CUNY’s Fiterman Hall, damaged by the 9/11 attacks, was finally torn down this week, and a groundbreaking for a new Hall held today. Unfortunately it wasn’t the solemn event people were expecting. Our favorite councilmember, Charles Barron, expressed resentment at his seating arrangements and place on the bill, and when he was permitted to speak told the audience, announced “I don’t like disrepect,” and criticized Mayor Bloomberg and Manhattan Beep Scott Stringer, causing CUNY trustee Jeffrey Wiesenfeld to yell “You’re a disgrace” at him. “You just be quiet,” rejoined Barron, “ain’t nobody talking to you.” Wiesenfeld nonetheless persisted, and the two men yelled at each other till — well, we’re not sure when; when they got tired of it, we guess. (WCAX said the exchange lasted “several minutes.”) Barron has had shouting matches before, but none, so far as we know, at a groundbreaking ceremony. Maybe it’s part of his campaign for Speaker.
Update: Oh boy! The Post has video, and it looks exactly as ridiculous as it sounds. Best part: An obviously embarrassed CUNY official trying to play it off as a tribute to “free, open robust speech and exchange,” despite Barron’s calls for Wiesenfeld to be “put out.”