METROFOCUS: SEPTEMBER 18, 2019

September 19, 2019 at 5:30 am

As more vaping victims emerge many states are still pushing for the decriminalization of pot, but one former New York Times reporter is going against the grain, with a look at the mental and medical dangers of the marijuana. The Brooklyn Historical Society examines the county’s medical contributions to our metropolis in a fascinating new exhibit. Billionaire businessman, former mayor, political powerhouse.  A look at the multifaceted Michael Bloomberg.

Aired on September 18, 2019. 

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VAPING WORRIES AND MARIJUANA
LEGALIZATION.
STATES ARE RUSHING TO LEGALIZE
POT WITH PROMISES OF TAX WIND
FALLS AND EVEN A POTENTIAL
TOURISM.
WITHDRAWING HEALTH CONCERNS A
DEEPER LOOK.
A CASE AGAINST LEGALIZATION, A
SEGMENT EVERY PARENT NEEDS TO
SEE.
>>> CENTURIES OF HEALTH CARE,
THE BROOKLYN HISTORICAL SOCIETY
EXAMINES KING'S COUNTIES'S
MEDICAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO OUR
METROPOLIS IN A FASCINATING NEW
EXHIBIT.
WE HAVE A PREVIEW.
>>> PLUS HE IS A BILLIONAIRE, AN
ACTIVIST, A PHILANTHROPIST AND
THE FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK
CITY.
IN A MOMENT A LOOK AT THE MANY
LIVES OF MICHAEL BLOOMBERG.
THOSE STORIES AND MOTRE AS
"METROFOCUS" STARTS RIGHT NOW.
§
>> THIS IS "METROFOCUS," WITH
RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD AND
JENNA FLANAGAN.
"METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE BY
JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH, SUE AND
EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE SYLVIA
A. AND SIMON B. POYTA
PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT
ANTI-SEMITISM, BERNARD AND IRENE
SCHWARTZ, ROSLYN P. WALTER,
BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG AND
BY --
>>> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO
"METROFOCUS."
I'M RAFAEL PI ROMAN.
A NUMBER OF STATES IN THE
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HAVE
LEGALIZED RECREATIONAL
MARIJUANA, A NUMBER OF OTHERS
STATES INCLUDING NEW YORK AND
NEW JERSEY ARE ON THE VERGE OF
DOING THE SAME AND IF SOME OF
OUR MOST PROMINENT LAWMAKERS IN
WASHINGTON HAVE THEIR WAY
FEDERAL LEGALIZATION OF POT WILL
SOON FOLLOW.
SOME OF THE REASONINGS FOR THIS
PUSH TOWARDS LEGALIZATION ARE
WELL KNOWN, THAT FAR FROM BEING
HARMFUL TO OUR HEALTH, MARIJUANA
HAS ACTUALLY PROVEN TO BE
MEDICALLY BENEFICIAL.
LEGALIZATION LEADS TO THE
REDUCTION OF THE KIND OF
VIOLENCE THAT ACCOMPANIES THE
CRIMINAL MARIJUANA INDUSTRY.
THAT THE ENFORCEMENT OF
MARIJUANA LAWS HAS
PROPORTIONATELY FALLEN ON
COMMUNITIES OF COLOR AND RATHER
THAN SERVING AS A GATEWAY TO
MORE DANGEROUS DRUGS MARIJUANA
SERVES AS A GATEWAY AWAY FROM
THE HARDER STUFF.
THAT IN ANY EVENT IS HOW THE
NARRATIVE HAS GONE FOR THE PAST
25 YEARS OR SO, BUT IS THE
NARRATIVE TRUE?
IN HIS NEW BOOK "TELL YOUR
CHILDREN THE TRUTH ABOUT
MARIJUANA, MENTAL ILLNESS AND
VIOLENCE" ALEX BARONSEN ARGUES
VIGOROUSLY THAT IT IS NOT OR AT
LEAST NOT WITHOUT SERIOUS
QUALIFICATIONS.
ALEX, WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.
>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME.
>> YOU HEARD ME GIVE THE LITANY
OF THE REASONS WHY LEGALIZATION
IS NECESSARY.
BREAK IT UNDO, TIME PER HITTING,
ONE AT A TIME.
>> SURE.
>> IRS T. OF ALL THAT IS CORRECT
MARIJUANA IS MORE LIKELY TO BE
GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH THAN BAD.
HASN'T CANNABIS ROCHB TO BE
BENEFICIAL TO YOUR HEALTH AND
THAT'S WHY IT'S BEEN LEGAL FOR
MANY YEARS.
>> THAT'S CLEARLY UNTRUE.
SMOKED CANNABIS IS NOT
BENEFICIAL TO -- FOR NEARLY ANY
OF THE CONDITIONS THAT IT'S
CLAIMED TO HELP, THAT'S THE
NATIONAL ACADEMY OF MEDICINE
REVIEWED THE LITERATURE ON THIS
IN-DEPTH AND IN 2017 THEY PUT
OUT A REPORT AND SAID PEOPLE WHO
SAY IT'S GOOD FOR CANCER OR
IRRITABLE BOWL SYNDROME FOR
DEMENTIA, THERE IS A LITANY OF
CONDITIONS IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE
GOOD FOR THERE IS ESSENTIALLY NO
EVIDENCE IT'S GOOD FOR ANY OF
THOSE MENTION.
