“She never understands me,” he said. He sighed and poked at the device.
December 24, 2019 7:20 AM   Subscribe

A Conversation With Rudy Giuliani Over Bloody Marys at the Mark Hotel, by Olivia Nuzzi, New York Magazine: “Giuliani is emotional. He reads his own press and sees that his friends, these “sources close” to him, are being weaponized by the conspirators, helping to paint a public portrait of a man unglued. ... As he spoke, he fixed his gaze straight ahead, rarely turning to make eye contact. When his mouth closed, saliva leaked from the corner and crawled down his face through the valley of a wrinkle. He didn’t notice, and it fell onto his sweater.”
posted by mwhybark (103 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
 
Posted in part due to the skill of Nuzzi’s prose, in part due to the sheer rubbernecking WTFness of the spectacle she describes.
posted by mwhybark at 7:21 AM on December 24, 2019 [13 favorites]


Be sure to read Nuzzi's follow-up on twitter.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 7:27 AM on December 24, 2019 [11 favorites]


Parts of this feel unfair, because even documenting the cold hard facts that illustrate the slide into mental impairment that comes with age feels like poking fun. Then I remember that he's a monster, and it feels okay for a second, until I say, "no, still not okay."

Mostly it just serves as a reminder to quit while you're ahead. Most of us won't have the luxury of a cushy, easy retirement. But if and when you do, stop. Don't seek the spotlight. Pass the torch.

Giuliani and Trump both could have coasted for the last 20 or so years of their lives in relative comfort, making soft-ball appearances for a tidy sum if they liked. They're in nightmares of their own making, solely because they couldn't leave well enough alone. Literally too stupid to be selfish.
posted by explosion at 7:30 AM on December 24, 2019 [104 favorites]


Ha, she says he called to tell her he stopped reading after “five paragraphs.”

This is the first sentence of the sixth paragraph:

“Over a sweater, he wore a navy-blue suit, the fly of the pants unzipped.”
posted by mwhybark at 7:31 AM on December 24, 2019 [36 favorites]


Giuliani's willingness to talk for hours to reporters like they are his friends is well documented. It's very bizarre for someone who was a shrewd politician, is a lawyer, and is in the middle of an enormous criminal conspiracy. Sometimes I think he's just a lonely old man in the middle of a bitter divorce and he just needs to talk to someone, you know?
posted by Nelson at 7:33 AM on December 24, 2019 [16 favorites]


wow what hard-hitting journalism she really had him squirming under her tenacious questioning
posted by um at 7:42 AM on December 24, 2019 [5 favorites]


I couldn't read that. Then I reminded myself that he's the one whispering in the ear of the king, and I had to.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:53 AM on December 24, 2019 [4 favorites]


It's not that you couldn't make this shit up. I guess it's more that you could, and probably you could sell it to a network, and make some decent dramatic television with a silver lining of levity, and a few people would think it was derivative but mostly you'd get positive ratings, and the season finale would be highly anticipated, and reviews would be initially mixed but it would remain a cherished fan favorite, and in ten years there would be a touching retrospective thinkpiece about it, and in thirty years everyone looking back would realize how horrific it was that we ever stopped to laugh at anything during this time, let alone the living, breathing symbol of the degenerate spectacle we have become in the eyes of the world
posted by captain afab at 7:53 AM on December 24, 2019 [20 favorites]


Parts of this feel unfair, because even documenting the cold hard facts that illustrate the slide into mental impairment that comes with age feels like poking fun. Then I remember that he's a monster, and it feels okay for a second, until I say, "no, still not okay."

I don't think it's unfair at all. He is an unhinged, out of touch lunatic with a frightening amount of power and influence on the president and apparently also American foreign policy. If Giuliani were to retire from public life and spend the rest of his days watching Fox News from the comfort of his own living room, or maybe if he were to go to prison for his crimes, I'd be perfectly happy never hearing an unkind word about him ever again.
posted by wondermouse at 7:54 AM on December 24, 2019 [75 favorites]


If Giuliani were to retire from public life and spend the rest of his days watching Fox News from the comfort of his own living room, or maybe if he were to go to prison for his crimes, I'd be perfectly happy never hearing an unkind word about him ever again.
Especially if it were the second scenario
posted by entropone at 7:56 AM on December 24, 2019 [9 favorites]


I totally agree. And in the style of a celebrity interview where we get all sorts of unnecessary visual details of a starlet not eating her salad in a cutely thin way, here’s a different kind of celebrity who is shielded from scrutiny by his privilege as a wealthy man of a certain age. However, we aren’t in that age anymore and it’s a huge curiosity that he of all people has positioned himself behind the curtain and on some days seemingly wanting the world to think he’s no mere assistant to the regional manager of Oz but the great man himself.
posted by amanda at 8:05 AM on December 24, 2019 [14 favorites]


This is a phenomenal demonstration of just how soft a ball Haberman etc are failing to hit. The ratio of viciousness to editorializing is absurdly high.
posted by PMdixon at 8:05 AM on December 24, 2019 [32 favorites]


Rudy Giuliani, a Catholic, says he is ‘more of a Jew’ than George Soros, who survived the Holocaust (WaPo)
Nuzzi reported that she told Giuliani he sounded crazy, but he “insisted he wasn’t.” Asked by NBC News whether his comments about being more Jewish than Soros were a joke, Giuliani said: “I’m more Jewish than half my friends.”

In an interview with the network earlier this month, Laura Silber, a spokeswoman for Soros’s network, the Open Society Foundations, decried the conspiracy theories about Soros peddled by Giuliani.

“The anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and false allegations espoused by Rudolph Giuliani and his cronies are aimed at fomenting hatred, undermining democracy, as well as distracting from the impeachment process and the critically important national security and constitutional questions before Congress,” Silber told NBC.
posted by katra at 8:08 AM on December 24, 2019 [15 favorites]


He had a few ideas for going after the credibility of witnesses. “The guy that overheard the telephone call,” for instance, “anybody check if the guy has an earpiece? Maybe he didn’t have it in. How old is he? How old is that guy?” There was a possibility that he was deaf, he said, and didn’t know what he heard. “How do we know he isn’t a paranoid schizophrenic?,” he said. “How do we know he isn’t an alcoholic?”

I mean, come on. F this guy.
posted by amanda at 8:09 AM on December 24, 2019 [41 favorites]


Olivia Nuzzi needs to cover all Trump/Giuliani/Ukraine/current hell reporting in this country from now on. Goes there, watches, listens, writes it down. Done.
posted by Harry Caul at 8:16 AM on December 24, 2019 [9 favorites]


The mixture of buffoonery and malice is ... I don't know. Compelling, horrifying, mystifying? It's definitely something. I don't even understand why I read it, but I did--all the way through.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 8:22 AM on December 24, 2019 [3 favorites]


"“And my attitude about my legacy is Fuck it,” he said."

This is a fantastic piece. It's densely packed with Giuliani quotes so candid and psychologically revealing they read like a direct cry for help, and otherwise the writing is very good. One of my all time favorites from this dark time.
posted by captain afab at 8:22 AM on December 24, 2019 [8 favorites]


“I’m more Jewish than half my friends.”

Half of zero is still zero.
posted by holborne at 8:39 AM on December 24, 2019 [31 favorites]


All these guys have incredibly low confusion thresholds. Presented with any concept above a certain level of complexity their worlds degenerate into chaos.
Worse than that, though, is that they respond to this by trying to impose order on the chaos by resorting to the crappiest, barely disguised, anti-semitism. Every. Single. Time.
Anti-semitism is the pattern recognition of fools.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 8:42 AM on December 24, 2019 [58 favorites]


[cockpit - deleted scene]
CAPT. OVEUR: Joey, have you ever wondered if Superman came down with a touch of the Kryptonian dementia, would he just start flying around everyhere naked and trapped inside phone booths?
ELAINE: We better get back to your seat now, Joey...
posted by zaixfeep at 8:54 AM on December 24, 2019 [12 favorites]


I don't think it's unfair at all. He is an unhinged, out of touch lunatic with a frightening amount of power and influence on the president and apparently also American foreign policy.

Agreed, but attack the anti-Semitism. Attack the failed policies, corruption, and crime. Don't draw attention to the fact that he's drooling, as that's almost certainly due to a disability.

Unless you're directly trying to make the case that he's lost his faculties and should be removed from "office," in which case, make that case quickly and directly without derision.

If we've agreed to not make fun of people for disabilities, that means doing so even when we loathe the man. Not just as a courtesy to people we like well enough.
posted by explosion at 8:58 AM on December 24, 2019 [18 favorites]


“And my attitude about my legacy is Fuck it,” he said."

IIRC, USAG William Barr said something similar. Kinda weird thing to say if you are defending someone who is totally innocent.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:59 AM on December 24, 2019 [16 favorites]


So satisfying to know that everyone is getting wise to the fact that Rudy has always been a horrible person.
posted by ivanthenotsoterrible at 9:05 AM on December 24, 2019 [10 favorites]


Omg...that phone would have gone in my pocket sooo fast..."you know what guys I don't need a ride, I'll just take the train...maybe stop by the FBI...."
posted by sexyrobot at 9:10 AM on December 24, 2019 [9 favorites]


If we've agreed to not make fun of people for disabilities, that means doing so even when we loathe the man. Not just as a courtesy to people we like well enough.

If this were an article about his mental struggles keeping focused on helping the disadvantaged and marginalized, I'd be right there with you, even forgiving him his bigotry. As it is, he's a power-hungry unelected force of nature shaking the foundations of our democracy to its core. This is clearly a case of punching up.
posted by zaixfeep at 9:16 AM on December 24, 2019 [29 favorites]


G. is an anti-Semite and a buffoon, stumbling through the remainder of his years in a fog of dementia and spite, but he is proving to be quite capable of enabling terrible cruelty and malfeasance along the way.

I wonder if pieces of this sort inadvertently help throw him under the bus, letting his boss continue to get away with his criminal schemes. Time will tell.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:19 AM on December 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


@thatwhichfalls "All these guys have incredibly low confusion thresholds... they respond to this by trying to impose order on the chaos by resorting to the crappiest, barely disguised, *"

I see a *lot* of people do this and then flail their way to some "crapiest, misguided" piece of whatever *ism you want to name. I see it as a desperate clutch at... anything to save themselves as their world disintegrates.

"Anti-semitism is the pattern recognition of fools."

I'd replace "Anti-semitism" with "*-ism", but yeah. And some of the *-isms are certainly stronger than others.
posted by aleph at 9:23 AM on December 24, 2019 [2 favorites]


I think that the problem that a lot of people are having with the drooling thing is that, while Nuzzi is by no means being cruel or mocking about her observation--she reports it and moves on--she also doesn't look away. And that's the real power and message of this piece: this is who the current POTUS is trusting with his secrets and duties. Try to imagine a similar piece on John Erlichman or H.R. Haldeman during Watergate. From the moment that she tells us that he "is an informal White House cybersecurity adviser and a high-priced cyber-security contractor" and is also juggling three phones, we know what's going to happen, and sure enough, it does. Nuzzi also did a piece on Joe Biden's campaign which, if anything, is even more blunt about the subject's shortcomings.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:39 AM on December 24, 2019 [51 favorites]


an innocent question resulted in a 15-minute rant about “fucking Wayne Barrett,” a journalist who manages to enrage Giuliani even in death

This is but one of many testaments to the important work of Wayne Barrett. We were so lucky to have him.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 9:43 AM on December 24, 2019 [7 favorites]


"I think that the problem that a lot of people are having with the drooling thing..."

I was wondering if not a disability but something older guys (like me) get sometimes. An arrogance combined with losing track of details that leads to personal failings like that. Don't know but I still think it should have been mentioned. The way it was.
posted by aleph at 9:45 AM on December 24, 2019 [6 favorites]


Parts of this feel unfair,

Yep. She and Eve Peyser have this weird.....sort of idea of journalism that just reads as mean to me.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 9:45 AM on December 24, 2019


Ugh.

Giuliani said. “Neither one of them have ever been convicted of a crime. Neither one. And generally that’s my cutoff point, because if you do it based on allegations and claims and — you’re not gonna work with anybody,” he said, laughing. “Particularly in business.”

Works differently for black and brown New Yorkers who were arrested and released.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 9:51 AM on December 24, 2019 [22 favorites]


.sort of idea of journalism that just reads as mean to me

Oh my, mean journalism you say!?
Gosh.

This fucker is responsible for some of the cruelest local and now national policies this country has ever seen, but heaven forfend anyone should be mean to him.
posted by aspersioncast at 9:59 AM on December 24, 2019 [105 favorites]


Tone policing is a favorite tool in the shed of bothsidesism.
posted by aspersioncast at 10:01 AM on December 24, 2019 [93 favorites]


This is clearly a case of punching up.
posted by zaixfeep


More importantly, hasn't he and his guv'nor been even more cruel, mocking and down-punching than anyone here? Something something dish it out something take it...

Edit: What aspersioncast just said
posted by zaixfeep at 10:02 AM on December 24, 2019 [9 favorites]


Parts of this feel unfair

Considering that there is a high likelihood this article will be the harshest punishment this asshole will ever have to face for a lifetime of crimes, lies, and general inhumanity, I'm more than OK with this.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:02 AM on December 24, 2019 [45 favorites]


"...but heaven forfend anyone should be mean to him."

I try. Can't make it a lot of the time but I do try.
posted by aleph at 10:02 AM on December 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


If anyone in this thread tried to replicate 1/100th of Guliani's "business" dealings we would be in jail serving 20 year sentences within 6 months. He is among the most privileged of human beings in the world, protected by his prior (dirty) contacts in law enforcement, politics, and international crime. This article is the definition of punching up.

Guliani should be used as a case study for institutional failings in the USA over the last 30 years, as Trump will be.
posted by benzenedream at 10:15 AM on December 24, 2019 [34 favorites]


This fucker is responsible for some of the cruelest local and now national policies this country has ever seen, but heaven forfend anyone should be mean to him.

