Joseph Berger's long tribute to the late, legendary former New York City mayor Ed Koch made the front of the New York Times Sunday Metro section -- "So, How'd He Do?"
But Berger stained Koch's memory by citing the irresponsible, inflammatory voices of Rev. Calvin Butts and Al Sharpton and bizarrely suggesting Koch's rhetoric played a part in racist assaults against blacks: "Despite his condemnation of the mob beatings, it was hard to tamp down a sense among blacks that his public rhetoric -- in the 1988 presidential campaign, for example, he said Jews would be 'crazy' to vote for Jesse Jackson because of his 'Hymietown' slur about New York and his support for a Palestinian homeland -- may have helped foster an atmosphere in which some young whites felt emboldened to commit such assaults."
Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, who has been given and deserves a great deal of credit for bringing the city back to stability and prominence after 12 awful and nearly bankrupt years under John Lindsay and Abe Beame, passed away on Friday at age 88.
Koch was not a party-line Democrat in several obvious ways. He supported George W. Bush's reelection in 2004. He first made a name for himself in the early 1970s opposing a huge public housing project slated for a middle-class neighborhood. What I find most interesting -- and what the press appears to be totally uninterested in noting -- is the fact that Koch, having learned hard lessons about how federal mandates were tieing his hands as mayor, wasn't afraid, after experiencing first-hand how disruptive many statist policies and prescriptions emanating from Washington become once they make contact with the real world, to declare how wrong he had been as a congressman to impose some of them before his mayoral ascension. The excerpts which follow are from "The Mandate Millstone," published in 1980:
Looks like liberals are still trying to peddle the discredited allegation that Tea Party members attacked black members of Congress.
The op-ed page of today's New York Times contains a column by James Sleeper, a long-time left-wing activist, now a lecturer at Yale. The gist is the grudging respect that Sleeper came to have for Ed Koch, the former New York City mayor who passed away two days ago. Sleeper writes of how as mayor, Koch wrestled to the ground a protester who had stormed the stage as he spoke and pelted him with eggs. Sleeper wrote that Koch's asking the audience whether they wanted the other protesters removed looked demagogic at the time, "[b]ut not so much now, with Tea Party heckling and assaults on public officials." More after the jump.
Someone at MSNBC should tell Martin Bashir that he might not agree with Pat Buchanan's politics, but he's not one to challenge about a matter of fact.
On the show bearing his name Thursday, Bashir mistakenly tried to refute the conservative's claim that former Mayor Ed Koch accused President Obama of throwing Israel under the bus (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Appearing as a guest on Thursday’s Your World with Neil Cavuto on FNC, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch – known for being a relatively centrist Democrat – chided President Obama for being reluctant to use terms like "war on terrorism" or "Islamic extremists," and, when host Cavuto pointed out that Obama had managed to improve attitudes toward America in the Muslim world, Koch sarcastically shot back: "Isn`t that nice? Did they stop trying to kill us?"
Even while declaring himself to be a supporter of the Obama administration, the former New York mayor still voiced his frustrations about the "attitude" of the White House – citing an article by right-leaning columnist Charles Krauthammer – and came out in support of profiling Muslims at airports: