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On Election Day, the ‘Oracle’ is a Bloomberg shill!

The Brooklyn Paper
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The Oracle was a shill!

Residents of famously liberal Park Slope awoke on Election Day to find that the large neon sign atop Pintchik Hardware on Bergen Street was no longer blaring out advice for the lovelorn or telling fortunes from the corner of Flatbush Avenue.

This time, it urged people to vote for the mayor.

“Eliminate illegal guns,” read one of the half-dozen pro-Bloomberg messages.

“Works for $1 per year!” said another.

“Right guy to end pay-to-play,” added a third.

The political partisanship in such an important race is a change for the Oracle, which is known around the city for its sober predictions and even making wedding proposals. It is long rumored that its words are furnished by the greatest writer of his generation, Jonathan Safran Foer, who lives nearby.

But the militantly vegetarian Foer has not revealed if he is supporting the third-term-seeking mayor.

Either way, passers-by immediately noticed the change in the Oracle’s tone.

“I think he — it? — should be non-partisan,” said one customer, who declined to give his name lest the Delphic prognosticator turn on him. “It defeats the purpose of an oracle if it’s picking sides in something so earthly as a political race.”

But the Oracle dip its diodes into politics last year, when it endorsed Civil Court candidate Devin Cohen over Roger Adler, who was dogged by his links to disgraced party boss Clarence Norman.

In that case, the endorsement was likely made by Oracle owner Matt Pintchik, who also runs the Park Slope Volunteer Ambulance Corps and is a well known, jovial political insider in the neighborhood.

Late on Election Day, Pintchik confirmed that he was the man behind the curtain this time, too.

“I took a position,” said Pintchik, a lifelong Democrat. “I don’t usually do it, but we need strong leadership, and Mike has that over [Bill] Thompson.”

He differentiated his political endorsement from the prior work of the Oracle.

“Today’s message was not the Oracle,” he said. “The Oracle comes from a different place.”

Updated 5:17 pm, November 4, 2009: Story was updated to include a comment from Matthew Pintchik.
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Reasonable discourse

Jeff from C.G. says:
If someone can put a sign in the window of their house or a bumper sticker on their car, why cant someone put a sign on or in their business? Nobody seemed to mind all the Barack Obama signs in all of the neighborhood businesses a year ago.

On the other hand, I feel the Barber shop rules should rule when it comes to support of religion or politics, especially if a business is supporting any side of either... basically, be careful of offending your customers as your customers have the option of finding another place to shop.
Nov. 3, 2009, 1:49 pm
Not Goish from Prospect Heights says:
Then again, aren't the Brooklyn Papers a shill for Bloomberg, Markowitz, etc.?
Nov. 3, 2009, 1:55 pm
Gersh Kuntzman (Brooklyn Paper) from Editor says:
Shill? How so?

GERSH KUNTZMAN
Editor
The Brooklyn Paper
Nov. 3, 2009, 2:35 pm
Publius from Bklyn Heights says:
The pot calling the kettle black, eh Gersh? I look up "shill" in the dictionary and I see a woodcut of the Brooklyn Paper "editorial board".

At least Bloomberg isn't Pintchick's landlord, as was the case when you sold out Brooklyn to your landlord at the time, Mr. Walentas on the Dock St issue.

Take a good look in the mirror.
Nov. 3, 2009, 3:08 pm
Fourth Estate from DUMBO says:
No need to mention the endorsement which claims lower crime, yet your own reporting disputes that.
Nov. 3, 2009, 4:01 pm
Not Goish from Prospect Heights says:
What have I seen all month while reading The Brooklyn Paper online? Bloomberg ads. What local weekly endorsed Bloomberg and Markowitz? Wasn't the Pennysaver!
All the local daily newspaper owners and most of the weeklies are in the tank for Bloomberg ... who do you think got the term limits legislation junked? A little bit of Rubenstein Associates goes a long way ... those well-documented meetings between Bloomberg and Murdoch, Sulzberger and Zuckerman [Post/Brooklyn Paper, NY Times, NY Daily News] went a long way.
It's good to be the king, and to be purchased by one isn't bad, as long as the ad revenue keeps coming in ...
Nov. 3, 2009, 7:07 pm
Fourth Estate from DUMBO says:
@ Not Goish,

Well, the brooklynpaper has reaped the rewards! They are now among the coupons of laser wart removal and clean skin in the New York Post! Bravo! Journalism at it's finest!
Nov. 3, 2009, 9:27 pm

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