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Comments: The Week of June 25, 2012


1. “Bloomberg has been casting about for his next job since about midway through his second term,” Gabriel Sherman wrote in a story on the mayor of New York’s retirement plans (The Mayor of Mayors,” June 11–18). “And since the presidency seems frustratingly out of reach, he’s set his sights on Plan B: He wants to be mayor of the world”—by expanding his Bloomberg media empire into a technocratic, global do-gooder urban-policy-and-philanthropy shop. At the Chicago Tribune, longtime New York gossip fixture Liz Smith was especially impressed with the story: “This magazine article is one of the most encouraging things I have read in a long time,” she wrote. “What it tells us is that Mayor Bloomberg is much more interested in what his influence will be in the future, the world over, than in being remembered for his ‘nanny’ influence over New York City.” At Politico, Dylan Byers focused on the possibility that Bloomberg might expand his media portfolio by buying a newspaper: “Bloomberg News is already far bigger than the New York Times or the Financial Times. But the NYT or the FT bring brand recognition.” Other readers were more interested in debating Bloomberg’s local legacy than his potential media-empire future. “New York City is a better place to live now than it was when he took office,” wrote one commenter at “He was brilliant in his handling a city that had gone through the worst disaster imaginable. In some cases I think he went too far (can’t smoke in the parks?), but overall I think a mayor should be judged by results; Bloomberg has many to show for his time in office.” Added another: “It’s a shame the mayor won’t run for president.” But some readers weren’t so enthusiastic about him. “Bloomberg clearly wants to find solutions to significant problems—the fact that his ‘solution’ seems consistently to be big money is a concern,” wrote one commenter. “In NYC, cutting funding to public programs and throwing private dollars to make up the gap works in the short term, but not in the long. When his money runs out, the problem remains—and future mayors are unlikely to have the same private resources to make up for inherited budget cuts.”

2. Onetime liberal-journalist wunderkind Peter Beinart has found himself under attack from those he considered friends and allies after criticizing Israel from the left, Jason Zengerle wrote in a story about Beinart’s book The Crisis of Zionism and the fallout following its publication (The Israeli Desert,” June 11–18). “Beinart’s main arguments about Israel are in no way radical, and rather mainstream,” wrote Eric Herschtal at the Jewish Week. “But it’s not what he’s saying but how he’s saying it that appears to have left him out in the cold.” At, a number of readers took issue with the substance of Beinart’s critique, too. “The crisis is clearly with Beinart and his trying to marry some old-style leftism with Zionism,” wrote one. But others cheered him on: “To Peter Beinart, my unequivocal support for his strong, insightful, brave book. Israel is not a weak country needing cosseting from the big, bad outside world. It’s a powerful nation-state which has some serious soul-searching to do.” Another felt Beinart’s critics could do some soul-searching, too. “I don’t agree with much of what Beinart has to say, as he generally belittles or ignores Israel’s genuine security concerns. Nevertheless, he should not be demonized by so-called supporters of Israel. Support for Israel should be a big tent among U.S. Jews.” Other readers couldn’t get far past the inside-baseball aspects of the story, including one who also made an appearance in it. “It feels extremely difficult to come up with a detached take on Jason Zengerle’s excellent New York article about l’affaire Beinart, and so I won’t try,” wrote Marc Tracy at Tablet’s the Scroll blog. “The article is so much about our world, which is my world (I am quoted in it), that the first time I read it, I suspected I had come down with a Truman Show delusion, in which you believe you are the star of a gigantic reality television show. But really, it’s a very good piece, full of rich characters, momentous politics, and bickering Jews.”

3. Our annual survey of the city’s best doctors included an everyday health Q&A, a selection of vintage medical slides, and an especially popular photo spread featuring nine recent med-school graduates (Best Doctors 2012,” June 11–18). “I absolutely loved this!” wrote one commenter at of the survey of new doctors. “Boosted my premed feelings.” Another agreed: “Ahhh, they’re all so cute!” And on Twitter, @jorcohen was thinking of all the proud grandmothers: “Having your grandson included on @NYMag’s list of best doctors is probably the best thing to happen to a Jewish woman in her golden years.”

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