Initially, New York Press was inclined to endorse C. Virginia Fields, whose masters degree in social work made her the only candidate with a post-grad degree, which in a Democratic field entirely lacking in real-life experience is at least something. Council Speaker Gifford Miller is a law school drop out and Congressman Anthony Weiner stepped off the SUNY Plattsburgh campus (go Snowbirds!) and into Chuck Schumer’s arms.
Then we found out that Fernando Ferrer had a masters degree in public administration from Baruch. For the sake of these studies he apparently took hours out of his doubtless busy days heading the Drum Major Institute. [A call to the campaign asking if Ferrer got credit for life experience went unreturned.] Any candidate so humble as to admit that he needs a degree after 22 years in elected office has the stooped shoulders needed to bear the weight of begging funds from Washington, apologizing for his helplessness in the face of national trends and other ceremonial duties of the mayor’s office, circa 1990.
And that’s doubtless the period from which Ferrer derives his vision, such as it is, or ain’t. When David Dinkins first ran for mayor, the phrase that floated around was “David’s turn.” He’d served in just about every bullshit office there was, and was left with nowhere to go save Gracie Mansion. And now it’s Ferrer’s turn. At least Dinkins was a sharp dresser.
Perhaps part of Ferrer’s failure to gain traction with voters—difficult to explain given his compelling message of, well, something or another—can be explained by his limited experience in competitive elections.
Ferrer first gained elected office in 1982, when he ran for a newly-drawn council seat and had his two would-be primary foes tossed off the ballot. Like every other non-puppy-sodomizing incumbent, he then in effect had the seat for life. Things got better when Ferrer’s former mentor, Bronx Beep Stanley Simon, resigned in the face of corruption charges. The clubhouse then elevated Freddy, who promptly threw out Simon’s corrupt hacks, and replaced them with his own.
Which brings us to Freddy’s first run for mayor, back in 1997. Jarrett Murphy wrote in the Voice earlier this year that Ferrer “dropped out in the middle of May, after scenes of a nearly empty Ferrer fundraiser hit TV.” But that’s only half the story.
Our sources tell us that the fundraiser, featuring then-“NYPD Blue” star Jimmy Smits, was a huge and packed success, raking in $400,000. But when NY1 came to film the thing, they got the business at the door, and retaliated by shooting one empty table and then reporting that the event was a bust.
Why has Freddy—who has footage of the event—never responded to this NY1 report, other than by dropping out of the race? Humility.
Finally, a mayor who can turn the other cheek. Ask yourself: Who would Jesus vote for? (Hint: not the Jew.) In fact, when informed of this endorsement, a spokeswoman replied that the campaign is not focused on “that gotcha moment.” Finally, a politician with no horse sense at all.
This year’s empty table was an empty podium in Harlem. Bloomberg may not have bothered to show, but Ferrer took the time to debate against conservative candidate Thomas Ognibene, who was polling at less than one percent (which is, at least as of press time, even worse than Freddy).
Our Azi Paybarah has alluded to the press’ polite conspiracy to keep their rose-colored glasses on for just one more week. As one prominent national political consultant we spoke with put it, “When Bloomberg losing the Olympics gets spun as a win because it takes the issue off of the table, you know the fix is in.”
Which perhaps explains why Ferrer has had difficulty getting his message of something or another out to the people, even with ads featuring the mayor helping to satisfy the president’s needs, financial and—how shall we say this?—spiritual.
And so it is that Freddy needs our help. His newspaper endorsements presently consist of El Diario, Amsterdam News and Gay City News. We’re honored to add our name to this list, and offer the all-important escort-seeking demographic.
As the largest circulation English-language paper to endorse Ferrer, we’re offering him this next sentence.
Fernando Ferrer is the mayor New York needs to ensure the well-being and prosperity of all New Yorkers.
And, we might add, to ensure that we no longer have two New Yorks, but one grand city to rival Newark, we need Freddy Ferrer.
We invite Ferrer to use either of the above sentences in his advertising, should he manage to actually place ads on the air, rather than merely show them to reporters. Perhaps the candidate, in his humility, will use neither
We’re not sure who Press staff writer Jim Knipfel is voting for, but if he’s sincere in his desire to see the return of 1988, surely Freddy is his man. Giuliani might have tamed this ungovernable city, but the billionaire bachelor has sterilized it. When’s the last time anybody had fun on 42nd Street? Danced on the D train? Or had a great story about getting pistol-whipped?
The city we love has been bitch-slapped by the invisible hand of market forces, and the long arm of decency and dullardry. Where is the life-and-death adventure of a late night commute? The sublime (in the Kantian sense of the word) life of the Other New York?
If we may steal an “idea” from many of our favorite sci-fi movies, sometimes it takes an off-the-grid non-entity to defeat an android nanny technocrat.
Yogi Berra once replied, when asked if ate at a certain hot-spot, “Nobody goes there any more—it’s too popular.” Perhaps he was looking ahead to Bloomberg’s New York. With Ferrer, we can again say, “Good riddance, you fuckers,” to all the hangers-on with their disposable, taxable incomes.
—Harry Siegel and Azi Paybarah, for the editors
To the Editor:
New York Press was improperly referred to as “The New York Press,” and mischaracterized in a piece that accompanied Patrick Healy’s November 6 New York Times article (“For the City’s Democrats, a Grim Future Could Last Long Beyond Tuesday”).
While New York Press did endorse Fernando Ferrer for mayor, as Healy’s article indicated, the entire piece was self-evidently tongue-in-cheek. The New York Times ignored obvious signs that the editorial board here in no way supported Ferrer’s candidacy, beginning with the line on the cover: “Press Poobahs Say Vote Freddy.”
And now, our editorial reputation is tarnished.
A simple glance at the headline should have been enough of a clue. “We’ve always liked Freddy” was an obvious homage to your very own Maureen Dowd, who began her (most recent) infamous column with, “I’ve always liked Judy Miller”
, though she obviously did not, in fact, like Ms. Miller. Maybe The New York Times sees nothing suspicious or even funny when an alternative weekly writes, “We’re honored to add our name to this list [of endorsements], and offer the all-important escort-seeking demographic.”
Read closer. Every line of our “endorsement” ridiculed and mocked Ferrer. Why did he get a master’s degree in public policy after 20 years in public office? We said this proved he had the “stooped-shoulders” needed to beg for our fair share from Washington.
For the record, we don’t endorse candidates with stooped shoulders.
[If you must get technical about it, we don’t endorse candidates at all]. We pointed out that our Jim Knipfel, who longs for the glory days of 1988, would surely be voting for Freddy. We noted that Ferrer had “a compelling message of, well, something or another.”
To be fair, after reading your “Funny” Pages in the Sunday magazine, we shouldn’t have expected the Times to get a good joke.
In any event, we look forward to your correction and the subsequent restoration of our previously untarnished reputation.
—The New York Press Editors
From New York Press