Mike Bloomberg Backs BP: Our Mayor Defended Tony Hayward?

Granted, New Yorkers are nowhere near the Gulf Shore, and the oil has yet to make its way up to the Hudson, and even if it did, we wouldn't notice, because the Hudson's gross anyway (not that this should stop you from saving it). But we're affected in plenty of different ways by the BP Oil Spill Disaster, and New Yorkers have done their best to show how sensitive and passionate they are towards this issue. Which is why it's utterly absurd that our mayor's speaking out for them.

See -- via the New York Times -- when our mayor noted the following on Friday:

"The guy that runs BP didn't exactly go down there and blow up the well," Mr. Bloomberg said during his weekly radio talk with John Gambling on WOR-AM. On Friday, Mr. Bloomberg said BP should be left alone until the recovery operation is complete. "If you want him to fix it and they're the only ones with the expertise, I think I might wait to assign blame till we get it fixed," the mayor said.

He's not entirely wrong, at least not in intent. Part of the reason things don't get fixed in America is because people are quick to source blame out to easy targets, because that makes the public/media discussion of a problem that much simpler to produce and digest. And as the New York Times noted, he said the same thing about the banking crisis:

In April, as President Obama stepped up his attack on financial firms and sought to end risky trading practices, the mayor warned that "the bashing of Wall Street is something that should worry everybody."

And about ConEd:

And in 2006, Mr. Bloomberg drew criticism after he publicly praised the performance of Consolidated Edison in the midst of a nine-day blackout in Queens.

But the problem isn't whether Bloomberg's correct or incorrect about the nature of opinion. It's that he's supposed to be an advocate for the citizenry, for New Yorkers, and not serve the interests of corporate entities like the monolithic business news corporation he owns, which is what he does every time he says something like this.

Which is besides the point that, yes, BP is to blame, very much so, in every regard possible.

Furthermore, our mayor could've used this to advocate for the people who are receiving the short end of the public's anger -- like independent BP station owners who're having to incur expenses from protests and defacing, who are the furthest removed from BP's corporate mistakes -- and instead, now predictably, backed the guy on top.

The worst part is that there's really not much New Yorkers can do about it, because we elected him to a third term. So, everyone just kind of gets to sit back and enjoy this. There's not much more to it.

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]

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