I guess. Nice if disabled grandpa coulda been told he was bad 10 years ago when he was still in full use of of his mind. But hey whatever.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 10:15 AM on December 24, 2019


Parts of this feel unfair

Seems legit to point out that one of the most powerful people in the world right now is a drooling, stumbling, 2 bloody mary's at lunch, prevaricating, mind-jumbled narcissist conspiracy theorist ghoul. Seems fair, to me.
posted by dis_integration at 10:17 AM on December 24, 2019 [77 favorites]


Yep. She and Eve Peyser have this weird.....sort of idea of journalism that just reads as mean to me.

Good.
posted by atrazine at 10:23 AM on December 24, 2019 [9 favorites]


As a lifelong New Yorker, I hope he suffers greatly before he dies.
posted by AJaffe at 10:24 AM on December 24, 2019 [6 favorites]


i would really rather not read tfa but y'all i hate to hear 'ableism is good actually when we do it'
posted by gaybobbie at 10:30 AM on December 24, 2019 [7 favorites]


I guess, as a prosecutor, he just wanted to keep us safe and protect us from... people like him (paraphrasing Ron Decline).

Makes me wonder whether Superman was doing so much good just to provide cover for turning supervillain later in life...
posted by zaixfeep at 10:32 AM on December 24, 2019


If it feels unfair that's ok. You might be a good person experiencing empathy.

Whether it *is* unfair is an entirely separate question. It can be fair and feel unfair at the same time.
posted by klanawa at 10:34 AM on December 24, 2019 [15 favorites]


How is the drooling any more a sign of disability than the incoherent ramblings? Should all signs of Rudy’s “disability” (whatever that may be) be off-limits to public opinion?
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 10:41 AM on December 24, 2019 [19 favorites]


I think it's a really tricky issue in this case because you can have a target that is "punching up" but along an axis that is punching down (e.g. when, say, LeBron James is subject to racism from people with a lot less money and influence than he has, or, on a more personal note, people pointing out that Donald Trump is fat, I am also fat, I am not a fucking Nazi, he and I are not the same), and I think this is really close to the line on that. Like, there is nothing morally wrong with being a person who drools or has memory issues. Rudy Giuliani has these characteristics but the problem is that he is a fucking disgusting reprehensible human being and not that he drools, and when you focus on this aspect of him you are implicitly attacking people who aren't Rudy Giuliani but who share that innocuous characteristic (fine to attack Rudy Giuliani along the axis of, say, being a huge fucking racist because people who share that characteristic with him should also be attacked for the same reason).

That said, I do think it's a bit trickier here because the characteristics in question are extremely troubling in a man with immense power who is a close advisor to another unhinged racist with even more power. Plenty of non-terrible people are senile! It's not cool to imply that being senile is a personal failing! But in this case his senescence is actually extremely important because he is in a position to affect the lives of lots and lots of people. It is, without judgement, actually relevant information that we need to have about this man.
posted by an octopus IRL at 10:44 AM on December 24, 2019 [65 favorites]


Once these rat bastards have been definitively stopped, and all the harm they did reversed, MAYBE then we can take a second to go 'too bad you had to get tarred and feathered like that.' Or not. It seems very optional to me.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 10:48 AM on December 24, 2019 [5 favorites]


His power/influence plus his overwhelming hubris and arrogance at refusing to consider or examine the possibility that he is in mental decline is what makes him a fair target. He has friend-level access to the finest doctors on the planet. He's undoubtedly been told repeatedly by experts how he's doing.

If he showed even an ounce of humility, vulnerability or introspection, I'd be the first to back off.

But hey, keep trying to coax the vampire back into his coffin with milk and cookies, maybe it'll work eventually.
posted by zaixfeep at 10:59 AM on December 24, 2019 [15 favorites]


Naah. String him up by the balls if it floats your idea of justice. But try to cut down on the "mean". Because (as I discovered after way too many years) it does damage to *you* as well. And he's not worth it.

(But if you can't you can't.)
posted by aleph at 11:30 AM on December 24, 2019 [2 favorites]


I guess. Nice if disabled grandpa coulda been told he was bad 10 years ago when he was still in full use of of his mind. But hey whatever.

