Bill de Blasio more than held his own in an hour-long interview with Sean Hannity
Incredibly, out of the twenty Leftocrat combatants for their party's presidential nomination, only one, Mayor Bill de Blasio, had the intestinal fortitude to be interviewed by Sean Hannity on Fox News. This writer, who is a news junkie, tuned in for the hour-long interview (full video here) on August 7 at 9:00 pm EDT, and frankly, the encounter I observed did not expose de Blasio as inept, unqualified, or a twisted left-wing enemy of the USA. Those were some of the outcomes that this writer, as a card-carrying deplorable, had hoped to see. There were no verbal knock-out blows from either speaker, and frankly, Mayor Bill de Blasio — considered by many New Yorkers to be a charming individual but an intellectual lightweight with a penchant for cronyism and corruption — held his own quite nicely in Hannity-land.
YouTube screen grab.
It is unclear whether there was a prior agreement that Sean would not use certain words or broach certain topics, but during last night's first hour, words like "leftist," "Marxism," "socialism," and "corruption" were never used by Sean. He did not bring up the elimination of stop-and-frisk by the police used during the Rudy Giuliani and Mike Bloomberg mayoralty years. He did not mention the police turning their backs upon the mayor early in his term of office, when it came out that he had warned his son, Dante, about dealing with police racism. Nor did Sean deal with issues of cronyism or mismanagement of governmental funds by the mayor's wife, Chirlane McCray.
Sean showed video clips of various rowdy youths throwing buckets of water on police officers, and in one case throwing the bucket itself. Mayor de Blasio said the perps would be arrested, but Sean could not get him to say how many have already been caught or even to say that every single one of that disorderly group would be picked up.
Further, Sean failed to ask the $64,000 question: why were back-up police not immediately called to the scene, and why didn't the officers who were humiliated by the assault at least arrest a couple of the bad dudes at the time of the attack? We all understand that in confrontations with "the community," police officers have been sent a clear message that they should stand down rather than escalate a potentially more violent situation. The rule of law has become diluted in New York City.
At no point did Sean say soberly that many of his millions of viewers are concerned about de Blasio's open support of far-left and communist causes and governments, including those in Nicaragua and Cuba. He never asked Bill, "Do you think you may have stigmatized yourself over the years by your outspoken support for a closer relationship with communist leaders?"
Sean challenged the mayor about his plan for Meatless Mondays in school cafeterias and mocked him by suggesting that they ask the students to vote on the Mayor's plans, with the option of having a McDonald's Monday instead. De Blasio's comeback was a good one: he asked, "Do you think the youth should be in charge of determining their own diet?" Sean's question about a poll of the students was shown to be an immature attempt to get the Mayor to abdicate his responsibility of assuring a healthful food service in the schools. Sean had no data at his fingertips about the need for protein in the growing person's diet and the role of meat in providing that protein for the cells of growing children and teens.
Early in the interview, the subject of taxing the rich — the top 1% — at a much higher tax rate came up as well as taxing of corporations. De Blasio rejoined that the 70% tax rates that he supported for the highest bracket had been in place under Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy and had been lowered only early in the years of the Reagan presidency. Sean did not have the rejoinder in hand to lead him to ask, "Why did we turn away from those higher rates?" Asking that question would have enabled him to say to the mayor that under Pres. Jimmy Carter, the country experienced a period of stagflation, which is rising prices and slower growth, and that it was overwhelmingly believed on a bipartisan basis that lowering taxes on the most wealthy would be a stimulus worth implementing. The Reagan tax cuts of 1981 were overwhelmingly approved on a bipartisan basis. In the House, the vote was 323-107, and in the Senate, the tax cuts went through by an even greater margin of 89-11, with 37 Democrats voting with 52 Republicans in favor of the tax cuts. Although there were tax increases subsequent to the 1981 cuts, the increases were not mainly in the area of personal income tax.
Sean's snide aside at one point in the exchanges that he made more money than the Mayor struck this viewer as a petty locker room boast, and his insistence repeatedly that de Blasio answer a straightforward yes or no to his questions reminded me of the bullying ways of Rep. Maxine Waters in some of her hearings. Sean just kept demanding a yes or no from de Blasio as though he were a prosecutor interviewing a witness in court instead of surgically taking apart de Blasio's evasive and purposely vague responses.
A more focused interviewer could have picked apart de Blasio's words to show just how vague they were. Sean tried in a limited way to do this when the Mayor, defending his support for the Green New Deal, talked about retrofitting the glass and steel buildings in NYC in ways that would make them less hazardous for the environment -- possibly changing the entire heating and ventilation systems to base them on renewable energy sources. Sean rightly talked about how many millions of dollars this would cost and that those prohibitive costs would be passed along and would be unbearable for the economy. It was a great point, but since Sean knew he would be asking that question ahead of time, he should have had some actual dollar figures about the economic impact of retrofitting. By hitting the Mayor with actual dollar amounts, I believe he would have delivered the coup de grace to this harebrained green idea.
Sean and Bill danced around each other too much with glittering generalities. Sean, the host, should have been more in control and more prepared. You reveal the smooth talkers for what they are – just smooth talkers – by being armed with facts. Instead, Sean showed up with his list of talking points, presenting them the same way he presents his monologues at the beginning of his nightly shows. And de Blasio never lost his cool, but smiled through the entire interview.