As someone who routinely backs out of parties that I don’t want to go to (not yours, of course: I was really sick that time!), I couldn’t be more sympathetic to the fact that Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray didn’t attend last night’s Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I mean, sure, it sounds like it could be kind of fun, and being among the first people to see what Rihanna is wearing is a real privilege that shouldn’t be taken for granted. But, you know that Rihanna’s outfit will be all over the place online within seconds of her arrival, and if you stay home and hang out in your bed, occasionally checking the fashionable arrivals, complete with snarky commentary on Twitter, then you also get to avoid awkward conversations with whoever Anna Wintour deigned to seat next to you. Win-win-win-win-win infinity. But if you do the comfortable, relatable thing of skipping a gala? Well, then New York’s ultra-rich are going to whine about you to the Wall Street Journal just like the entitled babies they are.
In what might be the best PR move that he didn’t have to pay for, de Blasio was called out in the Journal for the fact that unlike his billionaire predecessor, Mike Bloomberg, the new mayor has literally no interest in attending most of the city’s high-profile society extravaganzas. This is the second year in a row that the de Blasios have declined to attend the Costume Institute Gala, and even though McCray had a conflict—she was being honored by the non-profit group, The Child Mind Institute—it is clearly impossible to some people that anyone would choose to go to some little non-profit event, rather than the society event of the year.
And as you can imagine, the super-wealthy are not taking this type of snub lightly. The Journal speaks to Peggy Siegal, “a New York City event publicist who orchestrates high-profile parties,” who says de Blasio clearly has “disdain for the striving, successful New Yorkers and I have been told by insiders that he always listens to his wife, who also has disdain for the accomplished… They obviously do not relate to New Yorkers who socially network to support charities. They have made themselves socially irrelevant. It is a major shortcoming not to mingle with all classes.”
Yes, those terrible, commie de Blasios need to reassess their priorities and spend more time at parties where they can rub elbows with billionaires. How dare they.
In fact, though, it’s gotten so bad that it isn’t just a case of the de Blasios not attending these parties—now, they’re sometimes not even invited:
Organizers for New Yorkers for Children, a charity that benefits the city’s Administration for Children’s Services, said it would include Ms. McCray on future event mailing lists. A spokeswoman for the New York Botanical Garden said public officials weren’t invited to its Conservatory Ball.
Joking aside, attendance by political figures at these types of events are usually centered around getting money from deep-pocketed potential donors, money which the city could obviously use. Base and gross as that might seem, it’s just politics as usual, and as a life-long politician, de Blasio knows that. However the fact that the city’s wealthiest are so miffed by the de Blasios lack of interest in their society parties that they would punish the city by not donating as much as they have in the past? The city that has become their virtual playground? Well, that’s a lot grosser than anything de Blasio has done so far.
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