NEW YORK CITY — City Hall didn’t like it much when reporters started asking for a mayoral response to former top cop Garry McCarthy’s estimation that Rahm Emanuel “didn’t even have the balls” to sign his termination papers.
Emanuel’s top spokesman fired off a snarky email in an attempt to brush off McCarthy’s assessment that the mayor is a back-stabbing coward.
“With all the actual issues going on right now, the fact that you’re focusing on this is total nonsense,” mayoral spokesman Adam Collins said in an email to a Sun-Times reporter.
It was unclear, however, if the “total nonsense” Collins mentioned was the language in McCarthy’s email or the fact that mentioning Emanuel’s genitals was an unwanted ad lib from Spin Machine script.
I ran into McCarthy in Manhattan after the Sun-Times ran the screaming front page headline “Balled Out” — a cheeky reference to the former top cop's jab at the mayor’s manhood obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.
McCarthy, in New York with former CompStat guru and current business partner Bob Tracy meeting with potential clients, told me he wasn’t particularly happy that the email to his wife was made public.
“They basically published a note I sent to my wife. I find it intrusive,” he said. “It is what it is. It’s legal. But it doesn’t make it OK.”
It didn’t seem to me that McCarthy was too ticked off that the paper used the email to throw its own punch at Emanuel either.
I asked McCarthy if he would shed some light on why he was disappointed that Rahm lacked courage, to use a better word, to sign his termination papers.
“No, I don’t want to talk about it,” McCarthy said. “That’s revealing something that I’m not making public yet about the way [Emanuel] went about it.”
McCarthy did find it ironic that Collins, who once was the top cop’s spokesman, seemed to be using a thinly veiled reference to Chicago’s shooting problem — “all the actual issues going on right now” — in an attempt to shield Emanuel from the embarrassment of a private punch at the mayor that landed below the belt, so to speak.
Consider the irony: In the wake of the Laquan McDonald video release when African-American aldermen and ministers were calling for Emanuel to resign, the mayor offered up McCarthy as a political sacrifice. Emanuel said his top cop had become “a distraction” to fixing Police Department problems in a city plagued with gun violence.
More than six months later, when the mayor’s alleged lack of “balls” became front-page fodder, the City Hall spin machine used “actual issues” — shootings and murders that have skyrocketed since McCarthy got canned — as a distraction aimed to protect the mayor from an embarrassing headline.
“Can you believe that?” McCarthy asked.
According to the Sun-Times, it’s right there in the email.
What’s not to believe?
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