The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

But who would YOU believe? An adulterous, lying egomaniac or a horde of "New York liberals"?

I'm going to give the National Review Online contributors some credit here by suggesting that they're smart enough to realize their comments are disingenuous. Which doesn't say much for what they think of their readers, but that's their business.

I made a brief remark yesterday about Giuliani's adoption of the "tragedy pimp" ploy that so many Republicans have staked their campaigns on since 9/11. To wit, this recent statement:

"I was at ground zero as often, if not more, than most of the workers ... I was there working with them. I was exposed to exactly the same things they were exposed to. So in that sense, I'm one of them."

Naturally, this turned out to be a complete falsehood. When media outlets revealed that he had actually clocked more hours with the New York Yankees than at ground zero, three (three!) NRO contributors decided they couldn't contain their outrage. At the scoundrels who exposed Giuliani's shamelessness and dishonesty, of course.

Strike One: Jim Geraghty kicked it off this morning by getting his facts wrong, while accusing us of getting our facts wrong. That's never good. Geraghty claimed the mayor of 9/11 only took one round-trip plane ride to Arizona for the last two 2001 World Series games, but as Koppelman documented, newspapers reported at the time that Giuliani actually flew back and forth twice to attend games six and seven. In an updated post, Geraghty concedes we did the math right, but insists we were wrong to include travel time to Arizona, since the numbers wouldn't have looked as bad if the World Series had been in, say, Philadelphia or even at Shea Stadium.

I think it's perfectly reasonable to factor in the mayor's travel time and observe that he spent almost as much time on airplanes to get to Yankees games (22 hours, by our calculations) as he did at ground zero.

Strike Two: Next Jonah Goldberg linked to Geraghty and called our piece a "cheap shot." Goldberg, typically, misses the point, insisting "no New Yorker -- as far as I am aware -- begrudged the mayor of New York going to the World Series when the Yankees were playing." We don't think people begrudged Giuliani the solace of a Yankees game. But they do begrudge his bragging[.]

Strike Three: Finally, Greg Pollowitz quotes a column by the New York Times' Dave Anderson hailing Giuliani for attending Yankees games in the dark days after 9/11. But nobody's quarrelling with his going to Yankees games, guys. The point is that once again, Giuliani wrapped himself in the heroism of 9/11 first responders, many of whom criticize his leadership before and after 9/11, and once again it backfired. Besides, it's not as if Giuliani was making a special effort to show up at Yankees games after 9/11 to help restore civic morale; the guy is a maniac Yankees fan with four World Series rings (and there's some question about how he acquired them) who tried never to miss a post-season game, global crisis or no global crisis. It wasn't some selfless display of moral leadership.

Normally that would mean the NRO is out of there. But they keep crying foul and calling a do-over.