I was on last night for 10 hours straight, from 5 p.m. until 3 in the morning. At a few minutes to 3, I said something terrible. I said that I was glad about the coming of Tropical Storm Sandy because of its impact on this national campaign.
It was a terrible thing to say — period. I could explain that it was because I was tired, but the fact is, I wasn’t thinking of the horrible mess this storm has made of people’s lives up here in New York and elsewhere. It’s not ‘til you read the local newspapers that you see and know the horror this has wreaked on people — good people.
I grew up on the south Jersey Shore, have relatives living there now, but failed to see the even worse damage done further up the state and in Staten Island and other areas near here. It is truly horrible up here.
No. I was too deeply enmeshed in political thinking, deep in a world of numbers and issues and people and stakes and focused on who would win and who would lose. But I left out the number one job of anyone on air: to think about the lives, the real lives of people — their losses, their relatives and friends who died in this disaster, their dreams that have been hurt and even destroyed.
I said something not just stupid, but wrong. What I should have said is how impressed it was to see politicians working together across party lines and how people like to see that. Instead, I said something that suggests that ends justify means, which is something I have never believed in my life. Even thinking that way is an immoral way to live your life.
Bad is bad. Good is good. There is no confusing the two. I said something bad about something bad when I should have said something good about something I do believe is good: people charged with public responsibility working together for the people they are elected to represent.
I intend to take serious steps to show that I am sincere on this. I have heard from members of my family who live near the areas hit. They don’t like what I said any more than anyone else does.
Please believe me. I am determined to do what I can do to help people who have already been hurt, who have suffered and are suffering enough hardship.