Actually, Giuliani Has Always Been Like This
Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) - October 10, 2019
“I will be the hero! These morons—when this is over, I will be the hero…. Anything I did should be praised.”
These are the words of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, speaking of the government operative who leaked information about the president’s conversations with the Ukrainian president that has led to impeachment proceedings. Out of context, they appear to be narcissistic ravings. In context, they are just another installment of the constant refrain Americans are used to hearing from the president’s lead defender. No matter how unhinged Giuliani sounds in one interview, the cameras go back to him again and again.
The regular media meltdowns have almost become a real-time comedy for US news consumers, although it has all taken a serious turn. He’s now the focus of the impeachment probes as well; two of his associates were recently arrested.
US media are asking: How could this happen? How did a two-term mayor of a major city, previously a famous federal prosecutor, and someone thought to be a future president, once lauded for reducing crime in New York City and serving as a rallying figure after the World Trade Center attacks, turn into such a primetime clown of the Trump era? How could a crime fighter become the center of criminal intrigue?
For New York City reporters who covered Giuliani’s operatic mayoralty, the Giuliani who famously claimed in defense of Trump that “truth isn’t truth” hasn’t changed so much.
Robert Polner—who covered the mayor for Newsday and edited a book on Giuliani, America’s Mayor, America’s President?—told FAIR that “you’re seeing a more extreme version of what he was doing as mayor,” a politician who was obsessed with being the center of the media’s attention and who stoked racial tension for political advantage.
To show just how petulant and petty Giuliani could be as mayor, consider this: He attempted to force the Grammy Award ceremony out of New York City due to a dispute with its organizers over whether he’d be the one to read a list of the nominees. In 2000, he announced at a press conference that he was leaving his wife, Donna Hanover, before telling her of his divorce plans. Giuliani pushed out his police commissioner, Bill Bratton, not because he was failing to implement the mayor’s anti-crime agenda, but because Bratton was stealing the media spotlight from Giuliani. Noted Polner:
There was always a side of Rudy that was overreaching, hyperbolic, throwing punches in order to control the media narrative of that day or that work or out of pettiness, or as he would say, rein in the liberal city.
Giuliani was famously gruff with the media during press conferences, painting them as part of the effete liberal class he was fighting against, foreshadowing Trump’s current campaign against the press. ...
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