Gulliani's political career was built on a race based resentment of David Dinkins. He enacted policies that were racist and designed to appeal to racists like stop and frisk. He was an asshole then. He is an asshole now. The difference is that the president is listening to him.
posted by rdr at 11:40 AM on December 24, 2019 [29 favorites]


I only know the name Olivia Nuzzi because a previous thread on MeFi pointed out she used to be friends with Milo Yiannopoulos and worships Ann Coulter. I doubt she's going after Giuliani because of anything unethical he's done. His doddering old man weakness is her entire problem with him.
posted by hyperbolic at 12:05 PM on December 24, 2019 [4 favorites]


I was sitting in the luxury Mark New York Hotel
I was sitting with a guy who is corrupt
I was thinking that Giuliani was lyin'
All the Bloody Marys in Manhattan
I'm gonna drink 'em up

I was sitting in the luxury Mark New York Hotel
I was listening to the former mayor hum
He went mmm mmm mmm mmm mmm mmm mmm...
posted by kirkaracha at 12:06 PM on December 24, 2019 [2 favorites]


I read it and I thought it was good reporting. It didn’t read mean to me as much as thorough. And because mostly reporters hold back details that may feel mean, it is shocking to read an article in which the reporter matter-of-factly covers everything that happened while she was with the guy. Including an unzipped fly, drooling, being unable to keep track of his phones, etc. Maybe that is ablest. I hope not. If I’m wrong, I hope I will stand corrected. I thought it was a detail that contributed to the overall portrait of a guy who is bad at details. Maybe he wasn’t always but he sure the hell is now.

What was interesting to me was how she was able to demonstrate so quickly how anybody who ever pays this guy for security consulting these days is obviously paying him for something else because the Mayor clearly knows nothing about security, not even of the most basic sort, at least at this point.

I don’t think it’s OK to fat shame people or to call them names or to be assholes in other ways. But this felt very matter-of-fact to me, less mean girl and more “This guy just did X, Y, Z things while I was with him.” Reporters go out of their way often to be overly deferential and respectful to people in power; I thought this was a nice little corrective.
posted by Bella Donna at 12:29 PM on December 24, 2019 [40 favorites]


> "deaf . . .paranoid schizophrenic . . . alcoholic?”

Again with the projection.

It's really astonishing the degree you can just wait for them to say the top things they're concerned about in other people, and it's their own personality traits top to bottom.

As with Trump, it's just the lens they use to look out at the world, and their own psychological shortcomings and tics just inevitably distort everything they see.
posted by flug at 12:33 PM on December 24, 2019 [12 favorites]


> "A few minutes later, as we made our way downtown, I saw from the corner of my eye the sun reflecting off of something. It was the screen of one of the phones, which he had left on the seat next to me."

So Mr. World-Renowned Electronic Security Expert Giuliani basically handed her one of his personal and (as previous context made clear) completely unlocked/unsecured phones, and she didn't just take it, spend a few productive hours trolloping through all of his text messages & emails, and expose everything?

Instead she just politely hands it back to his chauffeur?

Bummer.
posted by flug at 12:36 PM on December 24, 2019 [17 favorites]


and she didn't just take it, spend a few productive hours trolloping through all of his text messages & emails, and expose everything?

No lawyer, but that smells like a felony
posted by dis_integration at 12:45 PM on December 24, 2019 [4 favorites]


Nuzzi is also writing a book with Ryan Lizza (they may still be dating). She got her start with Paul Carr and Mark Ames, so I don't think it's a stretch to imagine she subscribes to that school of writing that amplifies the most jejune aspect of gonzo journalism.

But it can also be true that good reporting is transparently communicating reality. For a segment of the objectively evil (and Giuliani has more than earned that stripe), I personally don't mind transcripts of the powerful brought low, even if by age and illness. I would read stories about Kissinger declining in the worst possible way all day long and not feel it was ableist or ageist. I don't care what causes him to suffer: I just want him to.
posted by 99_ at 12:56 PM on December 24, 2019 [4 favorites]


Part of the political project of Giuliani and everyone like him throughout human history is that their vanities shall not be offended; they shall only ever be seen and more importantly portrayed in manners compatible with their brittle self image. In this regard Nuzzi is incompatible with the goals of the people in charge of this country and in an important way.
posted by PMdixon at 1:03 PM on December 24, 2019 [23 favorites]


Metafilter: No lawyer, but that smells like a felony.
posted by zaixfeep at 1:07 PM on December 24, 2019 [5 favorites]


No lawyer, but that smells like a felony

Anonymous dump, phone goes in a public trash can or river. Ghouls like Rudy deserve no mercy or consideration at all.

When his mouth closed, saliva leaked from the corner and crawled down his face through the valley of a wrinkle. He didn’t notice, and it fell onto his sweater.

