Mike Bloomberg On Chick-Fil-A: Banning Soda Is OK. Banning Homophobic Chicken Peddlers Is Un-American
For a guy who's hell-bent on imposing his will on just about everyone, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg has taken a rather uncharacteristic stance in the ongoing flap over the outrage stemming from homophobic comments made by Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy -- especially for a guy who claims to be a staunch advocate for gay marriage.
During his weekly radio address this morning, the mayor said that trying to shut down a restaurant because of the opinion of its owner goes against the essence of the freedoms laid out in the Constitution.
Just to be clear, this is the same (ahem) freedom-loving mayor who wants to ban soda served in containers larger than 16 ounces, wants to hide baby formula from new mothers to persuade them to breast-feed, and who wants to rip the guns from the cold, dead hands of everyone on the planet (in other words, if the mayor wants to play the role of Constitutional scholar, he might want to get a refresher on the Second Amendment).
"It isn't the right thing to do and it isn't what America stands for," Bloomberg said this morning. "And those people who don't like (Chick-fil-A) don't understand their rights were protected by people who took a difficult position in the past and stood by it. They stood up so everybody else would be free."
The mayor, obviously, is referring to Cathy's First Amendment right to say whatever the hell he wants -- regardless of how (ahem) "Christian" it may be.
Bloomberg's comments are in response to other U.S. mayors telling Chick-Fil-A to stay out of their cities because Cathy's comments don't jibe with the tolerant values of their respective municipalities. Regardless of where you stand on whether it's the mayors' place to tell the restaurant to stay out (which, we would argue, it isn't), Bloomberg's a hypocrite.
Before today, the mayor's most recent bout with hypocrisy involved his standing behind the city selling 28,000 pounds of used bullet casings to a Georgia ammunition business, which will refill the casings and re-sell -- at a discounted rate -- as live rounds. The sale happened just weeks before a study by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives showed that of the 8,793 guns seized in New York in 2011, only 1,595 were actually purchased here. Granted, the report is talking about guns, not bullets, but it's stats like these that fuel Bloomberg's incessant push for other states to enact tougher gun-control laws, with the goal of keeping the weapons out of New York.
Additionally, just last week it was revealed that the mayor will host a fundraiser for National Rifle Association-backed Massachusetts Senate candidate Scott Brown, who earned an "A" rating from the group -- all as Bloomberg continues to be the face of the campaign for tougher national gun laws.
Then there's the soda -- while attempting to curb obesity by telling fatsos how much soda they're allowed to drink, Bloomberg endorsed "National Doughnut Day," and presided over the ceremonial weigh-in at this year's Nathan's Hotdog Eating Contest. As we noted in prior posts, last year's hotdog winner, Joey Chestnut, ate 62 hot dogs in 12 minutes, which is the equivalent of 66 Mountain Dews.
But Bloomberg loves freedom, and defends the Constitution -- we just didn't realize the Constitution is served buffet style.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.
- Meet the Woman Who Uses Cosplay and Comic Cons to Lift the Spirits of Sick Children
- Here Are Ten (Or So) Graphic Novels to Watch Out For at NYCC
- The Man Behind 'Modern Seinfeld,' Focuses on His Own Neuroses in New Book