Mayor Mike, Subway Cheat?

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Bloomberg on the Lex: You'd be smiling, too, if you were driven to an express stop. Photo: AFP/Getty Images


So has today shaken your confidence in our Democratic-Republican-Independent mayor's personal integrity? As the Times reported, Mike Bloomberg, who famously claims to take the subway to work, first uses "a pair of king-size Chevrolet Suburbans" to get to the 59th and Lex stop and boards the train from there. "This means Mr. Bloomberg … spends a quarter of his ostensibly subterranean commute in an S.U.V.," Michael Grynbaum writes. Sometimes the Chevys are even found idling in front of his Upper East Side townhouse! Can't you just taste the environmental hypocrisy? (Actually, you can't: The mayor's Suburbans run on ethanol, a fact the reporter grudgingly mentions in the story's twentieth paragraph.)

So how did the Times obtain this damning data? In a monthlong sting operation, as it turns out.

Grynbaum (and his colleagues Cassi Feldman and Cristina Maldonado, who "contributed reporting") staked out the mayor's residence for five weeks, as the article explains, waiting for Bloomberg to be picked up in the morning and then following his cavalcade south for 22 blocks. (In a car — a non-ethanol car — one assumes.) With the surveillance part over, Grynbaum can't resist putting the cherry of a dramatic set piece on top of it: He nails the mayor's spokesman, Stu Loeser, with the question of whether all this chauffeuring "distances" Bloomberg from the average straphanger. Loeser's answer: The mayor used to walk to the subway— until reporters began staking out his house.

Mayor Takes the Subway — by Way of S.U.V. [NYT]