IT HELPS TREAT PAIN, ALCOHOL IS
ALSO A BIT OF A PAINKILLER BUT
IN THE LONG RUN THERE IS A GOOD
STUDY THAT I'M CAN A OUT SHOWING
THAT PEOPLE WHO HAD CHRONIC PAIN
AND USED CANNABIS REPORTED MORE
PAIN AFTER A FOUR-YEAR PERIOD
AND WERE MORE LIKELY TO USE
OPIOIDS.
LIKE OTHER INTOXICANTS IT ISN'T
ACTUALLY VERY GOOD FOR PAIN IN
THE LONG RUN.
>> HERE IS SOMETHING FROM ONE OF
YOUR CRITICS DIRECTLY RESPONDING
TO YOU, HE WRITES THAT THC HAS
BEEN AN FDA-APPROVED TREATMENT
FOR NAUSEA AND VOPTING
ASSOCIATED WITH CANCER,
CHEMOTHERAPY AND CANNABIS HAS
BEEN SHOWN TO BE EFFECTIVE IN
TREATING PARKINSON'S DISEASE,
ALS, M, BLAH COMA, PTSD,
DIABETES, ANXIETY, DEPRESSION
AND A WIDE RANGE OF OTHER
AILMENTS.
>> THE FIRST PART OF THAT
STATEMENT IS TRUE, THC WHICH IS
THE PSYCHO ACTIVE INGREDIENT IN
CANNABIS, THE STUFF THAT GETS
YOU HIGH HAS BEEN APPROVED BY
THE FDA TO TREAT THAT PARTICULAR
CONDITION.
NOTHING ELSE.
BUT ALL THE OTHER STUFF HE SAYS
THAT CAN IS B. IS IS GOOD FOR
IT'S NOT TRUE.
THIS IS WHAT THE ADVOCATES DO,
THEY TAKE THE VERY SMALL SLIVER
OF MEDICINE THAT CANNABIS OR THC
OR CBD WHICH IS ANOTHER CHEMICAL
HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO BE GOOD FOR
AND THEY JUMP TO A MASSIVE ARRAY
OF CONDITIONS FOR WHICH THERE IS
NO EVIDENCE OR IN MOST CASES NO
EVIDENCE, IN A FEW CASES ALMOST
NO EVIDENCE.
>> SO WHAT IS THE HARM.
>> WHAT HARM TO YOUR HEALTH?
>> OKAY, SO SMOKING, YOU KNOW,
IN GENERAL IS NOT GREAT FOR YOU.
BUT MY BOOK FOCUSES SPECIFICALLY
ON THE PSYCHO ACTIVE HARMS OF
CANNABIS.
THAT CANNABIS IS HARMFUL TO YOUR
MENTAL HEALTH AND THAT
SPECIFICALLY PROLONGED USE OF
CANNABIS BY ADOLESCENTS HAS BEEN
SHOWN TO BE LINKED TO
SCHIZOPHRENIA, WHICH IS REALLY
THE MOST DEVASTATING MENTAL
ILLNESS OF ALL, EACH TEMPORARY
USE OF CANNABIS WITH CAUSE
TEMPORARY PSYCHOSIS EVEN IN
HEALTHY ADULTS.
I DON'T THINK EVEN ADVOCATES FOR
THIS DRUG WOULD ARGUE WITH THE
FACT THAT IT CAUSES PARANOIA IN
A LOT OF PEOPLE AND PAIR JOY I
CAN'T --
>> TEMPORARY PARANOIA.
>> OKAY, TEMPORARY PARANOIA,
YES, BUT -- AND, YOU KNOW, THIS
HAS BEEN A BIG ARGUMENT AROUND
THE BOOK.
WHEN YOU'RE ARGUING ABOUT
WHETHER CANNABIS CAN CAUSE
SCHIZOPHRENIA AND CAUSE
PERMANENT PSYCHOSIS, THE FACT
THAT IT CAN CAUSE TEMPORARY
PSYCHOSIS IN HEALTHY PEOPLE IS
PART OF THE REASON WHY IT CAN
CAUSE PERMANENT PSYCHOSIS IS A
GOOD ONE.
>> YOU LAY OUT A BUNCH OF
STUDIES IN THE BOOK ABOUT
LINKING MARIJUANA TO PSYCHOSIS.
WE DON'T HAVE TIME FOR A BUNCH
OF THEM.
GIVE US ONE EXAMPLE THAT ONE
UNBIASED OBSERVER WOULD SAY THAT
PROVES IT.
>> THE BEST ONE WAS THE FIRST
BIG ONE, CAME OUT IN 1987 IN THE
LANCET, COVERED 50,000 SPEEDISH
ARMY RECRUITS WHO WERE IN SWEDEN
RECRUITED INTO THE MILITARY IN
1969-1970 AND THEY WERE FOLLOWED
UP TO SEE WHO DEVELOPED
PSYCHOSIS 15 YEARS LATER OR SO.
IF YOU USED CANNABIS MORE THAN
TEN TIMES, EVEN ACCOUNTING FOR
OTHER LIKE FAMILIAL RISK FACTORS
AND OTHER RISK FACTORS YOU HAD A
MORE THAN DOUBLING OF THE RISK,
2.3 TIMES THE RISK OF PSYCHOSIS.
OTHER STUDIES HAVE SHOWN THAT
RATE RATIO OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
IF YOU USE IN ADOLESCENTS YOU
ARE TWO TO THREE TIMES AS LIKELY
TO DEVELOP SCHIZOPHRENIA.
