Bloomberg Pizza Satire Hits Too Close to Home

People have the right to make choices about what they eat.

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Papa John's slices of pizza and commemorative baseballs were given out during the grand opening ceremony for the 4000th restaurant on Friday Sept. 14, 2012, in New Hyde Park, N.Y. (Photo by Kathy Kmonicek/Invision for Papa John's/AP Images)

As many people have found out to their chagrin, the story floating around the Internet about New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg being denied a second slice of pepperoni at a Brooklyn pizza parlor is satire.

The satirical web site The Daily Currant "reported" earlier this week that Bloomberg, who is known for his efforts to restrict certain dietary options available to New Yorkers, was denied a second slice by the owners of Collegno's Pizzeria while engaged in a working lunch with City Comptroller John Liu.

"Hey, could I get another pepperoni over here?" the site has Bloomberg asking the owner, who refuses, apologetically telling the mayor, "We can't do that. You've reached your personal slice limit."

[See a collection of political cartoons on health care.]

According to the spoof, a conflict quickly develops, with Bloomberg unleashing a profanity-laced demand that more pizza be brought to him while the owner, "Antonio Benito," stands his ground. The story concludes with Bloomberg, realizing he is not going to make any headway, decamping with the comptroller to a different establishment to finish both their lunch and their meeting.

Call it too good to be true. Or just all too believable, which is probably why the story spread like wildfire all over the Internet. Bloomberg is rapidly coming to embody the epitome of the bossy bureaucrat, even though he is an elected official, who knows what people want and need better than themselves.

People like the idea of an ordinary citizen speaking truth to power – and power not liking it one bit.  Especially when it's someone like Bloomberg, who is busy trying to regulate the consumption or use of salt, sugar, trans fats and whatever else appears to come to mind. Whereas his predecessor, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, would likely define a day at the ballpark as incomplete without a hot dog with the works and something cold to wash it down with, Bloomberg seems headed toward limiting the choices at Yankee Stadium to tofu burgers and fruit juice.

[Read the U.S. News Debate: Should Sugar Be Regulated?]

The policing of food choices in New York City is getting out of control, with only the courts keeping things in check. Earlier this year, and this is no joke, Bloomberg tried to keep restaurants and hotels from donating leftover food to homeless shelters on the grounds that the donations might not be healthy for the people to whom they are given, as though starvation is a better option.

People have the right to make choices about what they eat. They shouldn't be told they can't have the large soda or an extra slice of pizza or a third piece of pie just because some politician or unelected bureaucrat thinks it might be bad for them. So hurray for the satirists at The Daily Currant; maybe they'll give somebody an idea so the next time a story like this breaks, it will be a real one rather than satire.

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