Streetfight

We finally got a chance to watch Streetfight, the award-winning documentary about Cory Booker’s losing 2002 run for Mayor of Newark.

The movie presents really overwhelming evidence, in case you needed it, of Newark Mayor Sharpe James‘s abuse of power. At one point, the Mayor is heard saying “I don’t want you putting me on camera…next time, we’ll take the camera,” at a public event; moments later, a thug in a red James campaign hat pushes the camera to the ground.

Later, the hapless, out-of-the-loop James press secretary, Rich McGrath, tries to explain to the filmmaker, “It just makes us look terrible… These guys, I tell you they are, they’ve got this thing about the press.”

Al Sharpton and Jim McGreevey do themselves no favors with enthusiastic endorsements of James, whose campaign consisted in large part of branding Booker variously a Republican, Jewish, white, and gay.

At one point, a frustrated Booker bangs on the table and, jokingly, concedes, “I’m a tool of the Republican Party.”

Which gives his press secretary, one Jen Bluestein, clad in a pink blazer we know we’ve seen somewhere before, the chance to deliver the second-best line of the film:

“I thought you were a tool of the Jews.”

Streetfight