IT IS A TERRIBLE DISEASE, IT IS
TERRIBLE FOR THE SUFFERERS,
DESTROYS FAMILIES.
IF WE ARE TALKING ABOUT
SOMETHING THAT ONLY HAPPENS TO
ONE IN 100 PEOPLE WHO USE
CANNABIS REGULARLY IT IS SUCH A
BAD DISEASE THAT WE NEED TO TALK
ABOUT IT.
>> ALL RIGHT.
FOR TIME SAKE I WILL MOVE ON.
ELECTED OFFICIALS THAT WE HAVE
HAD ON THIS PROGRAM USUALLY
FOCUS ON SOMETHING THAT IS
PROBABLY TRUE HERE IN NEW YORK
CITY AT LEAST, THAT THE LAWS,
MARIJUANA LAWS,
DISPROPORTIONATELY AFFECT
COMMUNITIES OF COLOR,
PARTICULARLY AFRICAN-AMERICAN
COMMUNITIES.
IS THAT A SERIOUS CONCERN?
>> THAT IS TRUE, THERE'S ZERO
QUESTION THAT MARIJUANA ARRESTS
TEND TO FOCUS ON THE BLACK
COMMUNITY.
THE IDEA THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE GO
TO PRISON FOR CANNABIS
POSSESSION OR USE IS NOT TRUE.
NOT JUST IN STATES --
>> BUT AS YOUR CRITICS HAVE SAID
ALREADY OTHER NEGATIVE EFFECTS
OF BEING ARRESTED FOR MARIJUANA.
I MEAN, IT'S BAD FOR YOUR JOB.
>> ABSOLUTELY.
AND I'M NOT IN FAVOR OF
PROHIBITING MARIJUANA.
40 MILLION PEOPLE USED AM RJ IN
2017, WE ARE NOT GOING TO ARREST
THEM OR SEND THEM ALL TO JAIL.
DEE CRIMINALIZATION, INDIVIDUAL
POSSESSION, USE IS NOT GOING TO
BE SUBJECT TO ARREST, YOU WON'T
WIND UP IN JAIL, MAYBE YOU GET A
VIOLATION, THE EQUIVALENT OF
LITTERING OR PARKING TICKET AND
SO WE'RE GOING TO SAY PERSONAL
USE IS EFFECTIVELY NOT SOMETHING
THAT THE POLICE ARE GOING TO
WORRY ABOUT, BUT WE ARE NOT
GOING TO ALLOW A LEGALIZED
SYSTEM WHERE THERE ARE COMPANIES
PROMOTING THIS, WHERE THERE ARE
COMPANIES LOBBYING AGAINST THE
SCIENCE ON THIS.
THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED WITH
TOBACCO AND TOBACCO KILLED 10
MILLION PEOPLE.
>> A LOT OF STATES ARE FOR
LEGAL
LEGALIZATION.
IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO STOP IT?
>> THERE'S NOTHING I CAN DO TO
STOP IT.
I WROTE THE BOOK.
>> SHOULD IT BE STOPPED?
>> WHY IN MY OPINION, YES, BUT
"TELL YOUR CHILDREN" IS ABOUT
THE SCIENCE AND MEDICINE AROUND
THIS.
IT'S MORE PARENTS TO WANT TO
TALK TO THEIR KIDS WHO MIGHT BE
USING, IT'S FOR A 25-YEAR-OLD
WHO IS STARTING TO GET PARANOID.
THAT'S REALLY WHO BOOK IS FOR.
>> ONE OF THE LITANY ITEMS THAT
I FORGOT TO MENTION IS THAT IT'S
A GATEWAY -- IT'S FAR FROM BEING
A GATEWAY TO HARDER DRUGS LIKE
REEFER MADNESS, IT'S A GATEWAY
AWAY FROMERED HAD AER DRUGS AND
THEY SAY STATISTICS PROVE IT.
>> THAT'S A BIZARRE ASSERTION.
THERE IS NOBODY WHO WOULD
DISPUTE THAT CANNABIS IS A
GATEWAY TO HARDER DRUGS, THE
QUESTION IS WHY.
SOME PEOPLE SAY IT'S A GATEWAY
BECAUSE IT'S ILLEGAL YOU HAVE TO
GET IT FROM A DRUG DEALER WHO
MIGHT HAVE HEROIN OR COCAINE.
IN THAT SAYS WE SHOULD LEGALIZE
IT, MOVE IT OUT OF THERE.
THAT'S A LEGITIMATE ARGUMENT FOR
LEGALIZATION.
THE COUNTERARGUMENT IS THIS
PHARMACOLOGICALLY PRIMES YOUR
BRAIN TO WANT MORE EUPHORIC
CHEMICALS AND IN THE LONG RUN
THAT -- THAT'S GOING TO DRIVE
YOU TO USE HARDER DRUGS.
I WOULD SAY THAT THAT IS AN OPEN
QUESTION WHETHER IT'S -- WHETHER
IT'S MORE A SOCIAL OR
PHARMACOLOGICAL EFFECT, BUT
THERE IS TONS OF EVIDENCE THAT
SHOW THAT PEOPLE WHO ARE ON
METHADONE, IF THEY START USING
CANNABIS THEY ARE MORE LIKELY TO
START USING OPIOIDS AGAIN,
INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE -- WHO ARE
USING CANNABIS ARE MORE LIKELY
TO BECOME OPIOID USERS YEARS
LATER.
