Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Big Sign that New York City Council Member James Oddo has a dirty mouth

NEW YORK, Oct. 10 — The Staten Island Advance is reporting another of New York City Council Member James Oddo's episodes of entertainment. Oddo, a Republican from Staten Island, blew up at a Norwegian comedian, Pia Haraldsen, who tricked him into a prank interview about the 2008 U.S. presidential election.

See the video here on YouTube for yourself, but the lowlights begin with Haraldsen asking how Sen. Barack Obama is allowed to run for president because she suggests Obama is 1) not a citizen because he is African-American (and 2) unable to run because he is African-American. The second (better?) half of the 96-second video is Oddo's F-bomb-laced rant, first to his staff about how the Norwegian crew got time with him, and then at the crew to get the F out of his office.

Oddo reacted to the video in an interview with the Advance, whose audio is posted here. "Do I regret demonstrating a very limited vocabulary?" Oddo asked rhetorically. "I absolutely do. Am I embarrassed for my mom and my girlfriend and some of my constituents? Absolutely. But I took great offense that they were there to mock me, to mock me, to mock Sen. Obama, to mock the Clintons, and in essence really to make America. And I told them in no uncertain terms to get out. And they wanted reality television, and the reality is that you're gonna come in and waste my time and sort of goof on all of us, then you have what's coming to you. Emotionally, that was the right sentiment. Intellectually, it could have been worded better, but I've said it from day one, and I'll say it again: I'm not a terribly good politician. I'm like any other Staten Islander, and it showed."

Couple thoughts: Pia, funny concept that you had, poor execution. Probably not the best way to ingratiate yourself to the American people and a Republican politician by pandering to racist, pre-Civil War ideology for a laugh. Jimmy, right reaction, wrong words, funny nonetheless, and thanks for standing up for equality and respectful treatment of American legislators across party lines. But did you have suggest that all Staten Islanders express themselves primarily through four-letter words when angry? Some do, sure, and I know a fair number of them, but probably, on the whole, Staten Islanders don't react as such any more than other New Yorkers, Americans, or even Norwegians, I'm guessing.

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