying books will remain with me for a very, very long time.
But wait, he had more. Here's where he calls them all whiners and complainers:
But we have a reason to be very proud of our police department and proud of the fact that in New York and I think throughout America generally, that you can come and you can say what you want to say and in some ways come, and pray what you want to pray, you can be in charge of your own destiny.
Remember, we're going about in this country complaining and we're going about things, pointing out what's wrong. Just remember, when somebody in this world decides to pick up their family and all their belongings and move to someplace where they can express themselves and pray and be in charge of their own destiny, they come to the United States. They don't go anyplace else.
This just proves how out of touch he really is with things. When people are deported daily for trying to "take charge of their own destiny", when that destiny involves being jobless and saddled with thousands in student debt, and when that destiny includes ridicule and a complete lack of understanding on the part of the Mayor about what exactly it is that OWS is protesting, it doesn't add up to a place I'd want to take my family. Not at all. This does not make me a whiner. It makes me a frustrated citizen who is tired of working really hard only to lose it every time the compulsive, money-grubbing gamblers on Wall Street decide they need a few hundred million more in their pockets.
Perhaps Mayor Bloomberg should talk to American expats around the world to make sure he really understands what he's talking about.
In fairness, the other utterly frustrating part of this interview was Andrea Mitchell, just letting Bloomberg roll on without any pushback at all on any of it. In fact, she leaned into him at the end of this segment and practically begged him to run for President. Liberal media? Where?