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  • NYPD Spin: A Shred of Truth

    Get caught doing something dumb and it is tempting to shift the blame.

    A spokesman for the New York Police Department fell victim to that tendency as reported in a story in today’s New York Daily News.

    In May a blogger  by the name Bucky Turco (which sounds like an alias to us) reported that he found a bunch of sensitive police documents in a trash can outside the NYPD Manhattan South Task Force on W. 42nd St.  The papers included a small portion of the city’s counter terrorism plans. Not the kind of stuff which out to be laying around. There was a mini-flap over the incident at the time.

    Well, Bucky went back by the same trash bin Monday and guess what he found?  More internal police documents.  This time they don’t seem to be quite as sensitive (instructions on how to resolve confrontations among police officers, how to deal with hostage situations and the like) but still probably not the best material to make available to Times Square dumpster divers.

    The Daily News quotes NYPD spokesman Paul Browne as admitting that their officers shouldn’t litter the city with such stuff but apparently he couldn’t resist taking a shot at Bucky:

    “While none of the documents appear to be sensitive, the command should ensure they’re shredded,” Browne is quoted as saying, “especially  since someone with a lot of time on his hands is going through the garbage there.”

    Ouch.  We’re sure Browne felt good getting a shot off at Turco but, as he knows, terrorists and criminals have a lot of time on their hands too. 

    While it may well be true that the most recent documents were not particularly important, there is little advantage in hanging your police hat on that fact.  The impression left but such a defense is that the NYPD is cavalier about protecting sensitive stuff.

    Browne would have been better advised to simply say the documents should have been shredded and that they’ll do better in the future.  Full stop.


  • A Tale of Wu

    What people DON’T say is often as important as what they do.

    Congressman David Wu (D, OR) is in trouble (again.)  The Oregonian newspaper is reporting that a young woman has claimed he forced an “unwanted sexual encounter” on her.

    Hard to believe Wu would have trouble pitching women.  The image at the right is not photo shopped.  He previously admitted sending out bizarre shots of himself dressed as a tiger to people.

    The woman, reportedly just shy of 40 years his junior, is said to have left a voice mail message at the congressman’s office “upset, breathing heavily and ‘distraught’.”

    The newspaper says it tried for four days to get Wu to respond to the report without success until late Friday when he issued this one-sentence statement:

    “This is very serious, and I have absolutely no desire to bring unwanted publicity, attention, or stress to a young woman and her family.”

    OK class, what is missing from that statement?  How about:  “I did nothing wrong.”  The absence of any such formulation leaves the reader with the impression that the Tiger was on the prowl.

    The woman has not pressed charges.  But Wu’s worrisome statement does little to remove the notion that Wu is a crouching tiger, hidden wacko.

    h/t Chickaboomer


  • Rahm Rage Over School Q’s

    Rahm Emanuel losing his cool? Who’da thunk it?  OK, anyone who knows his rep. But over this?

    A reporter from NBC’s Chicago affiliate pushed the Mayor’s buttons Wednesday by asking Emanuel where his kids would go to school.  The nerve!  At first, Emanuel ducked the question pleasantly — even jovially, as can be seen in the video below.

    But when reporter Mary Ann Ahern pressed for an answer, Hizzoner got all hissy and walked off — dropping his microphone to the floor and saying “I look forward to our future interview” while giving the clear impression it would be a cold day before Ahern got another crack at the mayor.

    Just before her boss blew a gasket, Emanuel’s press secretary, Tarrah Cooper, (who has less time alive than Ahern has as a reporter) tried to avoid a mayoral meltdown by declaring time was up ten minutes into a scheduled twenty-minute interview.

     If Emanuel had stuck with his initial answer — repeatedly smiling and saying he’ll make the school choice decision as a Dad and not a mayor, the moment would have passed unnoticed.  Instead he drew attention to the controversial issue by highlighting his notorious hot temper.

    View more videos at: http://www.nbcchicago.com.

    Ahern instructed her cameraman to stop rolling when Emanuel evacuated the interview seat.  Too bad.  Because, as she tells it, the mayor then:

    “…positioned himself inches from my face and pointed his finger directly at my head. He raised his voice and admonished me. How dare I ask where his children would go to school! You’ve done this before,” he said.”
    THAT would have made good TV.   You can make a legitimate argument that where a politician’s kids go to school is not a subject on which the public and the media should have a vote.  But Emanuel needs to learn that while he has a right to not answer the question — Ahern and others like her have the right to ask it.