I wish Ralph Steadman had been tapped to illustrate this. Or the late Francis Bacon.
posted by ryanshepard at 1:08 PM on December 24, 2019 [12 favorites]


I'm more of a Catholic than Rudy Giuliani, and I don't even believe in the Resurrection.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:24 PM on December 24, 2019 [8 favorites]


This guy is currently criming it up to fuck the next election, but go off on Olivia Nuzzi I guess
posted by fluttering hellfire at 1:34 PM on December 24, 2019 [56 favorites]


An unzipped fly and a little drool - considering the subject matter - this was a puff piece.
posted by hoodrich at 1:46 PM on December 24, 2019 [4 favorites]


Drool + the lunch omelet = dental issues, maybe. The unzipped trousers, unsteady gait, Three-Phone Monte and rambling, contradictory monologuing were the details pointing to mental deterioration. (Though he's been traveling about way too much lately, and could be experiencing sleep exhaustion on top of any pre-existing issues.) In the midst of everything, the line about getting the opportunity to learn about money laundering as practiced in Ukraine stands out. +1,000 points to Bella Donna re: his cyber-security expertise:

He also claimed to have a secret source with documentary proof that Hunter Biden had been paid off through a Cyprus bank in a transaction routed through a Lithuanian bank. “When I got it” — that is, the document he claims shows this — “I had already lost Lev, and so I had no translator. I translated it with my app,” he said. He took out his phone to show me how Google Translate works.
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:03 PM on December 24, 2019 [14 favorites]


Rudy Giuliani is the cybersecurity adviser to the president of the United States. He had to have an Apple Genius Bar unlock his phone, butt-dialed reporters on multiple occasions, and accidentally tweeted a link to a website that said, "Donald J Trump is a traitor to our country."
posted by kirkaracha at 2:13 PM on December 24, 2019 [30 favorites]


Giuliani's willingness to talk for hours to reporters like they are his friends is well documented

I give you Talia Lavin.
posted by dobbs at 2:30 PM on December 24, 2019 [5 favorites]


Sorry, but I can't feel sympathy for Giuliani, Trump, and the rest of the Trump-enablers, because there are so many victims of their racism, sexism, corruption, and crimes and I've already expending all my available sympathy on these people. I just plain ran out! Maybe if Guiliani & Co. expected some sympathy, they should have planned better and not been such assholes. There might have been a bit of sympathy left for them in that case.
posted by longdaysjourney at 2:42 PM on December 24, 2019 [3 favorites]


Nice if disabled grandpa coulda been told he was bad 10 years ago when he was still in full use of of his mind. But hey whatever.
The best time to plant a tree is 10 years ago. The second best time is now.
posted by krisjohn at 3:16 PM on December 24, 2019 [37 favorites]


A bunch of us are arguing about whether a pretty gentle interview is too mean?

No wonder us liberal types keep losing elections.
posted by Ickster at 6:20 PM on December 24, 2019 [30 favorites]


An unzipped fly and a little drool - considering the subject matter - this was a puff piece.

It is a goddamn puff piece. The piece fucking humanizes him by repeatedly bringing up his frailties. Guiliani has spent the past few weeks acting like a crook who knows he's been caught dead to rights. His only refuge is celebrity. Whenever he's on TV he looks and acts like a terrified kid in the principal's office. Nuzzi couldn't identify a single weakness in his story and drill into it? Pathetic effort.
posted by um at 6:30 PM on December 24, 2019 [4 favorites]


Those of you responding about meanness please read octopus irl's comment. The thread will be better if you do. Thanks.
posted by avalonian at 6:32 PM on December 24, 2019 [4 favorites]


As with a lot of the "crazy" Trump accusations (god I hate that term), I feel like it's an insult to anyone differently-abled to have this embarrassing jackass lumped in with them/us.

Plenty of people have various degrees of disability or changing cognitive faculties without also being a fucking horrid evil shitfuck rich asshole like mayor Rudy, and just because he's clearly suffering from some of the various inevitable ill effects of septuagenarian decay, doesn't mean he gets a pass for everything else he's done or is actively doing.

A lot of people did try to intervene ten years ago, actually. This is where we are now.
posted by aspersioncast at 7:03 PM on December 24, 2019 [10 favorites]


Alcoholism is a disability, by certain lights. Alcoholism is ALSO disqualifying for positions of authority and power. It is not ableism to say so. It is not ableist to report on mental and physical faculties declining in powerful men who are seeking more power.

It is profoundly frustrating just how quickly liberal descriptions of injustice are weaponized in the cause of the Right.
posted by stoneweaver at 7:25 PM on December 24, 2019 [37 favorites]


Well, I mean, he is a rich white guy and we all know damn well you can’t ridicule a rich white guy. It’s against all the laws of decency and humanity.
posted by aramaic at 7:35 PM on December 24, 2019 [15 favorites]


Are we really arguing that it’s not incredibly newsworthy that a person of his power and influence is visibly of declining faculties? Should we be ignoring his collapse the way the media is largely ignoring Trump’s, as if it would be gauche to note that the nuclear codes are in the hands of the literally demented?
posted by praemunire at 7:35 PM on December 24, 2019 [30 favorites]


Nevermind. Don't read it. These hot takes are keeping me warm on this winter night.
posted by avalonian at 7:52 PM on December 24, 2019 [2 favorites]


This discussion increasingly reminds me of this Red Dwarf scene . For reference, the 'armor plated killing machine' is our favorite erstwhile prosecutor and my comments map to Lister's.
posted by zaixfeep at 8:17 PM on December 24, 2019 [6 favorites]


The latest is that it seems Giuliani has been fluffing his resume on Facebook. He calls himself former Attorney General of the United States. Of course he never held that title. He was Associate Attorney General for two years under Reagan which is two steps lower, below Deputy Attorney General.