THERE'S VERY GOOD EVIDENCE.
THE STUDIES THAT YOU'RE TALKING
ABOUT ARE REALLY BAD
EPIDEMIOLOGICAL STUDIES.
THEY DON'T --
>> THEY SAY, FOR EXAMPLE, IN THE
STATES WHERE MARIJUANA HAVE BEEN
LEGALIZED THE RATE OF OPIOID
ADDICTION HAD DECREASED OR HAD
NOT RISEN SHOO WHAT THEY SAID
WAS IN STATES THAT LEGALIZED
MEDICAL MARIJUANA OPIOID
OVERDOSE DEATHS DECREASED.
THAT'S A 2014 PAPER BASED ON PRE
2010 DATA.
THE STATES THAT LEGALIZED WERE
ALL IN THE WEST, THE STATES
WHERE THE OPIOID OVERDOSE
EPIDEMIC WAS THE WORST WERE ALL
IN AN LACH CHA.
IF YOU LOOK AT MORE RECENT DATA
NOW THAT LEGALIZATION HAS SPREAD
AND THE EPIDEMIC HAS SPREAD THAT
RELATIONSHIP HAS DISAPPEARED BUT
YOU WILL NOT HEAR ADVOCATES SAY
THAT.
THEY'RE STILL TALKING ABOUT A
PAPER THAT IS FIVE YEARS OLD
BASED ON TEN-YEAR-OLD DATA.
>> ALEX, WITH HE WILL HAVE TO
SEND IT THERE.
THE BOOK IS "TELL YOUR CHILDREN
THE TRUTH ABOUT MARIJUANA,
MENTAL ILLNESS AND VIOLENCE."
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US
INTO THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.
>>> FOR AS LONG AS IT HAS
EXISTED BROOKLYN HAS BEEN AT THE
EPICENTER OF HEALTH CARE.
FROM THE DAWN OF REPRODUCTIVE
RIGHTS WITH THE NATION'S FIRST
EVER BIRTH CONTROL CLINIC TO THE
CURRENT MEASLES OUTBRA HE CAN IN
WILLIAMSBURG IT HAS EXISTED AS A
MICROCOSM OF THE LARGER HEALTH
CARE DEBATE.
A NEW EXHIBITION AT THE BROOKLYN
HISTORICAL SOCIETY CALLED TAKING
CARE OF BROOKLYN, STORIES OF
SICKNESS AND HEALTH, IS
EXAMINING HOW FOR CENTURIES
BROOKLYNITES HAVE COME TO
UNDERSTAND AND EXPERIENCE
ILLNESS.
WITH MORE DETAILS ON THE EXHIBIT
IS JULIA GULIA FROM THE BROOKLYN
HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
NICE TO HAVE YOU HERE.
>> THANKS FOR HAVING SHE.
>> THANKS START OFF WITH THE
SOCIETY ITSELF.
IT'S A FASCINATING PLACE.
IT HE WILL ME A LITTLE BIT MORE
ABOUT ITS HISTORY.
>> BROOKLYN HISTORICAL SOCIETY
IS A 156-YEAR-OLD INSTITUTION IN
THE HEART OF BROOKLYN HEIGHTS.
WE ARE A LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES,
WE ARE AN ACTIVE MUSEUM, A HUB
OF EDUCATION AND REALLY A
COMMUNITY CENTER.
REALLY PIECING TOGETHER ALL THE
STORIES OF BROOKLYN'S PAST AND
TYING THEM TO OUR PRESENT DAY
WORLD.
>> AND IT'S A BREATHTAKING
FACILITY.
I HAVE NOT BEEN THERE, I HAVE TO
SAY I'VE SEEN PICTURES OF IT, I
PLAN ON GOING, BUT YOU HAD
MENTIONED TO ME THAT ITS
INTERIOR, ESPECIALLY THE
LIBRARY, IS ACTUALLY A
LANDMARKED INTERIOR.
>> THAT'S RIGHT.
THE OUTSIDE OF OUR BUILDING IS
LAND MARKED AS MANY BUILDINGS IN
NEW YORK RRK BUT A MUCH RARER
DESIGNATION IS AN INTERIOR
LANDMARK.
BROOKLYN HISTORICAL SOCIETY'S
LIBRARY IS ONE OF ONLY THREE
LIBRARIES IN THE CITY THAT
ACTUALLY HAVE THIS INTERIOR
LANDMARK STATUS AND IT IS A
REMARKABLE PLACE TO STUDY, TO
LOOK AT PRIMARY SOURCE
DOCUMENTS, TO EXPLORE THE STACKS
SURROUNDED BY THE WOOD COLUMNS
AND THE ORIGINAL LIGHTING AND
ALL OF THE BOOKS THAT MAKE UP
THE HISTORY AND CULTURE OF
BROOKLYN.
>> IT LOOKS LIKE IT'S TRULY A
BREATHTAKING ENVIRONMENT FOR
PEOPLE.
>> IT IS.
>> AT ALL THOSE LEVELS.
LET'S TALK ABOUT THIS EXHIBIT.
WHAT'S THE GENESIS OF THIS?
