Hey, did you hear the one about the Jewish mayor who nearly got his head handed to him for cracking “drunken Irishman” jokes?
It’s no joke, though the mayor in question is probably wishing it were. That would be Michael I-Can’t-Stay-Out-of-Trouble-for-Ten-Minutes-These-Days Bloomberg. Hizzoner was speaking at a meeting of the American Irish Historical Society when he decided that a crack about “inebriated Irish hanging out the windows” would go over big.
The Irish Voice reports “there were some boos from an astonished crowd” that included more than one hundred leading Irish-Americans on hand to celebrate the publication of a book about the 250th anniversary of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Among those in attendance was Irish Counsul General, Noel Kilkenny, and the parade’s Grand Marshal, author Mary Higgins Clark.
Said one official who was present:
He was trying to be funny. It wasn’t funny. Some people took it as a personal or ethnic slur.
Certainly hard to imagine why anyone would take offense at an ethnic stereotype as blatant as it is shopworn. Even City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a supporter of the mayor, found the remark off-color. Quinn, who was not present last night, is quoted by New York Post as having said:
Given the mayor’s long history of support for the Irish community his remarks last night were both surprising and inappropriate.
Bloomberg told reporters it wasn’t intention to offend anyone, explaining:
I was talking about a party that they have every year on St. Patrick’s Day, where it’s sort of traditional to hang out the window and yell and scream. I said it in good fun. I certainly didn’t mean anything that anybody should take offense to.
The mayor has fallen on hard times lately. His abysmal performance after a December blizzard, which indirectly led to several deaths in the city, led to a drop in his poll numbers for the first time in many months.
But Bloomie is hoping to recover. This month is Black History Month, and before February is out, he plans to let loose with a knee slapper that touches on the themes of watermelon and sloth.
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