Daily News Gives Front Page Treatment to a story that Ross Barkan broke in the NY Observer — DN Headline: “You're an Ass, Mr. Mayor”
New York Magazine piles on — Who are we to say, “Nay !”
Since when are snarky e-mails and social media postings between local staffers for a Congressman and City Councilman in Bay Ridge city-wide news ? Well, if it involves a staffer for an under-the-gun congressman, like Michael Grimm’s Brooklyn Conservative Party hire Liam McCabe privately calling NYC’s top elected official, Mayor deBlasio an “...Asshole” and then repeating it on the record, maybe it's a little interesting.
According to Ross Barkan’s initial report in the NY Observer, “For one Michael Grimm aide, a single expletive can sum up the entirety of Bill de Blasio’s tenure. *** Liam McCabe, a staffer to the Republican congressman and frequent de Blasio antagonist, called Mr. de Blasio, the Democratic mayor, an ‘asshole’ in a Facebook thread today — and in a follow-up interview with the Observer, doubled down on his salty language. *** ‘The Mayor is an asshole, Councilman. He deserves no applause,’ Mr. McCabe wrote on Councilman Vincent Gentile’s Facebook page, responding to a status Mr. Gentile wrote that praised Mr. de Blasio for condemning the protesters who assaulted police on the Brooklyn Bridge last Saturday (See “Michael Grimm Aide Curses Out Bill de Blasio” by Ross Barkan,12/16/14, NY Observer [http://observer.com/2014/12/michael-grimm-aide-curses-out-bill-de-blasio/] [@newyorkobserver on Twitter | newyorkobserver on Facebook]).
Why the Daily News picked this up as a front page item remains problematic — but when a single headline can embarrass two NYC pols — well, maybe the folks at the News see that as a win-win, even as they acknowledge the NY Observer broke the story ( See “Aide to Republican congressman Michael Grimm calls De Blasio 'an a**hole,' by Dan Friedman, Ginger Adams Otis, 12/17/14
[http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/michael-grimm-aide-calls-de-blasio-hole-article-1.2048063]). The News coverage specifically quoted Congressman Grimm’s staffer as follows: “... [H]e has failed to unite city 'He deserves no applause.' Liam McCabe, 35, attacked the mayor on Facebook and in a magazine interview....”
On the other hand, showing that the story might have some legs, it was picked up by New York Magazine. According to a piece by Margaret Hartmann, “Decorum in the office of Staten Island Representative Michael Grimm has gone right out the window — or rather off the balcony. Responding to Councilman Vincent Gentile's Facebook post yesterday praising Mayor Bill de Blasio for condemning protesters who assaulted police on the Brooklyn Bridge, Grimm aide Liam McCabe commented, ‘The Mayor is an asshole, Councilman. He deserves no applause.’ While the comment has been deleted, McCabe apparently wants the world to know that he stands by his assessment. 'I think he’s an asshole, plain and simple,' McCabe told the Observer...." (See “Michael Grimm Aide Thinks Mayor de Blasio Is an ‘Asshole,’ Doesn’t Care Who Knows It” by Margaret Hartmann, 12/17/14, New York Magazine
[http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/12/grimm-aide-de-blasio-asshole.html] [ @marghartmann]).
GRIMM SPOX PROMISES “APPROPRIATE DISCIPLINARY ACTION”
The Daily News specifically noted that “...Grimm has distanced himself from the 'disrespectful' comments and promised disciplinary action....” It went on to give these details, “... ‘Mr. McCabe’s remarks were disrespectful, out of line, and are absolutely not condoned by the congressman. The comments have been deleted, and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken,’ Nick Iacono, a spokesman for the congressman, told ‘The Observer.’ *** It’s not the first time McCabe has made news. *** He was arrested for hitting his 14-year-old son outside his Brooklyn school in 2012. *** McCabe let Grimm shave his head for a children’s cancer charity earlier this year.”
For the uninitiated, Mr. McCabe is a mandatory hire from the ranks of the Brooklyn Conservative Party resulting from their party's endorsement and Wilson-Pakula authorization allowing Grimm to run on that line. One wonders if the Conservative Party Chairmen will be consulted concerning any “appropriate disciplinary action” for their operative, McCabe.