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The Other Political Scandal: New York Mayor De Blasio And 'Forkgate'

Posted: January 11, 2014

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The populist mayor took a decidedly formal approach with a slice of pizza. And New Yorkers took notice.

In this image taken from video and provided by New York City Hall, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio eats pizza with a fork at Goodfellas Pizza in the Staten Island on Friday.

In this image taken from video and provided by New York City Hall, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio eats pizza with a fork at Goodfellas Pizza in the Staten Island on Friday.

You may have been too busy still pondering New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's epic, two-hour press conference to pay any attention to the political scandal brewing just across the border in New York City.

Here's the video that got the city's brand new, populist mayor into his first controversy on Friday:

Ok, Ok, it's not really scandal. But New Yorkers do take their pizza seriously, so when Bill de Blasio used a knife and fork, instead of his hands, to eat a slice of pizza at Goodfellas in Staten Island, he got tongues wagging.

A sampling of the headlines:

-- NYC mayor's hands-off approach panned (Boston Globe)

-- Slice of Controversy for New York's Mayor Over an Eating Habit (Wall Street Journal)

-- Chow, baby... Pizza and forks do not mix, Mr. Mayor (NY Daily News)

But what we loved most is the kicker in The New York Times piece about the mayor's, um, formalities.

The paper spoke to Charles Greinsky, of Staten Island and a longtime friend of de Blasio. He said eating a slice with a fork is "blasphemy." But when pressed on "why a mayor who prides himself on populism would opt for such a technique," Greinsky said:

"He's from Boston. He doesn't know any better."

What do you think? Is it ever appropriate to eat a pizza with one's hands?

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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