Today the Post gives Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver an op-ed, “New York state must cut spending,” in which the Speaker tells us (as is his wont) how hard the assembly is working, and that as “families throughout our state are making painful but necessary choices every day. Albany must do the same.” The “MTA rescue plan” is mentioned, as is 9/11.
Governor Paterson, who has been pushing like mad for budget cuts, is also mentioned, but not favorably. His “proposed cuts to the Tuition Assistance Program are a tax hike on lower- and middle-income families,” says Silver, and his “proposed reduction in Supplemental Security Income will force our most vulnerable residents to choose between paying for their utility bills and their medications.”
You might expect the fiscally conservative Post to have something to say about it, and they do, in a non-op-ed in which they call Silver “The Last Adult in Albany” and add, “He may be New York’s only hope”…
Hold on. Is this the same New York Post that headlined an editorial, “UFT FIDDLES, SILVER DANCES“? And called the MTA’s price raise “SPEAKER SILVER’S FARE HIKE“? And talked about “Lord Mayor of Albany Sheldon Silver and his pliant handmaidens” and “The most obscene offense of all in Shelly Silver’s fiefdom” and such like?
Has Silver changed? Has the Post? Don’t let it throw you. Post owner Rupert Murdoch and Silver go back a long ways. Silver green-lighted a cozy land deal then-governor Pataki gave the Post in 1998. They’re two old dogs who’ve been in power a long time, and they know how things work: Money talks and bullshit makes the first edition. The pre-ordained fall guy for the recent Albany shenanigans is David Paterson; Silver knows it and so does Murdoch. And now they’re getting around to letting you know it.
It just goes to show that you can’t take the alternately positive and negative screaming heds about politicians in the tabloid press any more seriously than you might take their hot-or-not fluctuations about pop stars who are a train wreck one month and a diva the next. It’s the kind of thing that sells papers and records, legislative and otherwise.