SNL Suggests What the Mayor Might Say About Protesters

New York’s billionaire mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg, has tread a careful line in responding to the Occupy Wall Street protest movement — expressing support for the protesters’ First Amendment rights, while criticizing their anti-Wall Street message.

The mayor’s cautious equivocation, however, did not spare him from the writers at “Saturday Night Live.”

Portrayed by Fred Armisen, the faux-mayor gave a mock televised address, delivered in a nasal, Massachusetts accent and with the mayor’s typically flat intonation.

“Tonight I want to address the demonstrations currently taking place in Lower Manhattan in what is being called Occupy Wall Street. While these protests began here in New York, they have spread to dozens of other cities throughout the globe, proving once again that New York sets the trends and the rest of the world follows.”

Here he paused to flash a smile and then briefly flare his nostrils and roll his eyes — imitating one of the mayor’s involuntary facial reflexes, the kind that suggests that he finds all this political speech-making stuff slightly ridiculous.

Mr. Armisen then urged the protesters, many of them from out of town, to take in some of the city’s tourist attractions during their indefinite stay.

“The weather here has been absolutely gorgeous, and while you’re here, why not cap off a day of protests with dinner and one of New York’s many world class restaurants? Or take in a Broadway show like ‘Mary Poppins,’ currently at the New Amsterdam Theater?”

“Whatever you may have heard,” the faux-mayor went on,“I want to make demonstrators as welcome and as comfortable as possible.”

He apologized for the incidents of protesters being pepper-sprayed — while adding that the spray had “no added oil or trans fats and was completely salt-free” — and alluded to the plan announced this week, and then abruptly canceled, to remove the protesters from Zuccotti Park in order to clean it.

“Some went so far as to suggest that the power washing was simply a ruse to break up the demonstration,” he said. “Nonsense. As all New Yorkers know, various parts of the city are routinely power washed.”

He closed by telling Occupy Wall Street that “I’m on your side” and promising that the protesters would be treated with dignity and respect — with, he noted, “one caveat”:

“The second — and I mean the second — I see a demonstrator lighting up a cigarette, we’re moving in. The batons will come out, and the badge numbers will come off. And if you think I’m joking, go ahead, make my day.”

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