On The Daily Show last night, Jon Stewart explained how the Michael Grimm corruption case fits into the extensive tradition of Northeast crime. Well, except for one small detail.
"Here in the Northeast, our strength, our pride, our signature dish, if you will, is our indisputable lead in crime and corruption. No one does corruption better than the Northeast," Stewart said.
Just how good is the Northeast when it comes to crime? Let Stewart run you through the storied history: "From Boss Tweed to Whitey Bulger ... We've had Serpico, ABSCAM, I think the mayor of Providence might've assaulted a guy with a fireplace log ... even Connecticut occasionally jails its governors on corruption charges just to keep up with the neighbors. And this week, we Nor'easters got ourselves another gold star on the rap sheet."
Michael Grimm. But Grimm isn't just any Congressman indicted on corruption charges. "Why does that name sound so familiar?" Stewart asked. "Oh right," Stewart said. "You might remember that guy, he, uh, tried to throw a NY1 reporter over a balcony." Grimm is a wonderful addition to Northeastern corruption; his charges are too long to even list. "I'm in a bit of a hurry here, why don't you just name all the shit he didn't do," Stewart quipped.
Stewart explained why Grimm fits right in: "This is classic Northeastern corruption ... You got your hot-headed public official, massive bust by the feds, all that's missing is shady back-room dealings in a dank restaurant." In fact, Grimm's crimes do trace back to a restaurant he owned and operated. "BOOM."
But this is where the story hits a hitch. Because instead of a "real classy Italian joint" in the Northeast tradition, Grimm's restaurant is a place called "Healthalicious." "You don't even call it Healthalish? You're doing this at a health food joint?" Stewart said.
"Is this what Northeastern corruption has come to? Closing bridge lanes, and skimming a little off the top of a broccoli and lentil joint?" he lamented.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.