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Bloomberg Was Not Really Denied Pizza Over Sugary Drinks Ban

'Daily Currant' Satirical Publication Put Out Fictional Story That Went Viral
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Mayor Michael Bloomberg (file / credit: Edward Reed / Mayor's Office)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg (file / credit: Edward Reed / Mayor’s Office)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — While the city’s pending ban on super-sized sugary drinks has its share of critics, the story of a Brooklyn eatery denying Mayor Michael Bloomberg a second slice of pizza over it – and starting an obscenity-laden fight – is not true.

The Daily Currant, a satirical online publication, posted a story on Thursday about an imaginary incident at “Collegno’s Pizzeria” in an unspecified section of Brooklyn. The story claimed that Bloomberg was having an “informal working lunch” and “looking over budget documents” with city Comptroller and Democratic mayoral candidate John Liu, when he decided to order another slice of pepperoni pizza.

The owner of the imaginary pizzeria, “Antonio Benito,” refused to serve the mayor another slice, the story claimed.

“‘I’m sorry sir, we can’t do that. You’ve reached your personal slice limit,’” “Benito” was quoted in the story.

Bloomberg protested that he thought the refusal was “funny, because of the soda thing,” but he was “not kidding” and wanted another slice. “Benito,” in what appeared to be written as a further mockery of the super-size soda ban, said, “We’ve decided that eating more than one piece isn’t healthy for you, and so we’re forbidding you from doing it.”

The story went on to quote Bloomberg as hurling obscenities at “Benito” and calling him a “jackass,” but “Benito” continues to mock him, saying, “Maybe you could go to several restaurants and get one slice at each. At least that way you’re walking. You know, burning calories.”

Finally, the story claims, Bloomberg and Liu went to another pizzeria and resumed their lunch there.

In the two days since the satirical story was posted, more than a few blogs and tweets have mistaken it for real news. Professor Stephen Bainbridge of the UCLA Law School initially wrote, “New York Readers: Buy a Slice at Collegno’s Pizza for Me” with a link to the story before striking it out and saying he had “fallen victim to a hoax.”

“The News Unit” wrote, “Every New Yorker should give Collegno’s Pizzeria some business this week to support them after their wise handling of Soviet Mayor Bloomberg.”

Numerous tweets were also posted with the impression that the story was real.

“Bloomberg Denied 2nd Slice of Pizza – You have to love it when those who wish to control get SCHOOLED!” one person said in a tweet that was retweeted several times.

“…hahaha– bloomberg gets a taste of his own new world order dictatorship..” another person tweeted.

However, a quick search will easily confirm that there is no record of any place called Collegno’s Pizzeria in Brooklyn — or anywhere else for that matter. A search only turns up references to the Daily Currant story.

The Currant itself also notes on its Web site that its stories are, in fact, “purely fictional,” although they are meant to “address real-world issues through satire.”

The actual large sugary drinks ban was halted by a judge in March. Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling said the restrictions were both “capricious” and “arbitrary” because they only applied to some sugary drinks and certain places that sell them.

Mayor Bloomberg quickly moved forward with an appeal of the judge’s decision, which the mayor called “a temporary setback.”

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