So, Sunday night I watched the two-hour documentary on Rudy Giuliani and before I get into the production itself, let me say that of the 120 minutes that this show ran, more than 65 minutes were advertisements, which is disgusting to the extreme.
Anyway, I happen to be an old Giuliani hater from before he was Mayor, because I was working for a Wall Street firm when Rudy was going after guys like Milken and Boesky for insider trading and other scams. Which was okay with me, but Rudy also investigated guys I knew in brokerage who hadn’t done anything bad at all, and in some cases lost their livelihoods and their trading careers after they were indicted even though the indictments were thrown out.
I also was disgusted at how Rudy played the race card when he ran for Mayor against David Dinkins in 1993 and charged Dinkins with being ‘soft’ on crime. Then and now ‘soft on crime’ are code words which mean one thing, and if you don’t know what I’m referring to, it’s because you don’t live in a big city with a large minority (read: Black) population in the days before crime declined by more than half for reasons that we still don’t know.
Rudy, of course, had his big moment the day the twin towers fell down. And the CNN documentary basically shows how his image has taken a nosedive over the past two decades, in particular by his seemingly inexplicable effort to manage the ‘stop the steal’ campaign for Donald Trump.
The climax comes with pictures of Giuliani at the RNC press conference on November 19, 2020, when the his hair dye rolled down from his scalp along both sides of his face. Granted, this picture made Rudy look like a complete and total jerk or worse, but that’s not what his collapse is really all about.
If anything, I thought that CNN treated Rudy with kid gloves from the beginning of the broadcast to the end. And I say that because in two segments of the documentary, the producers managed to ignore the issues which really tell us what Rudy’s all about. And here’s what those segments should have said.
Segment #1. Why did Rudy lose the 2008 GOP Florida primary which ended his political career? The reason Rudy lost the Florida primary was not, as CNN claimed, because his campaign messaging didn’t work. He lost because a week before the election, a story broke about how he flew his girlfriend out to the Hamptons every weekend on a police chopper and never reimbursed the city for her fare.
So here was Mister ‘I know how to manage government’ chiseling the government he was managing out of some bucks, which really went over big with the Florida senior crowd, many of whom were former New York City employees.
Segment #2. Rudy didn’t go to Ukraine just for the purpose of digging up dirt on Hunter and Joe, which was what CNN says got him involved in the shenanigans which led to Impeachment Number One. He went to Ukraine to scout out locations and interview targets for a movie about the Bidens in Ukraine, which was going to be sold to theaters all over the United States through the efforts of a production company which Rudy happened to own.
What we have in both these episodes is what has been the core of Rudy’s persona since he stopped trying to get on the public payroll either by being elected or appointed to a government position, namely, using his branding as ‘America’s mayor’ to enrich himself in whatever sleaze or scam which has come along.
Remember Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman? These two putzes were arrested at Kennedy Airport holding one-way tickets to somewhere overseas who were then convicted and did jail time for violating campaign finance rules in order to wash foreign money through the U.S. banking system. Not only were they Rudy’s business partners, but he was depending on them to make contacts in Ukraine for his movie about Hunter and Joe.
There was not one word about this deal on CNN, whose entire explanation for why Rudy became such an asshole in 2020 had to do with what happens to politicians who suddenly find themselves no longer the subjects of intense and continuous media concern.
What I am still waiting for the Fake News to do is some reporting on how Trump surrounded himself with so-called advisers like Giuliani, Bannon, Stone, Kushner, and others who used their Oval Office access to enrich themselves while pretending to be working for the public good.
Trump’s Presidency was the first time that the line between public service and private gain completely disappeared. And who was the foremost player in this regard? The President’s ‘personal’ attorney – Rudy Giuliani.
Which is what the CNN show should have been about instead of being a vehicle for endless CNN promotions and stupid ads.