[Readings] Pop! Goes the Weasel, By Rudolph W. Giuliani | Harper's Magazine

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[Readings]

Pop! Goes the Weasel

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From a July 23 broadcast of New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s weekly radio show on WABC-AM. On June 29, the city’s Board of Health issued a directive banning pet ferrets, and over a hundred other animals considered to be “wild, ferocious, fierce, dangerous or naturally inclined to do harm.”

rudolph giuliani: We’re going to go to David in Oceanside.

david guthartz: Hello, Mr. Giuliani, we speak again.

giuliani: Hi, David.

guthartz: Let me introduce myself again: David Guthartz, executive president of New York Ferret’s Rights Advocacy. Last week when we spoke, you made a very disparaging remark to me: that I should get a life. That was very unprofessional of you. Here we’re trying to get something seriously done—

giuliani: I, I—

guthartz: Without you talking over me, we’re trying to get something very seriously done— giuliani: David, you’re on my show. I have the right to talk over you.

guthartz: But we’re trying to get an important issue taken care of where the city is violating state law, and I asked you last week if you care about the law.

giuliani: Yes, I do care about the law. I think you have totally and absolutely misinterpreted the law, because there’s something deranged about you.

guthartz: No, there isn’t, sir.

giuliani: The excessive concern that you have for ferrets is something you should examine with a therapist, not with me.

guthartz: Don’t go insulting me again!

giuliani: I’m not insulting you. I’m being honest with you. Maybe no one in your life has ever been honest with you.

guthartz: I happen to be more sane than you.

giuliani: This conversation is over, David. Thank you. [Guthartz is cut off.] There is something really, really, very sad about you. You need help. I know you feel insulted by something wrong in your personality. I do not mean to be insulting. I’m trying to be honest with you, and I’m trying to give you advice for your own good. I know you. I know how you operate. I know how many times you called here this week. Three or four o’clock in the morning, David, you called here. You have a sickness. I know it’s hard for you to accept that, because you hang on to this sickness, and it’s your shield, it’s your whatever. And I know you’re real angry at me, you’re going to attack me, but actually you’re angry at yourself, and you’re afraid of what I’m raising with you. And if you don’t deal with it, I don’t know what you’re going to do. But you called here excessively all week, and you called here at three o’clock in the morning. And four o’clock in the morning. Over weasels. Over a ferret. So I know this is difficult, and tomorrow one of the newspapers will write how mean I am and how cruel I am and all this other stuff, but I believe, because my father and mother taught me this, that you should be honest with people. And I am giving you the benefit of fifty-five years of experience, having represented hundreds and in some cases thousands of people on either side in the courtroom, having handled insanity defenses and cases. You need help! And please get it! And you don’t have the right to call here at three o’clock in the morning, harass the people on my staff, because of your compulsion.

So, David, see what you can do to get help. But we can’t help you. We don’t have the professional expertise to help you. Now we’re going to move on to Richard in the Bronx.


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