Bloomberg Brings Mosque Argument To Late Night TV

Bloomberg Talks Bagels, Mosque With Jon Stewart

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — From Glenn Beck to bagels and the ground zero mosque – there was no topic too sensitive when Mayor Michael Bloomberg appeared on The Daily Show Thursday night.

Never one to be too serious, host Jon Stewart opened the interview with what he referred to as an “emotional super-charged issue that everyone in the city is talking about.”

The sliced bagel tax, of course.

New York State’s Department of Taxation and Finance has started auditing bagel shop owners, saying if you slice it or serve it in store it needs to be taxed – this adds about 8 cents to the cost of a bagel.

“This is clearly…anti-Semitic,” said Stewart. “Who likes bagels more than us?”

Bloomberg sarcastically admitted that this is one of the big issues he will be working on for the rest of his term, as he agreed with the comedian that the bagel tax is a huge penalty to downstate New Yorkers.

“You can’t even get a bagel upstate,” Bloomberg said.

But when it came to talk of the controversial Islamic center and mosque that’s been the city’s hot topic as of late, the two put jokes aside – for a bit.

“This whole issue, I think, will go away right after the next election,” Bloomberg told Stewart.

“This is plain and simple people trying to stir up things to get publicity and trying to polarize people so that they can get some votes,” he said. “And I don’t think that most of these people who are yelling and screaming really care one way or another.”

Bloomberg emphasized the same argument he’s made since the controversy first struck, pointing to the first amendment.

“When I went to school, I studied the constitution. It says you have a right to say what you want to say, which means pray to whomever you want, whenever you want, wherever you want,” he said. “That’s what’s great about America.”

Bloomberg added a true New York attitude to his comments before Stewart offered his comic relief.

“Whether you like the mosque or don’t like the mosque, you don’t have to go,” he said. “There’s already another mosque down there within four block of the World Trade Center. There’s porno places, there’s fast-food places. It’s a vibrant community.”

After allowing the Mayor to make his point, Stewart got back to basics, offering comic relief to the emotionally-charged issue.

“I understand,” he said. “Why did you have to look at me when you said porno places?”

  • DanTe

    psst. jm. That wasn’t a misspelling. It’s mu-Slime.

    And no, I’m not nitpicking on grammar and spelling. But you sure seem fixated on it. This about the only thing you can have an “intelligent” conversation on, huh?

    Reading also appears not to be a fundamental with you. You keep harping on Constitutional Rights (the same Rights you would burn down). And yet, you can’t seem to read: this is NOT a Mosque they’re building. It’s a civic center. Muslimes don’t want mosques located in areas they’re going to burn down again.

    You must be born this way. Nobody can possibly be working that hard at being that “slow”. Just too much work.

  • Wayne R. Serbin

    Mayor Bloomberg the pol;itician appearing on a national TV talk show> Who does he think he is, Governor Blago from Illinois?

  • Stephen

    I wish they would have opened the Mosque on ground zero–one big Mosque with several minarets. Why do we need office towers there??

  • DanTe

    I love the muslime response here:

    Using different names to make it sound like a lot of people are agreeing with their stupidity.

    Blame it on Fox News even though we’re reading CBS.

    Nit pick on grammar.

    And, “off” course, their obligatory rambling monologue (with the bad grammar they nit pick on).

    • jm

      So you’re nit picking “off” course, and yet you misspell “Muslim” in the first line of your response?

      My hero.

      Also, I would not assume that the pro-mosque comments are Muslims. When you assume, you know what happens. I, for example, am not a Muslim yet I believe in the Constitution, and I believe we should enforce it.

  • NYer

    The Mayor, of all people.. should understand that when a company wants worldwide attention from tourists, visitors — it builds a superstore/flagship store in Manhattan. There’s a reason why this suddenly is appearing/planned for the Ground Zero area — THAT is the central issue.

    The “why” from their perspective.

    We have a City Council that has ducked this issue across most of 2010. Now, it’s in vogue to claim its been drummed ‘for politics’ — when it was politics, to hide. Where is the local to the area Councilperson, NY State Senator, on this (but hiding), slipping away on vacation? It should have been examined at least by June, if only to placate questions about where the initial investment came from to answer the “why”. Tied into this, is the public disgust of 10 years of tail-chasing, at that — only because of the wound that is STILL THERE and readily apparent, thanks to bumbling by our elected officials, Port Authority (and NJ-centric stakeholders that like where the businesses went, post-9/11: look across the river). There’s blame to be laid at plenty of people’s feet.

