If there's anyone who could commiserate with wealthy, powerful CEOs, it's Mayor Bloomberg. During his weekly radio appearance this morning, he came to the defense of both BP CEO Tony Hayward and Empire State Building owner Andrew Malkin or at least refused to jump in on the castigation bandwagon, according to the Daily Politics:
"The guy that runs BP didn't exactly go down there and blow up the well. And what's more, if you want him to fix it and they're the only ones with the expertise, I think I might wait to look, assign blame, and til we get it fixed, I don't want him focusing on anything other, the lawyers.
I want him focusing. Sure. But unfortunately it's not any one person or one party or one branch of government. It's, there's got to be somebody that's culpable in everything. C'mon."
Actually, some people within the Justice Department were similarly uneasy about announcing investigations into BP while the efforts to stanch and clean up the spill were ongoing. As far as villainizing Tony Hayward goes, though, it's really just too easy, considering his many tone-deaf and ass-covering blunders in the aftermath of the spill, and his furriner accent.
Bloomberg then went on to defend another man who the public has decided obviously hates all that is good and decent Anthony Malkin, the owner of the Empire State Building, whose "official policy" about honoring religious figures he just made up a few days ago to avoid commemorating the 100th anniversary of Mother Teresa's birth. He also won't light up for the United States Marine Corps! Who will you disappoint next, Empire State Building? Astronaut cancer survivors? But Bloomberg, who has run a private company, sympathizes with those who do the same.
"It's a private company that owns the building, and I guess they've got to make their decision as to what they want to do. My advice to them would be, be consistent. You can have a policy against doing people, or yes, always doing people or whatever. I'm sympathetic that you can't do it for everybody.
At the same time, Bloomberg adds, "I think the building management's got to listen to the public and make their own decisions," which seems like conflicting advice. Unless he means "listen and continue to ignore" the public, as the Empire State Building ownership has been doing.
Sympathy For The Devils » [Daily Politics/NYDN]