Now here’s a backhanded way to normalize a mayor covering up his deputy’s arrest for domestic violence:
“Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s management style has its hallmarks: unwavering loyalty to aides and a deep distaste for exposing private lives to public scrutiny.”
That’s Michael Barbaro’s lead in the New York Times this evening. The lead sets us up to believe this story is about Bloomberg’s “management style,” his “unwavering loyalty,” and his distaste for exposing “private lives” to public scrutiny. Makes him sound like a pretty good guy, right?
In subsequent paragraphs, we learn that Bloomberg knew right away that his deputy mayor, Stephen Goldsmith (the guy who oversaw the NYPD, nacht) had been arrested for allegedly shoving his wife:
Mr. Goldsmith, who spent 48 hours in jail after the episode, immediately reported the matter to Mr. Bloomberg. But when Mr. Goldsmith abruptly resigned five days later, the mayor’s office declared in a statement that he was “leaving to pursue private-sector opportunities in infrastructure finance,” language that was reviewed by the mayor himself, people with knowledge of the situation said.
While acknowledging that Mr. Goldsmith, 64, had to step down, these people said, Mr. Bloomberg insisted that the departing aide, a former mayor of Indianapolis and a well-known expert on municipal government, be allowed to characterize the move on his own terms.
Concealing your deputy’s arrest and agreeing to repeat his lies about why he’s leaving goes beyond “management style” into “mismanagement style.”
Loyalty is a virtue. Playing by the rules of the old boys club is a vice. Bloomberg crossed the line.
Finally, getting arrested is not your “private life,” it’s the point at which whatever was going on in your life becomes a matter of public record because society has an interest in whatever antisocial behavior you were allegedly engaging in.
[Photo credit: Ralph Alswang, Creative Commons.]