December 24, 2014

Former New York City Mayor, Mr. Noun-a-Verb-and-9-11 Rudy Giuliani has been all over the cable "news" networks, polluting our airways along with every other right-wing opportunist, politicizing the shootings of two NYPD officers, but this is the first time I've seen him actually get a little bit of push back over his assertions about the validity of the concerns of those protesting against police brutality, and from CNN's Erin Burnett of all people.

Shorter Giuliani to Erin Burnett when confronted with some percentages on the odds of a black man being shot by the police compared to a white man; facts don't matter, don't confuse me with statistics, the police are always justified when they shoot someone and let me wrap things up by lying about the crime rates needing to come down even though they're the lowest they've been in decades.

It really is malpractice by our media to continue to give this man any air time at all, but if you are going to allow him on, he should be asked about his history of politicizing problems with the NYPD that we discussed here and he should be called out forcefully when he lies. He should also be asked about the right's selective outrage when it comes to cop killers. He did get some push back from Burnett on the subject of police brutality, but she still let him get away with a few whoppers that went unchallenged.

Transcript via CNN.

BURNETT: This issue about racism in the nation's biggest police department and indeed in police departments around the country, there was a couple of questions I wanted to ask you about that.

GIULIANI: Sure. Absolutely.

BURNETT: Our analysis actually was done on the issue of whether young black males were more likely to be killed by police in this country. They looked at federal data from 2010 to 2012, because aren't federal statistics on this particular issue, they found a 21 times more likely chance that a young black man would be killed by a police officer than a young white man. That is a pretty stunning statistic and it argues against what you just said.

GIULIANI: No, it doesn't. Statistics don't tell you anything. But we have to know what those 21 people were doing. By what percentage do black young men commit violent crimes compared to white? Isn't it like five, six, seven, to one.

BURNETT: This is 21 to one.

GIULIANI: Well, fix, six, seven to one means it can be off a lot of concentrations. And a lot more interactions between the police in the black community than between the police and the white community. So you can't just look at a statistic like that. In the case of New York City, for example, 70-75 percent of the murders are committed by blacks. That is a statistic. That is not racism, that is a fact. So you would expect, if that is the case, if it is 70-75 percent, at the overwhelming majority of interactions dealing with violent crime are going to be with blacks -- unfortunately.

BURNETT: Right. But I mean, I see your point. But I mean, if you are going to play statistics that way, you are looking at 75 percent.

GIULIANI: Well, you're the one that brought up statics.

BURNETT: No, I know. But I mean, I'm saying is, if 75 percent of the crime is committed by blacks as you are saying, but again 21- one. That is still not in balance with the crime rate.

GIULIANI: But you have to know what those 21. You'll have to know what you are talking about. Not just the numbers. You have to know what kind of situations -- what kind of situation you are talking about. What kind of crimes were involved. What kind of provocation took place? Did one group more likely surrender and the other group not? I mean, in the case of both Mr. Garner and Mr. Brown, they were committing crimes. I mean, this is not a situation in which -- I mean the two officers were two innocent men that were killed. These two men were committing crimes. Now okay, in the case of Mr. Garner, he was committing a relatively minor crime.

BURNETT: Correct.

GIULIANI: But the reality is, if you are speeding, and you are pulled over and the police officer asks you for your license and registration, and you say, no, you've just taken a relatively minor situation and made it into a really major one because the cop is going to pull you out of the car and anything can happen. So before you analyze that, you have to know how are people behaving, how are they acting, how are they interact, you know what kind of danger the police officers in? I have found in New York City, that the overwhelming majority of cases, the police officers are justified in what they're doing. The exception is when they do something wrong and when they do, and when they do, they go to prison. This is a police department that in an overwhelming majority of cases, when a death takes place to justifiable situation where the police officers was in fear for his life.

BURNETT: But the issue of course as you know around the country now is that people see some cases where a lot of people think that justice has not been served, that an officer was not charged for something. In the case of Eric Garner. And you know, Kareem Abdul- Jabbar wrote about this and I wanted to get your response to what he said because I thought he wrote this pretty eloquently but maybe you will going to take issue with it but I'm curious. So, he wrote, in Time Magazine this week and this is in light of the assassination of the two police officers this weekend in New York City. He wrote, the marches, meaning the protests are meant to raise awareness of double standards, lack of adequate police candidate screening and insufficient training that have resulted in unnecessary killings. Police are not under attack. Institutionalized racism is. And he continues to give examples. He says, trying to remove sexually abusive priests is not attack on Catholicism nor is removing ineffective teachers an attack on education. He writes that very eloquently and doesn't he have a point?

GIULIANI: Of course he's got a point.

BURNETT: I mean, this is something that you would agree with that the protesters have a point. There are cases of access that need to be dealt with.

GIULIANI: No question about it. There are situations in which the police officers act ineffectively or even when the police officers act in a racially improper manner. There are situations like that. To give the impression that it is systemic is a cruel and really bad lie. And to create that impression for the last two months and to allow that to become the general impression, that this is a major problem within police departments is really unfair. The major problem is the amount of crime that we have.

BURNETT: But if that is a major problem -- hold on one second.

GIULIANI: The reality is --

BURNETT: Let me just, because I see your point. But then, you want to say it is not systemic but if you are not willing to talk about statistics including the one that I shared --

GIULIANI: I am willing to talk about it. I just want to know what those are all about. The -- the situation of racism in the New York City Police Department is the exception. The rule is a vast amount of crime.

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.