>> SO WE STARTED RESEARCH THIS
EXHIBITION ABOUT THREE YEARS AGO
AND THIS REALLY CAME OUT OF AN
OBSERVATION THAT I MADE SPENDING
TIME IN OUR LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES
THAT SO MANY OF OUR COLLECTIONS
WERE ACTUALLY ABOUT HEALTH IN SO
MANY DIFFERENT WAYS AND IN SOME
WAYS THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF
BROOKLYN COULD BE SEEN THROUGH
THIS LENS OF SICKNESS AND
HEALTH.
AS WE BEGAN TO DIG IN WE
COULDN'T HELP BUT NOTICE THE
CONTEMPORARY RESONANCES.
SO AT THE TIME IT WAS EBOLA AND
AS OUR PROJECT MOVED ON IT
BECAME ZIKA AND THEN TODAY NOW
WITH OUR EXHIBITION OPENING IT'S
THE MEASLES OUTBREAK IN BROOKLYN
THAT IS REALLY ON ALL OF OUR
MINDS AND IT REALLY SHOWS, I
THINK, SO SALIENTLY THAT EVENTS
AND DECISIONS OF THE PAST
ABSOLUTELY SHAPE THE WORLD, THE
BROOKLYN WE LIVE IN TODAY.
>> WHAT DO YOU THINK IT IS ABOUT
BROOKLYN, ABOUT ITS COMPOSITION,
ITS INFRASTRUCTURE, ALL OF THESE
THAT HAS PUT IT AT SOMETHING OF
THE CENTER OF SO MANY DIFFERENT
CHALLENGES AND ISSUES OVER THE
YEARS, ESPECIALLY IN MEDICINE.
>> WELL, YOU KNOW, THE
EXHIBITION IS ABOUT SICKNESS AND
HEALTH AND PEOPLE OFTEN THINK
GERMS, BIOLOGY AND THOSE THINGS
OF COURSE ALL FACTOR INTO OUR
HEALTH, BUT ACTUALLY WHAT IS
REALLY AT THE HEART OF THE
PEOPLE'S EXPERIENCES OF HEALTH
ARE SOCIAL ISSUES.
AND THINGS LIKE URBAN CROWDING,
DIVERSITY, IMMIGRATION, RACISM
AND XENOPHOBIA, SEXISM, ALL OF
THESE THINGS HAVE SUCH A KEY
PART IN SHAPING THE WAY THAT WE
EXPERIENCE HEALTH AND BROOKLYN
IS GROUND ZERO FOR THOSE
EXPERIENCES.
BROOKLYN IS CROWDED, IT IS
DIVERSE, IT HAS GIVEN RISE TO
REMARKABLE MOMENTS OF ACTIVISM
AND CHANGE AND ALSO KEY MOMENTS
OF OPPRESSION.
IT'S ALSO A PLACE OF INNOVATION
WHERE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES
GOT THEIR START AND WHERE JUST
AVERAGE ORDINARY PEOPLE ON THE
STREET LOOKED AROUND AND SAW
INJUSTICE AND TOOK IT INTO THEIR
OWN HANDS TO MAKE CHANGES.
SO IN SOME WAYS WHERE BROOKLYN
BEGINS THE REST OF THE WORLD
GOES.
>> LET'S TALK ABOUT SOME ASPECTS
OF THIS.
THERE'S SO MUCH THERE, OBVIOUSLY
WE CAN'T GET INTO ALL OF THEM
AND WE WANT PEOPLE TO GO BECAUSE
THEY SHOULD GO, IT'S
FASCINATING.
LET ME GET BACK TO SOMETHING I
MENTIONED IN THE INTRODUCTION
AND THAT WAS THE FIRST BIRTH
CONTROL CENTER.
WHO YOU DID THAT COME ABOUT?
>> SO MARGARET SANGER WAS BY THE
TIME WE GET TO THE 1910s A VERY
ACTIVE PROGRESSIVE ERA REFORMER,
VERY INTERESTED IN THE
EXPERIENCES OF POOR PEOPLE AND
PARTICULARLY WOMEN, AND OBSERVED
PARTICULARLY IN CROWDED PLACES
LIKE THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF
BROWNSVILLE AND BROOKLYN THE
DELETERIOUS IMPACT THAT HAVING
TOO MANY CHILDREN HAD ON PEOPLE
AND PARTICULARLY ON POOR WOMEN.
THESE WERE ISSUES OF HEALTH, THE
AFFECT OF THEIR LIFE OUTCOMES,
IT AFFECTED INFANT MORTALITY
RATES BUT SHE ALSO NOTICED --
AND THESE SOCIAL IMPACTS, IT
AFFECTED POVERTY, PEOPLE WERE
MORE LIKELY TO REMAIN IN
POVERTY, NOT BE ABLE TO TAKE
CARE OF THEIR CHILDREN AND AT
THE SAME TIME THAT SHE'S MAKING
THESE SORT OF OBSERVATIONS A
DIFFERENT GROUP OF AMERICANS ARE
SAYING THAT THINGS ABOUT BIRTH
CONTROL ARE OBSCENE AND THEY
SHOULDN'T BE DISTRIBUTED LIEU
THE MAIL OR REALLY KNOWN ABOUT
IN ANY WAY.
SO ACTUALLY IN MANY STATES,
INCLUDING NEW YORK, IT WAS
ILLEGAL TO DISTRIBUTE ANY
INFORMATION ABOUT BIRTH CONTROL.
>> I DIDN'T REALIZE THAT.
>> THAT'S EXACTLY RIGHT.