He also lists his current occupation as "Government Official." If he were an official, he would have a government title, a government office, and a government salary. He has none of those. His only "official" status is "friend of Trump".

I guess that is what it takes to get those sweet contracts from the world's dictators.
posted by JackFlash at 8:31 PM on December 24, 2019 [11 favorites]


The phone was absolutely a honeypot, y’all.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:00 PM on December 24, 2019 [6 favorites]


Also by Olivia Nuzzi: A Reporter’s Guide to Texting With Rudy Giuliani
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:57 AM on December 25, 2019


> ...how anybody who ever pays this guy for security consulting these days is obviously paying him for something else...

Access. They're paying him for access to him and to the people he knows. They DGAF about whatever he claims his expertise is, they only want him as a shortcut to people in power.

> ...one of the most powerful people in the world right now is a drooling, stumbling, 2 bloody mary's at lunch, prevaricating, mind-jumbled narcissist conspiracy theorist ghoul.

Given Giuliani's through-and-through racism, it can be a way of saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, here is your übermensch."
posted by at by at 6:37 AM on December 25, 2019 [3 favorites]


Yeah I don’t buy the “this is picking on a disabled person” argument. Giuliani is clearly incapable of serving his country in a constructive way, and some of it is likely due to cognitive decline. If we don’t point this out, who will?
posted by panama joe at 6:56 AM on December 25, 2019 [7 favorites]


Bill de Blasio attacks Giuliani over 'anti-Semitic rant.' (Politico)
“I know Rudy Giuliani is determined to set new lows in pathetic, spineless behavior these days — but this anti-Semitic rant is particularly dangerous,” de Blasio tweeted Tuesday. “The attacks our Jewish communities have endured are fueled by this kind of loathsome hate. He’s an absolute disgrace.”
posted by box at 8:33 AM on December 25, 2019 [7 favorites]


Drool + the lunch omelet = dental issues

He has been, not too long ago, referred to as "a doddering hobbit who’s losing a fight with his dentures"
posted by notsnot at 8:50 AM on December 25, 2019 [3 favorites]


How would the tempting phone have been a trick?
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:53 AM on December 25, 2019


Could have been loaded with easily disproven bullshit designed to lead the incredulous to bizarre conclusions.

Oh wait...
posted by inpHilltr8r at 10:23 AM on December 25, 2019 [4 favorites]


How would the tempting phone have been a trick?

That's an interesting point. I literally can't think of anything that could be on that phone that would bring the administration down in disgrace. Pee tape? Nah, Trump has credibly been accused of much worse, and it barely moves the needle. Documents linking the administration to Putin and quid-pro-quo assistance to Ukraine? The other overwhelming proof of same doesn't seem to faze the Senate. We're at the point where Nuzzi could have swiped through recent videos, found a taped confession by Donald himself, admitting to using parts of the Russian security apparatus to win the election, and it would be out of the news cycle by Saturday.
posted by Mayor West at 10:57 AM on December 25, 2019 [3 favorites]


Umm I mean wouldn’t it have been obvious and easily provable who stole the phone? Then wouldn’t that give Giuliani et al an opportunity to show how it’s the Liberal Media who are the real crooks? Also getting a hostile reporter thrown in jail to boot?
posted by panama joe at 12:32 PM on December 25, 2019 [9 favorites]


Yet they won.
posted by waving at 4:48 PM on December 25 [1 favorite]


It is profoundly frustrating just how quickly liberal descriptions of injustice are weaponized in the cause of the Right.

QFT. Liberals/the Left still hasn’t learned how to counter the Right’s common judo maneuver of using our decency against us. it’s infuriating.
posted by holborne at 9:23 PM on December 25 [12 favorites]


don’t make it public through conventional channels. instead, post everything on the phone to 4chan.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 9:35 AM on December 26 [1 favorite]


Joint Chief 1: holy shit guys, president Nixon just ordered me to start nuking people. I think that drunk bastard is off his fucking rocker!

Joint Chief 2: Uh, ableist much
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:54 PM on December 26 [22 favorites]


Pointing out the disabilities of a prominent face of the most gleefully ableist federal executive administration imaginable may indeed corrode your own soul, but it's highlighting hypocrisy and a gulf between image and reality as well. It doesn't seem the same as mocking the infirmity of someone you merely disagree with.
posted by Western Infidels at 3:00 PM on December 26 [3 favorites]


Sometimes I think he's just a lonely old man in the middle of a bitter divorce and he just needs to talk to someone, you know?

