Yesterday on WECK 1230-AM

31 Mar

I joined Corey Griswold for the free-wheeling, mid-day local micro-talk show “1230 at 12:30” to discuss the Partnership for Public Spaces’ remarkable PowerPoint presentaion and the power of 10 and how we prioritize matters in this city.

At 4pm, Brad Riter and Chris Smith interviewed Green Party candidate in NY-26 Ian Murphy.  Murphy is running what has long been my dream campaign – substance mixed with snark. He has a finely honed and profane disdain for things that suck and are stupid, and an articulate passion for things that he believes to be important.

Remember how a week or so ago, New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg said something about how Buffalo wishes it had our problems? I didn’t do a post about it because I knew that the usual local suspects would express outrageous outrage while ignoring the fact that, to a certain degree Bloomberg was absolutely right.  Not that we wish we had an overcrowded and overpriced island of millions, but that we have a crisis of too much supply and not enough demand, while New York has the exact opposite.

New York Magazine asked Murphy about this, because frankly what else is a New York City-based journalist going to ask someone from Buffalo at this time?

Mayor Bloomberg recently apologized for saying that Buffalo is full of empty space and implying that it was not a very enticing place to live. Apology accepted?
No, he shouldn’t apologize for that. Buffalo fucking sucks. And everyone here knows it. There’s a lot of good things about Buffalo, but it is full of empty space, it’s full of urban decay, everyone’s leaving, and instead of putting on a cheery, happy face and denying it, let’s admit it to ourselves and make it better, yeah?

How do you think saying “Buffalo sucks” is going to go over with people who live in Buffalo?
Well, Buffalo’s not in my district, so Buffalo can kiss my ass.

Oh, I thought you had some northern suburbs of Buffalo in there.
Ah, we do, we do. I mean, I love Buffalo. I grew up here, and you better write that there’s a lot of good things about it because there is. But there are a lot of problems. There are a lot of empty buildings, there is a lot of empty space, and there are not a lot of economic opportunities. That’s one of the reasons I am running, is to bring that to the region. I don’t think that’s something to apologize for. I mean, did he apologize for calling Irish people drunks yet? Did he do that?

He kind of gave a half apology.
I was about three fifths into my bottle of scotch when I read that, and I was eating my potatoes, and, uh … I was mightily upset.

So you didn’t have a problem with that.
No, I think it was just a joke that didn’t go over, and I think people are just way too thin-skinned about everything.

Indeed. Murphy is absolutely right that Buffalo needs to stop strutting around like a peacock, pretending like it’s on exactly the right track, when the objective evidence proves the exact opposite.  While Mayor Brown whinges about being “pissed” about Bloomberg’s response, he should instead be focused on slowing – if not reversing – the precipitous decline of the city over which he presides. There’s civic pride, and then there’s mindless cheerleading. We need less of the latter.

Bringing us back to the WECK theme, when this Bloomberg thing became “news”, I talked with Brad Riter about it.  Fast Forward to 20:35.

One Response to “Yesterday on WECK 1230-AM”

  1. Chris Charvella March 31, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

    Murphy has a way of cutting through the bullshit. He said something on Brad Riter’s show yesterday that has been stuck in my head:

    ‘A gaffe is when a politician accidentally tells the truth.’

    I liked the hell out of that.

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