Mike Lupica Joins David Paterson Bashing, Loses Mind With Attica Comparison

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Another sign that David Paterson's refusal to quit his day job and go home to his Lenox Terrace apartment is driving reasonable people insane appears in Mike Lupica's Monday political column in the Daily News.

All is well and good as Lupica The Lip declares that Paterson needs to quit. Then, all of a sudden, he hands the mic to an otherwise unidentified "longtime New York political player" who promptly makes a complete moron of himself and his host. Writes Lupica:

"The same person said, 'This would all be funny if you didn't worry about some crisis in this state that doesn't involve the Legislature. Ask yourself a question: Do you want this man in charge if there's another Attica?' "

Hmm. Not to make the case for the hapless David Paterson, but is it humanly possible for anyone to have done worse than Gov. Nelson Rockefeller did back then?

The thumbnail history: Then-governor Rocky was preparing his bid for the Republican presidential nomination in September, 1971, when the Attica prison riot, soon to be become the bloodiest chapter in American prison history, broke out. Rockefeller refused to travel to the scene where prisoners, rebelling against brutal conditions, were holding 33 guards hostage. Instead, the gov let the state corrections commissioner run negotiations. After four days, the national guard opened fire on the prison yard. Off-duty guards were allowed to join in the shooting. These crack shots managed to kill 29 prisoners -- plus ten hostages.

An exhaustive report by a commission headed by NYU Law School dean Robert McKay later blasted Rockefeller for not going to the prison, as well as the way corrections officials handled the stand-off.

Say what you will about David Paterson, but you can bet he'd know enough -- or care enough -- to at least show up.

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