Will somebody please convince Jimmy Breslin to retire? This load of bilge is his latest.
Sure, there's plenty to criticize Rudy Giuliani about - his approach to NYC's homeless, his treatment of programs for the arts...Heck, I hold him personally responsible for the Disneyfication of Times Square, but most people look at that as a good thing.
But "illness being used for publicity?" If Breslin's memory is foggy, perhaps we should remind him that Giuliani fans wanted him to run for the Senate and that his prostate cancer kept him from running against Hillary Clinton. His own father died of the disease. Today, he does commercials urging New Yorkers to go in for checkups. Rudy isn't an attention whore. He's a concerned public figure. He doesn't currently hold office, nor is he running for anything, but he still performs a public service by doing the commercials.
Breslin goes on to accuse Giuliani of unfairly taking credit for decreases in the New York City crime rate, saying "It had dropped all over the country." Perhaps he forgets that before Giuliani took office, people were afraid to be in certain Manhattan neighborhoods after dark. Thanks to Giuliani, that pretty much ended. In the mid to late 90s, crime dropped by double-digit percentages while crime rates in Dallas and Detroit dropped only 2 percent and Los Angeles dropped only 4 percent.
Worst of all, though, Breslin accuses Giuliani of playing to the cameras on 9/11. Maybe Breslin forgets that the city was in a blind panic that morning, seeing its two tallest buildings destroyed and thousands of people killed. We heard broadcast reports that the Pentagon was simultaneously under attack. Many of the people I saw on the street that morning thought World War III was underway. Giuliani's rational and calming appearances on television reassured the city and saved lives.