    This isn’t a non-issue, and its not about religious freedom — it’s about recent history and a strong feeling of loss that being used/played by the developers, quite possibly. The Mayor here, is simply playing into their hands and making their argument — instead of imploring the City Council to air questions, and openly discuss this issue.

  • stephanie

    As a former NYC public school teacher, I have never had much use for Mayor Bloomberg, but with this one issue, he has completely changed my opinion of him. I find his refusal to back down on this issue very admirable. Either America is the land of the free or it is not. I agree with Bloomberg 100% when he says that people who don’t really care are trying to profit off this issue politically. It is a hateful and dangerous game they play, and they should be ashamed of themselves.

  • js

    By John Albanese
    August 25, 2010

    On September 10, 2001, Donald Rumsfeld announced that an estimated $2.3 Trillion in Pentagon spending was missing — and unaccounted for — from the Pentagon. One day later, on 9/11, the story also disappeared, along with any semblances of governmental accountability and journalistic integrity.

    In the wake of 9/11 America was a traumatized nation where asking difficult questions was often perceived as unpatriotic and equated with disloyalty.

    Forget the fact that $2.3 Trillion equals the GDP of Italy. Forget that the military only spent an estimated $311 billion in the year 2000 – and that approximately 7.5 times that amount had disappeared. We were at war the very next day on 9/11 — and that was all that mattered. Forget that Italy had just disappeared from the map.

    That was the power of 9/11.

    And in the years that followed it appeared that no lie was too big, no claim too outrageous, no initiative too insane, to trigger an appropriate response from either the media or the public. Accountability was replaced with blind nationalism and comforting platitudes.

  • jm

    It amazes me that for years after the attacks, the official and unofficial stance in the US has been to reach out to tolerant Muslims (Bush’s and Obama’s stance alike) while rooting out radical Islam. We have been publicizing that we understand the difference between everyday Muslims who have been contributing to the US economy since the early 1900s, who have been paying into Social Security, who have been contributing tax money to fight terrorism around the world, who also died in the 9/11 attacks, and how these regular American citizens are different to those who conveniently use the religion to justify their destructive agenda (they could use anything, religion is always convenient however)

    Now, when we have an opportunity to put our money where our mouth was, to show the world that we know the difference between our attackers, and our own citizens, that we are not a bigoted country bent on the destruction of all Islam, we run like cowards into a corner and say it’s a monument to destruction? A tolerant Muslim takes up our calls and promotes his tolerant vision and we shut him down? What kind of message does that send to other tolerant Muslims? We seriously look like a bunch of monkeys here!

  • Bj

    it will not go away after the election. How out of touch can Bloomberg be?

    • FoxNewsLies

      It will go away after the election. This is nothing more than a political trick to get the sheeple [meaning you] to cower in fear. It’s been a trick the Re-Pub-Lickens have used over and over and you people still fall for it. Remember the Color of the Day?

  • js

    The spokeswoman for the Assembly of “the families of Sept. 11 for tomorrow, peacefully,” Donna O’Connor that killed her daughter pregnant in an attack the World Trade Center “was not the Muslim world attacked us,” she said, “We support the Islamic Cultural Center in New York City, fully one hundred per cent.”

    mabe she google 911 and she find out the truth

    • Prince of Space

      Maybe you should google grammar

  • rob

    ..the left just doesn’t get it. either too insensitive or stupid(maybe both) , The world trade center wasn’t attacked by strippers and they didn’t kill 3000 innocent victims. It wasn’t attacked by Gays, Liquor salesman or porn sellers/buyers….. It was attacked by radical Muslims and that building was hit by the plane that killed these innocent victims. We will never forget. Too bad bloomberg has.

    • Prince of Space

      Just because you are ranting on the internet does not mean you cannot capitalize your sentences. They must have taught this in elementary school. Unless your school district is in Alaska. Allah be with you if it is.

    • FoxNewsLies

      You just don’t get it. Don’t let your fear of a thing cause you to loose your Constitutional rights. I have a few churches in my area I’d like to see burnt to the ground – can’t have those child rapist in my site – but the law doesn’t allow such things.

  • DanTe

    1) It is not a mosque. It’s a muslime civic center. Muslimes do not want to build mosques where they’re going to burn things down. So freedom of religion does not apply here.

    2) How did the muslime “developer” get the millions in cash to pay for that property? Especially since his credentials is that of a Waiter?

    3) It’s a tribute to the slimes that burnt 3,000 people alive in tall buildings. Plain and simple.

    • FoxNewsLies

      You sir need to turn off Fox News – its already rotted your brain.

    • Stephen

      DanTe, c’mon…give us a break. I know tons of waiters who make alot of money. You can thank George Bush for 9/11. He murdered 3000 people.

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