Bob Turner, Congressional Candidate: No Palestinian Chicken Next to Goldblatt’s Deli?


One good nontroversy deserves another. Now that Anthony Weiner has abandoned his post representing New York’s 9th Congressional District over rather silly reasons, and will soon be replaced by Democrat David Weprin or Republican Bob Turner, it seems fitting that the special election is being framed by the most important economic issues of the day the equally silly, year-old non issue, the Ground Zero “Mosque.”

With the economy lobbing slow balls right over home plate for any Republican at bat, and with a certain disdain left in the public’s mouth over the Democratic predecessor, why is Turner turning to such a stale, dead horse to beat? Is he really that concerned with Palestinians opening a chicken restaurant next to Goldblatt’s Deli an Islamic version of a Jewish community center being built farther from Ground Zero than a topless bar?

We can only imagine that Larry David has something to do with it.

On a recent episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, David provided perhaps the most skewering satire yet on the Ground Zero “Mosque” (apart, that is, from our former colleague’s take on the subject in his award winning blog post).

David mirrors the absurdity of the downtown drama by setting it in Los Angeles, where a Palestinian chicken shack tries to move next door to Goldblatt’s Deli. While the show contained some of our favorite Curb lines ever (“If Rabin can break bread with Arafat, I can eat chicken in this anti-Semitic shithole”) the major problem of it was timing. By the time David shot, edited, and released the episode, the humor was about as stiff as…well, the rigor mortis of Anthony Weiner’s career. With One World Trade well on its way to becoming the city’s largest tower, the death of Osama Bin Laden, and even a strike happening on the site, business has carried on at Ground Zero, and the nontroversy had died away.

Except! Never underestimate a politician’s ability to make hay out of an unimportant non-issue. And so, as if to bring relevance to Larry David’s brilliant but slightly late to the game comedy, Turner is trying to bring the Mosque drama roaring back.

Will this bypass legitimate voter anger at Wall Street (or, closer to his district, silly anger at Weiner’s weiner)? Only time will tell. Until then, we hope Turner will riff off of this scene from the same Curb episode to make his next ad.

Previous: Dear Rest-of-America: Take This Map, It’s Why You’re Wrong About the “Ground Zero Mosque” by Foster Kamer