|In the past few days, as New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg held forth at his numerous Hurricane Sandy–related press conferences, two surprisingly entertaining sideshows have emerged in the midst of disaster. There has been the lively, expressive work of the mayor’s sign language interpreter Lydia Callis, whom New York magazine accurately praised as a “both lightning-fast and emotive” presence during Hizzoner’s updates. And then there’s been Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s awkward, shambling attempts at “Spanish.”
Delivered with all the Latin aplomb of a tone-deaf Tijuana tourist, Bloomberg’s Spanish has been a hallmark of his administration. But it first became a full-blown meme during Hurricane Irene, in 2011, when Rachel Figueroa-Levin was watching the mayor’s not-quite-Rosetta Stone-level attempts to communicate with his Spanish-speaking urban population in pre-hurricane amusement. “I was joking with people on Twitter,” the Inwood resident says. Rather than “clutter” her own Twitter stream with her joking imitations of Bloomberg’s stilted stabs at multiculturalism, she created a “speaky the Spanish” alter ego: Miguel Bloombito.
In the past two days, El Bloombito’s pidgin Español Twitter stream has been a balm to disaster-scarred New Yorkers, a bracingly funny respite from the ravages of Sandy. Prior to the storm, it was Bloombito who warned New Yorkers, “Cuidado! El stormo somos about to que vamos el lañdfall! Batteño los hatches!” and “Por favor to remaiño insidero until notice de furthero. Peligroso!” Afterward, it was Bloombito who reminded, “El floodo agua esta still todos los everywhere. Necesitos los gearo de scuba y el flipper!”
|Something else worth reading today: At Media Matters, Shauna Theel does a thorough takedown of The Wall Street Journal's front man for climate change denial, Matt Ridley, also known as 5th Viscount Ridley.|
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2005—Pundit Overload:
|Can I just say something straight-up here?
Having Ann Coulter on your network debating the "meaning" of the Fitzgerald investigation isn't relevant. It isn't useful. It's like watching a dog crap to music. There's some percentage of the country that would probably tune in to that too, but it doesn't make it "news" or even "analysis."
And you can repeat that statement, to a less overtly crass degree, for nearly every Republican and Democratic professional spinner, on both sides. During this particular week, we have actual news. It means something, something important. We don't know all the facts yet, or even whether or not a man is guilty or innocent, and finding out is deadly serious business. So how about we start finding out the facts? How 'bout the media start, instead of turning this story into the same Rolodex-emptying game of Hollywood Squares that producers have managed to turn every major national story into, these last ten years?
Interviewing reporters who have been breaking new information in this story -- I'm sympathetic to that. Interviewing longtime Washington hands who can shed light on what itmeans to have something be "classified", or legal figures who can explore where the case could go, by all means. But there is something flatly wrong about the ongoing, incessant Pundit-O-Matic that presumes that just because someone is a partisan, they have relevancy to this story.
Kagro in the Morning was back on the air, post-Sandy, rounding up some of the most dramatic stories, discussing the pros & cons of Twitter as a news source, noting Mitt Romney's insistence that private relief and state-based emergency management is preferable to FEMA, and discussing the traditional media's strange obsession with attacking Nate Silver's methodologies in the middle of the storm's onslaught. Reminder: Vote for us in the "Best New Show" category of the Stitcher Awards, once a day, every day, through Nov. 5!