A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK THAT THESE
ISSUES --
>> YOU THINK THEY WERE DEBATED
OESHLLY BUT YOU DIDN'T REALIZE
THAT THEY WERE CRIMINAL.
>> ABSOLUTELY.
MARGARET SANGER KNEW THIS.
BY OPENING UP THE FIRST BIRTH
CONTROL CLINIC IN 1916 HERE IN
BROOKLYN SHE WAS PUSHING THE
LAW.
SHE KNEW SHE HAD THE POSSIBILITY
OF GETTING ARRESTED AND, IN
FACT, SHE KIND OF HOPED SHE
WOULD BE.
BIRTH CONTROL CLINIC WAS WIDELY
WELL RECEIVED, HUNDREDS OF WOMEN
WERE ACTUALLY CARED FOR THERE
AND GIVEN COUNSEL AND BIRTH
CONTROL IN THE NINE DAYS THAT
THE CLINIC WAS OPEN BEFORE IT
WAS SHUT DOWN BY POLICE
OFFICERS.
MARGARET SANGER AND THE WOMEN
SHE OPENED IT WITH DID JAIL
TIME, BUT ACTUALLY THEIR SORT OF
COMMITMENT TO SHINING LIGHT ON
THE INEQUITY OF THESE LAWS
EVENTUALLY LED TO A CHANGE IN
NEW YORK STATE LAW ABOUT THE
DISSEMINATION OF BIRTH CONTROL
AND INFORMATION ABOUT BIRTH
CONTROL.
>> LAST QUESTION FOR YOU.
IS THERE PROGRAMS OR EVENTS THAT
ARE ALL TAKING PLACE, BUT IF YOU
CAN'T GET THERE YOU ALSO HAVE A
PODCAST.
>> WE DO.
WE HAVE A POST CAST CALLED FLAT
BUSH AND MAIN, IT'S BEEN RUNNING
FOR ABOUT THREE YEARS, WE HAVE A
WONDERFUL FAN BASE AND IT'S A
GREAT WAY TO GET THE STORIES
THAT WE TELL IN OUR BUILDINGS
OUT TO THE WORLD.
SO WE'VE ALREADY DONE A NUMBER
OF EPISODES ON HISTORY OF COLLAR
RA IN BROOKLYN, WOMEN DOCTORS IN
BROOKLYN, THE RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN PUBLIC HEALTH AND CIVIL
RIGHTS.
YOU CAN FIND THAT ON APPLE
PODCAST, STITCHER OR IN I
PODCAST PLATFORM YOU USE.
>> PODCASTS ARE GREAT BUT GET TO
THE BUILDING.
>> PLEASE DO.
>> WE HAVE GREAT PROGRAMMING
COMING UP.
>> IT'S A PRESSURE TALKING WITH
YOU.
A MARVELOUS OPERATION DOING GOOD
WORK.
WE WILL GET YOU BACK NEXT TIME
FOR THE NEXT EXHIBIT.
>> PLEASE DO.
>> FOR YOU FOLKS OUT THERE FOR
MORE INFORMATION ON THE TWIBT
CALLED TAKING CARE OF BROOKLYN,
STORIES OF SICKNESS AND HEALTH
AT THE BROOKLYN HISTORICAL
SOCIETY MAKE SURE YOU VISIT US
AT METROFOCUS.ORG.
§
>>> BUSINESSMAN, POLITICIAN,
PHILANTHROPIST, MICHAEL
BLOOMBERG THE BILLIONAIRE
INNOVATOR WHO RAN NEW YORK CITY
FOR 12 YEARS IS A MAN WHO HAVE
TAKEN MANY DISTINCT AND
SEEMINGLY CONTRADICTORY ROLES
OVER THE YEAR PRETTY MUCH
SUCCEEDING AT ALL OF THEM.
WHILE BLOOMBERG IS ONE OF THE
MOST INFLUENTIAL PUBLIC FIGURES
IN AMERICA HE IS ALSO ONE OF THE
MOST PRIVATE.
NOW A NEW BIOGRAPHY SEEKS TO
PULL BACK THE CURTAIN ON THE MAN
WHO CONTINUED TO DIVIDE OPINION
IN HIS ADOPT A CITY AND AROUND
THE COUNTRY.
THE MANY LIVES OF MICHAEL
BLOOMBERG TRACES HIS PATH FROM
HIS MODEST JEWISH WORKING CLASS
UPBRINGING IN MEDFORD,
MASSACHUSETTS TO HIS SURPRISING
ADMISSION INTO THE IVY LEAGUE TO
HIS FORMATIVE YEARS IN WALL
STREET WHERE HE DEVELOPED THE
TECHNOLOGY THAT REVOLUTIONIZED
THE WORLD OF TRADING, MAKING HIM
ONE OF THE RICHEST MEN IN THE
WORLD.
THE BOOK ALSO TAKES READERS
INSIDE CITY HALL DURING THE
BLOOMBERG YEARS, GIVING INSIGHT
INTO THE POLICIES AND DECISIONS
THAT SHAPED NEW YORK CITY TO
THIS DAY AND WILL LIKELY
CONTINUE TO SHAPE THE CITY FOR
YEARS TO COME.
JOINING US NOW IS THE AUTHOR OF
THE MANY LIVES OF MICHAEL
BLOOMBERG, ELEANOR RANDOLPH.
WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.
>> THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HAVING
ME.
>> ELEANOR, AS THE BOOK'S TITLE
INDICATES, YOU COVER A LOT OF
THE DIFFERENT LIVES THAT MICHAEL
BLOOMBERG LIVED SO LET'S START
WITH THE FIRST ONE.
>> OKAY.
>> HIS CHILDHOOD IN THE MODEST
TOWN OF BEDFORD, MASSACHUSETTS.
WAS THERE ANY HINT, ANY
INDICATION IN THAT CHILDHOOD
THAT HE WOULD BECOME THE
AMAZINGLY SUCCESSFUL PERSON THAT
HE DID?
>> YOU KNOW, IT'S EASY TO LOOK
BACK AND SEE THOSE THINGS NOW.
ONE OF THE THINGS HIS MOTHER
SAID, HIS MOTHER DIED WHEN SHE
WAS 102, BUT BEFORE SHE DIED SHE
SAID HE LIKED TO RUN EVERYTHING
AND THAT SOUND FAMILIAR GOING
THROUGH ALL 77 YEARS, YOU KNOW.
HE TOLD PEOPLE, YOU KNOW, I
NEVER WANT TO BE ON A BOARD, I
ALWAYS WANT TO BE THE HEAD OF
THE BOARD.
>> TALK ABOUT HIS EXPERIENCE IN
WALL STREET.
HOW MUCH THAT SHAPED HIM.
>> YOU KNOW, I THINK -- I THINK,
YOU KNOW, WHEN WE GET TO TALKING
ABOUT HIM AS MAYOR, I THINK ONE
OF THE REASONS HE WAS SO STIFF,
YOU KNOW, WHEN HE GAVE SPEECHES
WAS THAT HE WAS TRYING NOT TO
USE THE SORT OF ARGO OF WALL
STREET BECAUSE IT WAS A ROUGH
PLACE.
I MEAN, I DON'T -- I CAN'T SAY
WHAT THEY ACTUALLY SAID WHEN
THEY SAID HELLO AT SALMON
BROTHERS BUT THE LAST WORD WAS
YOU.
IT WAS JUST TOUGH, YOU KNOW,
HEY, HARVARD, GET ME COFFEE.
IF YOU WANTED TO BE RICH, WHICH
OF COURSE HE WANTED TO BE, YOU
HAD TO PLAY IN THAT VERY ROUGH
ARENA.
HE MADE THE WRONG ENEMIES AND
THEY -- THEY BUMPED HIM
UPSTAIRS, YOU KNOW, IT WAS A
GREAT DEMOTION.
HE HAD BEEN A FANCY TRADER AND
THEY BUMPED HIM UPSTAIRS TO DEAL
WITH COMPUTERS AND THAT WAS
WOMEN'S WORK, IT WAS LIKE BEING
THE WATER BOY AT THE -- ON THE
FOOTBALL TEAM, YOU KNOW, AND SO
THAT WAS ONE OF THE BEST THINGS
THAT EVER HAPPENED TO HIM.
>> HE WAS FIRED.
>> HE WAS FIRED.
AND HE VERY OFTEN TALKS ABOUT
BEING FIRED AND IT'S A REALLY
IMPORTANT THEME IN A LOT OF HOW
HE DEALS WITH HIS EMPLOYEES.
HE HATES FIRING PEOPLE EVEN
THOUGH HE DOES IT.
THERE IS A LONG LIST THERE, BUT
MORE IMPORTANT THAN THAT
ACTUALLY WAS THAT WHEN THEY
DEMOTED HIM AND MADE HIM THIS
SORT OF COMPUTER NERD, THEY GAVE
HIM THE TICKET TO BECOME THE
BILLIONAIRE THAT HE IS BECAUSE
HE WAS -- HE AND HIS FRIENDS
WERE SOME OF THE FIRST PEOPLE
WHO REALIZED THAT COMPUTERS WERE
TAKING OVER THE PAPER CULTURE OF
WALL STREET.
>> SO AFTER HIS FIRST FEW
BILLIONS HE GOT RESTLESS AND YOU
SAY THAT'S THE WORD THAT'S OFTEN
USED TO DESCRIBE HIM.
>> THAT'S RIGHT.
>> AND HE DECIDES TO RUN FOR
MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY, LIKE
MOST PEOPLE, MOST BILLIONAIRES
SO NOWADAYS, I GUESS.
WHAT WAS THE REACTION IN THE
BUSINESS WORLD, THE POLITICAL
WORLD AND AMONG NEW YORKERS WHEN
HE ANNOUNCED THAT HE WAS
RUNNING?
>> PEOPLE THOUGHT IT WAS JUST
GOOFY, YOU KNOW, AND THE
POLITICAL CLASS, I HAVE TO SAY I
WAS PROBABLY ONE OF THEM, PEOPLE
JUST THOUGHT, YOU KNOW, THIS GUY
IS GOING TO SPEND A TON OF
MONEY, ALL OUR FRIENDS ARE GOING
TO GET RICH AND THEN HE WILL
DISAPPEAR.
YOU KNOW, THERE ARE A COUPLE
REASONS WHY HE WON THAT RACE.
YOU KNOW, 9/11 WAS SO -- I MEAN,
YOU KNOW --
>> IN FACT, I REMEMBERED THE
PRIMARY FOR THAT -- FOR THAT
ELECTION IT WAS ON SEPTEMBER
11th, 2001.
>> THAT'S RIGHT.
