For his Wednesday monologue, Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson took aim at New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has recently instituted a number of draconian measures, including travel checkpoints and mandated quarantines, in the name of combatting COVID-19.
Carlson pointed out the inconsistency of de Blasio-led New York City’s efforts, all while the city continues to face other problems, including crime and homelessness.
For most Americans who don’t live in New York City, New York is a lot like your half-drunk ne’er-do-well uncle: flashy, loud, always bragging about himself though someone less impressive than he claims to be. You love your uncle. You just don’t want to know too much about his personal life. There’s no question. It is messy and weird. You suspect he owes a lot of people money, you know, he eats with his mouth open.
Still, he is your uncle. Your lives are intertwined. If he gets some incurable disease and dies, you will be sad about it — and New York is the same way.
Even if you dislike New York too much to visit, you should care what happens there because you’re an American, and New York is by far this country’s biggest city. ‘ New York has more than twice as many people, in second place, Los Angeles. It’s physically tiny. The entire island of Manhattan is smaller than Dallas, Fort Worth Airport, but New York produces close to 10 percent of our total GDP in this country.
So what happens to New York matters to the rest of us, like the place or not. Until recently, New York seemed to be thriving. Officials there have succeeded in doing the single most important thing that civic leaders anywhere can do.
They made their city safe for normal people to live there. New York is one of the least dangerous metro areas in the world. They bragged about it. There’s no mystery how they did it. The city hired tens of thousands of cops. They threw criminals and anti-social destroyers in jail, and they left them there, and it worked.
New York improved dramatically. People with choices, people who could live anywhere, wanted to live there.
And then in a short space of time, Mayor Bill de Blasio arrived, and he set about reversing the formula. On the basis of no evidence, de Blasio attacked the Police Department of New York as racist. He then cut a billion dollars from the NYPD budget.
Demoralized cops stopped making arrests, and almost immediately, crime and violence in the city exploded.
In a single Manhattan neighborhood, the Upper East Side, robberies have jumped by 286 percent this year. Things fell apart. New Yorkers who could leave the city did leave. The entire tax base is fleeing to Florida.
Bill de Blasio watched these entirely predictable things happen, glassy-eyed, breathing through his mouth, probably too high to process it all. In the end, de Blasio concluded that none of it was his fault. New Yorkers, he decided, have had it too easy. What they need is more suffering.
So today, de Blasio announced that he plans to encircle the entire city with military-style checkpoints, not to stop violent criminals, but prevent people from visiting from other places. There was no public discussion of this ahead of time. There was no debate, de Blasio just decreed it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY: So starting today, we’re going to do something new in New York City. We will have checkpoints at key entry points to the city.
Travelers coming in from those states will be given information about the quarantine. They will be reminded that it is required, not optional. They will be reminded that failure to quarantine is a violation of state law, and it comes with serious penalties.
In fact, under certain circumstances, the fines can be as high as $10,000.00.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Got that? It doesn’t make any sense at all. He didn’t bother to explain why they’re doing it. There’s no science behind it. But the one thing that you know for sure is, it’s your fault, not his — yours. Your failures are a severe violation of the law, says Bill de Blasio. You’ll be punished if you disobey. You are bad.
So travelers to New York City are about to learn a very important lesson. It’s a lesson that residents of nursing homes in New York, the ones who survived, have already learned. And it’s this, the people who make the worst decisions, the decisions that kill people never face consequences for those decisions. Only you do. So shut up and show us your papers, peasant.
Now, one of the many ironies here — and there are many — is that back in March of this year, New York threatened to sue the State of Rhode Island for trying to set up the very same kind of checkpoints.
At the time, Andrew Cuomo, he is the Governor of New York, called checkpoints like this, quote, “unconstitutional and reactionary.” So what changed?
Well, who knows? Don’t waste your time looking for consistency. Bureaucracies don’t have to be consistent because they’re in charge. They can do whatever they want. They don’t have to explain why.
So the very moment that they’ve decided to treat taxpayers of New York like refugees in a war zone, with checkpoints, leaders in New York seem to be doing all they can to make life easier for thugs with guns.
Back in May, for example, the City of New York released a gang member from custody without bail. He’d been charged with attempted murder, but they just let him go.
Here are pictures of the alleged crime. Imagine letting that guy — the guy with the gun — shooting someone on the sidewalk, just walk out free. Why would you do that? You would have to hate the people who live in your city in order to do that.
