“Nobody Likes Cathie Black”: This Week’s Score Card


Cathie Black, Mayor Bloomberg’s Schools Chancellor appointee that nobody likes, is getting less popular with each passing day — so unpopular, in fact, that she was given a big “thumbs down” by the panel chosen to evaluate her. Several groups, including city councilmen, state assemblymen, parents, union leaders, and teachers, have spoken out since Bloomberg tapped Black for the job, but few have been as sharply critical as (surprisingly,) the New York Times. So what’s New York’s biggest broadsheet’s beef with Ms. Black? Your guide, after the jump.

She’s loaded:

“Her parties are legendary: a 50th birthday bash under a tent in her Washington backyard attended by the Quayles; her 60th at a rented villa in Tuscany, with 75 relatives and friends; and the annual pre-Thanksgiving fete that brings 100 or more of Manhattan’s boldfaced names to the penthouse.”

[“A Trailblazer With Her Eye on the Bottom Line,” NYT]

She has a nicer house than you. Wait, no, that’s houses:

“Ms. Black owns a Park Avenue penthouse with a gourmet kitchen, a five-bedroom Connecticut colonial and a Southampton weekend getaway,”

[“Schools Chancellor Once Had a Residential Perk, NYT]

She will make your kids fat with soda:

“Even as other large food manufacturers embraced the public-health measures, Coca-Cola dug in its heels, rewarding schools that kept selling its products and threatening those that would not … On a board that meets six times a year, she was privy to internal debates about the company’s combative strategy, and there is no public evidence that she ever questioned it.”

[“As Bloomberg Fought Sodas, Nominee Sat on Coke Board,” NYT]

She’ll oversleep and be late to class:

“The book’s edgiest moment comes when Ms. Black explains why she missed meetings with E. Neville Isdell, at the time the chief executive of Coca-Cola, and others: she accidentally swallowed several of the sleeping pill Ambien, thinking it was Tylenol.”

[Who Wrote the Book on the New Schools Chief? She Did,” NYT]

She’s mean to reporters:

“At 7:30 a.m. or so, Ms. Black, stone faced, marched toward the entrance. A reporter ventured another question, explaining she had been waiting to speak with Ms. Black since 5:15 a.m.

Ms. Black looked unmoved. “That’s great,” she said, stepping into the revolving door.”

[“In Search of the Chancellor-to-Be, Park Ave., 5 A.M.,” NYT]

She gives money to people who spread crazy shit about “death panels”

“And in 2010, Ms. Black gave $500 to Senator Charles Grassley, Republican of Iowa, after he had opposed President Obama’s health care overhaul by telling people in his state that they should fear the possibility that the federal government could “pull the plug on grandma” — a seeming endorsement by Mr. Grassley of the “death panel” rumors that had become popular at the time.”

[“New Chancellor’s Political Donations Tell a Mixed Tale,” NYT]

Donald Trump likes her:

“She’s a great leader, she has always been a great executive and she’s a great inspiration,” Mr. Trump said.

[“Cathie Black, Now Seen on ‘The Apprentice’,” NYT]