Michael Bloomberg, girl-dad of the year

The late Kobe Bryant charmed us after news of his tragic death, with stories that came out about how loving and protective he was of his four daughters.

"When are you going to allow your teenaged daughters to date?" a reporter asked him.  "When they're married," the Mamba replied.

And after his great basketball career, he proudly summed himself up: "I'm a girl-dad."

That's someone who even in death reminded us all that being a great athlete is no barrier to being a genuinely good man.

Then there's Michael Bloomberg, potential Democratic frontrunner, in a 1999 Wired interview dug up from his past:

"My daughter is tall and busty and blonde," Michael Bloomberg is telling a table of Boston College graduates. "We went to China together. And what's a 16-year-old going to do on a business trip?" He pops another carefully buttered piece of bread in his mouth. "So I got her dates in every city in China." Remembering that I'm also at the table, he glares in my direction. "That's off the record!" he barks.

It's typical Mike Bloomberg, wanting to have it both ways: imperious man of the people, coarse billionaire, earthy business leader, accessible control freak.

Was this a father, or was this a pimp?  What kind of man hints that his 16-year-old would only be interested in sex on a trip to China (seriously?  Going to China and having no curiosity at all?) and then accommodates those supposed teenage animal instincts by finding his daughter "dates" in every city in China?  What kind of bacchanal was this?

Were these really dates?  Tell us about these dates for this underage girl, arranged by Pops.  They sound like gigolos.

How much time did Mister Big Billionaire spend on this?  And who exactly were these "dates"?  And if this kid was 16, why shouldn't Bloomberg be viewed in Jeffrey Epstein's league, particularly since he was ogling his daughter's bazooms?

The mind reels.  Suffice to say, and quite unlike Kobe Bryant, whose fatherly love won our hearts, this isn't the behavior of anyone normal in America.  It's the thinking of someone who doesn't understand that you protect your daughter from the wild, wicked world out there; your job is to be "girl-dad."  You sure as heck don't get her "dates" in every city in China.

This is the behavior of the kinky, weird über-rich — eccentric heights devoid of all morals.  It's the view of someone who sees the ordinary rules of humanity, including protecting the young, as something he's well above. 

This raises questions about what other rules he might see himself as above.

After all, he didn't seem to see anything wrong with telling people about this.  It's true that he didn't want it to get into the press, but on that front, he said it as an afterthought.  The reporter was right to ignore Bloomberg's command that his statement be off the record —he had an obligation to print it, given what it told us about the mind of this completely amoral guy.  If such a guy is now the Democratic presidential frontrunner, the public has a right to know.

Nobody goes to China and fishes up assorted "dates" for his underage daughter unless he's a complete pervert.  Bloomberg needs to explain himself on this one.

Image credit: Rubinstein via FlickrCC BY-SA 2.0.

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