Prosecutors say that that suspect, a man called Darrius Sutton, went on after New York led him out to commit three more shootings because, of course, he did.
Bill de Blasio doesn’t want to talk about any of that. He doesn’t want you to talk about it either. The thing about social justice is you’re just going to have to ignore the details.
Instead, city officials would like you to stay terrified of the coronavirus because more anxiety about invisible viruses will take your mind off the shootings and the decay.
So in a few days, New York will begin following and harassing travelers. They’re going to text and call you if you plan to travel. If you don’t respond, city workers may come to your home in person.
Listen to a man called Ted Long explain the plan. He runs something called the Test and Trace Corps in New York.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TED LONG, HEAD, TEST AND TRACE CORPS, NEW YORK CITY: Tomorrow, we’re going to be deploying teams to Penn Station to stop travelers to ensure that they’ve completed the travel form.
We’ve made more than 86,000 phone calls to travelers coming into New York City from the designated high-risk states, and we’ve sent more than 20,000 text messages to date.
And if we can’t get through to you on the phone, we’ve deployed teams that are now knocking on your door to check in with you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Oh, so Ted Long is going to deploy teams to Penn Station. Have you been to Penn Station recently? It’s a homeless shelter — the whole thing. Oh, there’s a guy with his trousers down relieving himself in the corner. Hey, they’re dealing crack right there. Oh, they’re smoking it over here.
Go to Penn Station and ask yourself, is this real? Is this America? But Ted Long is going to deploy teams to hassle people who are traveling to New York, to help the city stay afloat. Right?
Keep in mind, the vehement little lecture you just heard about public health comes from the same people who forced coronavirus patients into nursing homes and killed many by doing it.
These are the same leaders that let violent rioters control of the city streets, but suddenly they are very concerned about your health. Right?
What they’re actually concerned about, as always, is maintaining political control. And of course, money. Money is suddenly a pressing concern for them. And the main problem is — and they’re going to fix this if they can — that under our current system, it’s pretty difficult to force people to remain in crumbling cities because for now, we still have freedom of movement.
Rich people are running away from New York. They have more freedom of movement than anyone because they can afford to go wherever they want, and they see what’s coming. It’s pretty obvious. They plan to be somewhere else when it arrives.
And this raises the question of who is going to pay for all of these failed and poisonous social experiments? The ones that turned a train station into a homeless shelter in Midtown?
Andrew Cuomo is smart enough to be worried about this. He is now begging millionaires to come back to the hellhole he helped create.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): We used to be worried millionaires tax people might leave. No, no, no. The burden shifted. We’re trying to get people to come back.
I literally talk to people all day long, who are now in their Hampton house, who also lived here, or in their Hudson Valley house or in near Connecticut weekend house. And I say, you’ve got to come back. When are you coming back? We’ll go to dinner. I’ll buy you a drink. Come over. I’ll cook.
They’re not coming back right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: It’s pathetic. It’s pathetic. Well, they’re in their Hampton house. Come back to New York. It’s great. I’ll meet you at Penn Station. We’ll get a burger and some hepatitis.
Yes. So it turns out rich people may be evil, but in the end, you need a few of them to pay for everything. Otherwise, you have no political power. That’s an obvious truth that Cuomo is in effect saying.
The city’s pothead mayor, by contrast, cannot admit that out loud. It’s entirely possible he doesn’t even understand the principle.
But Bill de Blasio does know that his disintegrating city will need money from somewhere and soon, so he is thinking that the rest of America should pay for his disaster.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DE BLASIO: If we do not get Federal support soon, I’m very worried about the stimulus talks in Washington, Wolf, because they seem to be going nowhere fast.
My challenge is, where am I going to have the people to do this work? I may have to do as many as layoffs of 22,000 city employees from every department by October 1st if I don’t get Federal help.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: So consult your Bill de Blasio cheat sheet. Look it up. We keep ours right here. And if you do, you will see that it was less than a month ago that this same man, Bill de Blasio, threatened to sue the Federal government if they helped too much, if they deployed Federal law enforcement officers to his city.
Now, he’s whining that the Feds are not doing enough. Shameless? Obviously. Of course, it is. And yet to be fair, it’s possible that de Blasio has no short-term memory left and simply doesn’t remember what he said last month.