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Morning Spew

Eric Adams: Americans Are Frogs Boiling in Godless Water

And more links to start your week!

9:52 AM EDT on March 20, 2023

Eric Adams smiles as he lifts a cup with the Bud Light logo.

Mayor Eric Adams marches in the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan on Friday, March 17, 2023. (Michael Appleton / Mayoral Photography Office)

When former Biden White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced that she would be joining MSNBC as a host, Joe Biden's recently departed chief of staff described Psaki a "superb explainer," and someone who "is very effective in the TV medium."

But that was before Psaki tried to interview New York City's club-hopping, rat-killing, gemstone-rubbing, ice-bath-plunging, real-estate-loving mayor, in a segment that aired on Sunday.

The resulting seven-minute "Weekend Routine" segment with Adams (which disappointingly does not elaborate at all on the mayor's actual weekend routine) is a surrealist masterpiece of cable television. Psaki's gentle questions contrast delightfully with pure, uncut Eric Adams, who is bullshitting America's former top bullshitter over a soothing reality TV soundtrack of acoustic guitars and revelatory cymbal crashes.

"'When you take prayer out of schools, guns come back into schools'—what do you mean by that exactly?" Psaki asks.

"I am so concerned about America. And you know there's this old experiment in labs, it's a hideous experiment, but it's real," Adams replies. "If you place a frog in hot water, it jumps out right away. If you place it in cool water, turn up the temperature, it will stay there and boil itself. I think then our country, we're boiling ourselves to death. And at the root of that is the failure to embrace our spirituality." (That "experiment" is a myth, but the mayor's proposed budget cuts to libraries, education, and social services are very real.)

After the pair exit the subway, they walk to Gracie Mansion and make a smoothie. (How did he "master" making smoothies, Psaki asks him. "It came from great research, reading," Adams replies.) Perhaps unrelatedly, just 34 percent of Americans say they trust the news.

Make a news smoothie with these headlines:

  • Eric Adams is calling on all bodega owners to travel to Albany and join his campaign to roll back bail reform. 
  • The Adams administration ignored its own transportation experts when they said to reduce the number of lanes on the BQE because fuck it, we're all boiling frogs, right?
  • One anti-drag protester was arrested at a Drag Story Hour event hosted by AG Letitia James over the weekend. 
  • Nonprofit legal groups say they need $425 million in new funding from the City.
  • The Sanitation Department will now be enforcing street vending laws. 
  • Queens DA Melinda Katz promised she wouldn't prosecute sex workers. Documented has a good story on how that's going: "According to data obtained from the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services through a Freedom of Information Law request, prostitution arrests are down citywide from a high of 1,938 arrests in 2012 to 75 in 2022. Queens continues to have the highest prostitution arrest rate in the city with 32 arrests last year. Brooklyn had 17 prostitution arrests; Manhattan had 12 arrests; the Bronx had eight and Staten Island had five. Although arrests and prosecutions of prostitution cases reached historic lows of just a few dozen in Queens last year, the data also shows that Katz has prosecuted almost all prostitution arrests in her district, only declining to prosecute one case in her whole term. She has maintained the highest rates of prosecution for prostitution arrest rate in the city."
  • Chuck Schumer wants to crack down on Elf Bar vapes, reveals to the public the existence of previously unknown "Gen Z colors."
  • The NYU student who hated studying abroad in Italy is fine, actually. 
  • But the Met Museum? Still bad!
  • And Amazon? Still bad, too.
  • Due to "logistical factors beyond our control," Rolling Loud will not be returning to NYC. We can make a good guess about what those "logistical factors" might be. 

And finally, Hell Gate contributing photographer Christian Hansen snapped this visual poem in Chelsea on March 18, 2023:

Christian Hansen / Hell Gate

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