>> IT HAD TO BE DONE OVER AGAIN,
BUT THAT WAS THE DAY.
>> THAT'S RIGHT.
AND, YOU KNOW, I MEAN, EVERY NEW
YORKER KNOWS WHERE YOU WERE AT
THAT MOMENT AND IT SEEMED TO ME
THAT THE CITY WAS KIND OF SHAKEN
AS MUCH AS THAT REALLY CAN
HAPPEN TO THIS BIG CITY AND, YOU
KNOW, BLOOMBERG LOOKED LIKE HE
COULD RUN THE CITY AS WE WOULD
BE SAFE WITH HIM.
>> SO HE WINS.
WHAT INNOVATIONS DID HE BRING TO
HIS NEW JOB?
>> WELL, YOU KNOW, HE WALKED IN,
THE FIRST THING HE DID WAS HE
SAID I'M NOT GOING TO HIRE
PEOPLE JUST BECAUSE THEY'RE
DEMOCRATS OR REPUBLICANS.
HE HAPPENED TO BE A REPUBLICAN
AT THAT MOMENT, YOU KNOW, HE
SORT OF CHANGED PARTY A LOT, BUT
HE WAS A REPUBLICAN AT THAT TIME
AND HE SAID I'M NOT -- YOU KNOW,
I DON'T OWE ANYBODY ANYTHING.
SO I WANT TO HIRE THE BEST
PEOPLE WHO WILL WORK FOR ME.
>> RUDY GIULIANI HAS NOT BEEN
SHY ABOUT CRITICIZING OUR
CURRENT MAYOR, BILL de BLASIO,
AND HIS FAILURES IN POLICY, BUT
MAYOR BLOOMBERG HAS NOT AND I
FIND THAT INTERESTING BECAUSE de
BLASIO HAD NO PROBLEM
CRITICIZING MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND
CLEARLY THEIR WORK ETHIC IS VERY
DIFFERENT FROM A 50 TO 70 HOUR
WEEK GUY TO A SEVEN HOUR A MONTH
GUY.
WHY?
WHY HAS HE BEEN SO SILENT?
>> HE VOWED FROM THE DAY HE LEFT
OFFICE THAT HE WOULD NOT
CRITICIZE HIS SUCCESSOR, EVEN
THOUGH HIS SUCCESSOR CAMPAIGNED
AS THE ANTI-BLOOMBERG.
AND HE TOLD HIS STAFF, I DON'T
WANT YOU LEAKING TO THE PRESS, I
DON'T WANT YOU TO TALK TO PEOPLE
ABOUT de BLASIO EVEN THOUGH de
BLASIO USED, YOU KNOW, USED HIM
AS THE WHIPPING BOY ALL THE
TIME.
>> BLOOMBERG CONSIDERED AFTER HE
LEFT OFFICE HE CONSIDERED
RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT I THINK
FOUR TIMES YOU HAVE IN YOUR TIME
BOO K.
>> WHILE HE WAS IN OFFICE, TOO
INTO WHILE HE WAS IN OFFICE,
TOO, BUT HE ULTIMATELY NEVER
TOOK THE PLUNGE.
WHY?
>> HE SAYS THAT HE DIDN'T THINK
HE COULD MAKE IT THROUGH THE
PRIMARIES.
THAT'S THIS TIME, THIS IS THE
2020 RACE.
HE'S NOW A DEMOCRAT, AS YOU
KNOW, AND -- BUT IN 2016 HE CAME
VERY CLOSE TO RUNNING AND THEY,
YOU KNOW, DID ALL THE POLLS AND
ALL THAT SORT OF STUFF.
THEN HE DECIDED THAT IF HE RAN
AS AN INDEPENDENT, WHICH IS WHAT
HE WANTED TO DO, THAT HE WOULD
PROBABLY PULL VOTES AWAY FROM
HILLARY CLINTON AND GIVE THE
ELECTION TO DONALD TRUMP AND HE
DID NOT WANT THAT TO BE IN THE
FIRST PARAGRAPH OF HIS OBITUARY.
>> THIS IS WHAT HE SAID.
YEAH.
SO NOW HE'S 77 YEARS OLD.
ARE WE DONE WITH THE MANY LIVES
OF MICHAEL BLOOMBERG?
IS HE NO LONGER REINN VVENTING
HIMSELF?
>> I THINK WHAT HE WANTS TO DO
RIGHT NOW, HE WANTS TO MAKE SURE
THAT EITHER DONALD TRUMP IS NOT
REELECTED OR TRUMPISM HAS -- YOU
HAVE AN ALTERNATIVE TO IT.
HE IS ON CLIMATE CHANGE, GUNS, A
LOT OF OTHER -- CERTAINLY THE
ENVIRONMENT.
HE IS REALLY TRYING TO BE THE
ANTI-TRUMP.
AND SO HE CAN DO THAT, SO WE
CALL HIM THE ONNY WANT CAN A
NOBODIY.
>> ELEANOR, THE BOOK IS THE MANY
LIVES OF MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, IT'S
A GREAT READ.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US
TODAY TO TALK ABOUT IT.
>> THANK YOU.
I ENJOYED IT.
§
"METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE BY
JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH, SUE AND
EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE SYLVIA
A. AND SIMON B. POYTA
PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT
ANTI-SEMITISM, BERNARD AND IRENE
SCHWARTZ, ROSLYN P. WALTER,
BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG AND
BY --

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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