nytimes.com – MATT FLEGENHEIMER
Amid a bumpy summer, Mayor Bill de Blasio has said that “everyday New Yorkers” understand the good work his administration is doing.
On Tuesday, it appeared one such local agreed: a “Louis in the Village,” calling in to WNYC public radio’s Brian Lehrer Show to mount an impassioned defense of City Hall’s work.
“You know,” he began, “I really like this mayor.”
Quickly, listeners at home and the station’s producers seemed to place the speaker: Louis in the Village, they said, was almost certainly the comedian Louis C.K.
“Consensus in the control room seems to be that Louie from the Village, who just called to defend the mayor and knock the media, might be a certain Louie from the Village who people have heard of,” Brian Lehrer said moments later. “We will just leave it at that.”
The case for this argument was simple: The caller sounded remarkably similar to Louis C.K., who has in the past expressed a fondness for WNYC, and the comedian has a friendly history with Mr. de Blasio. He appeared in the mayor’s skit at a charity dinner this year, and trailed him this month to observe his activities for an unspecified project, showing up at a state budget meeting before exploring City Hall.
The case against: A representative for Louis C.K. did not immediately respond on Tuesday to a message seeking confirmation.
The caller, famous or otherwise, delivered a sharp critique of news coverage of Mr. de Blasio, who has faced a difficult summer amid tussles with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in the Bronx and a bruising fight with the ride-hailing app Uber, among other challenges.
“I don’t want a mayor that spends all his time bragging and taking victory laps,” Louis in the Village said. “You want a guy or a woman who just does good and then moves on to the next thing.”
He added that he was “a little disappointed in The New York Times, which is my newspaper,” for a recent article documenting the mayor’s struggles, and suggested that Mr. de Blasio was an uncommon politician, unencumbered by the vagaries of daily press coverage.
“The way most politicians run their entire lives is looking after those little things so that they can ignore the big things,” he said, before summing up: “I really like this mayor and I think he deserves a better chance than he’s getting.”
“Louis, thank you very much,” Mr. Lehrer said.
Later on Tuesday, a spokeswoman for New York Public Radio said the show — which traditionally deals in first names during its call-in segments — was not confirming the caller’s identity definitively, adding that they had “decided to allow the mystery to live on.”
Perhaps the final word will come on Wednesday, when another noted City Hall sympathizer is scheduled to chat with Mr. Lehrer: the mayor himself.
Categories: De Blasio