Thursday, April 16, 2009
Bloomberg embarrasses disabled reporter
From the NY Times:
As Mr. Bloomberg was delivering remarks on the governor’s introduction of a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in New York, someone bumped into a tape recorder that Mr. Harris was carrying in his pocket. That triggered the recorder’s play button, and noise from an earlier rally Mr. Harris had recorded at City Hall started playing.
The noise, which was not playing loudly enough for most other people in the room to notice, rattled Mr. Bloomberg.
“Can we just stop this, and maybe we’ll start again?” the mayor asked.
At that point the City Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, leaned over to the mayor, covered the microphone on the lectern and whispered in his ear, “He’s disabled.”
Mr. Harris’s disability, and the fact that he was clearly having difficulty reaching the recorder to shut it off, was apparently of little consequence to the mayor.
“I understand that — he can still turn it off,” Mr. Bloomberg was overheard saying.
It was almost a full 60 seconds — punctuated by sighing and glowering from Mr. Bloomberg and more than a few quizzical looks from members of the audience — before Mr. Harris shut the machine off.