Bloomberg suggests the Potter Stewart pornography test for bad teachers, defends Ray Kelly again

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Potter Stewart. (Wikipedia)
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During his weekly radio interview this morning with WOR's John Gambling, Mayor Michael Bloomberg again sprang to the defense of his police commissioner, and argued against a report that New Yorkers are rude. He also suggested that former supreme court justice Potter Stewart's threshold test for pornography could be applied to bad teachers.

"You can’t prove that a teacher is not effective," said the mayor. "But it’s like the Supreme Court, I forget which justice said it, he said, 'You know, I can’t define pornography, but I know it when I see it.' Well, same thing."

The Bloomberg administration is locked in negotiations with the teachers union over how to implement the teacher evaluations needed to secure some $58 million in funding. A main sticking point is whether or not teachers will be able to appeal their principals' poor evaluations, based heavily on student test scores, to an independent arbitrator.

This morning, the mayor once again argued against that proposal, noting that, "Virtually everybody lives in a world where their boss makes a subjective judgment."

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Bloomberg also once again defended his police commissioner, Ray Kelly, who is under fire from Muslim groups for, among other things, appearing in an inflammatory movie called The Third Jihad. Not only was the movie screened for some 1,500 police officers on police department grounds, but the commissioner's spokesman, Paul Browne, repeatedly gave false explanations in response to questions about it.

"Kelly was interviewed for I think they said 90 minutes a long time ago," said the mayor, who said he has not seen the movie. "They used 15 seconds, and he didn’t say anything that you would not expect Ray to say. Ray is a guy who has diversified our police department, he is very sensitive to all the communities. Ray Kelly has probably visited more mosques than most Muslims."

"The film was obviously, that goes without saying, not appropriate," the mayor continued. "I don’t think most of the cops stood there. They were being processed and it was just running on a loop. I assume most of them didn’t stop and listen and watch it carefully ... It wasn’t even shown at the police academy. And it wasn’t appropriate. And Ray stood up and said, 'Look, I apologize. We didn’t mean to insult anybody.'"

"They shouldn’t have shown the film is the bottom line," added Bloomberg. "Ray just after a 90-minute interview a long time ago, they just clipped it and put it in. And as soon as he found out about it, he did what he was supposed to do."

"Yanked it," said Gambling.

"Yanked it," said the mayor. "Yeah, come on, now let’s get on with it."

Unrelated, the mayor also argued against a recent report in Travel + Leisure magazine that New York is the rudest city in America.

"There was this, 'nasty' isn’t quite the right word, but misinformed article in one of the magazines that talked about everybody being rude," said the mayor. "When I talk to people that come here, they say exactly the reverse. They’re always schocked as to how nice New Yorkers are."