This week's biggest Winners & Losers

This week's biggest Winners & Losers

Who's up and who's down this week?
May 7, 2020

New York City figures so prominently in the nation’s imagination that it has a plethora of nicknames. In the 1960s Mayor John Lindsay inadvertently coined “Fun City,” and in the 1970s the city’s tourism arm promoted “The Big Apple.” To Batman, it’s Gotham. And to Superman, it’s Metropolis. But with overnight shutdowns of the city’s subways starting this week, Frank Sinatra’s “City That Never Sleeps” is no more. 

Winners: 
Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates & Eric Schmidt

Some elected officials say billionaires should pay for the economic damage wrought by the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, however, is letting the businessman and ex-New York City mayor, the Microsoft founder and the former Google CEO and pay their way by lending their expertise to the state. Time will tell whether they successfully “reimagine education” or save us all through expanded testing and tracing. Luckily for them, other rich guys are setting low standards. In Bloomberg’s case, his new gig might even help us all forget his last great venture he was pitching in Albany.

Brian Rosenthal

Winning a Pulitzer Prize is an impressive feat for any journalist. But winning your second Pulitzer Prize at just 31 years old? That’s what they call the Brian Rosenthal special. Rosenthal, an investigative reporter on The New York Times’ Metro desk, was awarded the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting for his work exposing predatory lending practices in New York’s taxi industry. Rosenthal’s findings jump-started federal and state probes and measures from city and state lawmakers to reform the industry. Hardly a newcomer to reporting accolades, Rosenthal was also part of the team at The Seattle Times that was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for its work documenting a devastating landslide in Washington in 2014.

Bernie Sanders & Andrew Yang

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is no stranger to a comeback, and now it looks like Andrew Yang isn’t either. Both of the former Democratic presidential candidates got their wish to be placed back on the ballot for a New York presidential primary, after a federal judge ruled that the cancellation of the election was unconstitutional. Now, New Yorkers will just have to weigh how much they want to vote for Yang and Sanders versus the possibility of contracting the coronavirus at the polls. (Of course, absentee voting is always an option.)

Losers: 
Pat Foye

Ending 24-hour transportation service for the city that never sleeps was never going to be an easy task. But the first night that the MTA suspended overnight subway service could have gone a little smoother. At one station, half of the 12-man crew walked out because of a lack of personal protective equipment. Some 2,000 homeless were displaced from trains, with only 139 ending up in shelters or hospitals. Others wound up on the street or on buses. Straphangers complained of overcrowded buses meant to offer alternate transportation. And for the cherry on top, MTA Chairman and CEO Pat Foye passed the buck to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (who absolutely, definitely doesn’t control the MTA) to decide when trains will run normally again.

Dermot Shea

When you’re defending cops punching unarmed civilians in the head, then you’ve really lost the public relations battle. Plus, the police officers union is demanding that cops get “out of the social distancing enforcement business,” a string of news stories indicate that police are going easy on white people and targeting racial minorities, and Brooklyn’s top prosecutor revealed that minorities made up 39 out of 40 social distancing arrests. And while the crime rate is way down, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea can’t even take credit. At least New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is there to defend the police commissioner

Edward Scharfenberger

Everyone from mom-and-pop shops to the Los Angeles Lakers have been able to dip their hand into the federal government's pot of money for small business relief. But the Buffalo Diocese hasn't been able to join the crowd because it filed for bankruptcy in February, after getting hit with a wave of child sexual abuse lawsuits. That hasn't stopped the diocese from asking a judge for permission to apply for a $1.7 million loan. Even if they do need help retaining staff, seeking loans set aside for countless other struggling small businesses that aren’t accused of overseeing a culture of abuse may make Scharfenberger’s diocese a loser in the court of public opinion.

City & State
20200814