Except he has spent a pretty significant portion of his later life in the middle of one bitter divorce or another.
posted by srboisvert at 3:31 PM on December 26 [7 favorites]


And the sonofabitch held a press conference to announce his filing for divorce from Donna Hanover before he actually told her about it.
posted by holborne at 6:07 PM on December 26 [7 favorites]


To clarify, we have a mentally incompetent, racist, nationalist, xenophobic, criminal advising the mentally incompetent, racist, nationalist, xenophobic criminal in the White House and someone has written an article that doesn't try to hide this or obscure it and the reaction among liberals is that it's mean and uncouth to point out that these people are mentally incompetent, racist, nationalist, xenophobic, criminals?

There's literal concentration camps for children, but people here are worried that it's mean to honestly say that Giuliani is suffering from age related mental degeneration?

We're watching the Republican party commit treason en masse by inviting foreign powers to subvert our electoral processes but the people here are deeply concerned that it might be ableist to think that mentally incompetent people shouldn't be running the country?

No wonder we've been losing for my entire life.
posted by sotonohito at 7:13 AM on December 28 [11 favorites]


On the ableism issue, I'm genuinely confused and would like clarification.

Is it the generally accepted position among disability advocates that it is truly wrong and ableist to think that intellectually disabled people are not a good choice for public office?

I mean, yes, there is such a thing as genuine ageism. But I don't think it's ageism to think that a person suffering from age related mental degeneration is not a good choice for public office.

And there's certainly lots of actual discrimination against mentally disabled people. But I don't think I'm really wrong for thinking that the guy I work with who suffered a traumatic brain injury and I sometimes help get onto the right bus at the end of the day because he can't remember the bus number isn't someone I want to be running the country. He's not a bad person and I don't want him to be abused, but is it really ableism to think that his disability means he shouldn't be running things?

Am I actually required to believe that people suffering from Alzheimer's are just as good at holding executive office as neurotypical people to be not-ableist?
posted by sotonohito at 7:21 AM on December 28 [3 favorites]


I wouldn’t say it’s the reaction of liberals to be upset about meanness, I’d say there are a couple of concern trolling comments in this thread that everyone is reacting to. No need to paint everyone with the same brush.
posted by JenMarie at 9:59 AM on December 28 [10 favorites]


> Is it the generally accepted position among disability advocates that it is truly wrong and ableist to think that intellectually disabled people are not a good choice for public office?

Depends on the person and the office.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:50 PM on December 28 [1 favorite]


Say what you will about the monstrous shit that Rudy is up to, but he’s obviously getting some things done (in terms of affecting change, he’s probably doing more singlehandedly than everyone in this thread is doing collectively). In light of this, I’d love to hear someone actually spell out what they feel his “disability” is, as well as what sort of accommodations that disability warrants.

Short of that, this just seems like some serious JAQ’ing off on the part of a couple posters that have gone conspicuously quiet on the topic.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 2:11 PM on December 28 [5 favorites]


I'm 100% OK with this article and mocking Giuliani, including his mental and physical frailties. But since no one else is pointing out the obvious argument here ...

... drooling is not a sure sign of mental decline. It can be a sign of mental decline. It can also be a sign of various neurological problems (both sensory and motor), or a muscular problem, or just a little bad luck while enjoying a meal. The author (and this post) discuss his drooling "through the valley of a wrinkle" as if to suggest this mild hygenic slip indicates a generally disgusting and maybe senile old man. Examined by itself, it's a fairly unkind observation. It also confounds what could be any number of problems, including some non-cognitive disabilities, with senility. The writing lacks precision and relies on ablist tropes. It also paints a vicious and somewhat effective negative portrait.

I'm just way, way past giving a shit over niceties. We have a corrupt and monstrous president and Giuliani is one of his helpers. I try to be decent myself in what I say and do, but if a fluffy NYmag piece throws some elbows at diminishing this monstrous, corrupt, awful politician I'm not gonna cry about it. Tsk tsk, Ms. Nuzzi.
posted by Nelson at 3:58 PM on December 28 [2 favorites]


Ghouliani was also part of the Republican presidential campaign, including Wikileaks, Russia and infowars, drudge report and Hannity at fox news and ultimately of course the New York Times, that spent a lot of airtime spreading a coordinated smear that Hillary was physically unfit for office.

Trump's mirror reveals all.
posted by srboisvert at 5:59 PM on December 28 [4 favorites]


« Older The True Meaning of Santacon   |   Hypnospace Outlaw has delivered this year's hot... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments