It’s normally pretty difficult to feel much sympathy for Vanity Fair’s popinjay editor, Graydon Carter, a modishly liberal commentator as vapid as his magazine is glossy, but this story might just do the trick:
According to the Sunday Telegraph, Carter “has accused Mr Bloomberg of harassment after the mayor’s tobacco stormtroopers – inspectors from the city’s health department – raided the magazine’s Times Square building no fewer than three times, aiming to catch Mr Carter smoking illegally.
“During the most recent raid, both Mr Carter and his cigarettes were out of the office, but the inspectors noticed the unused ashtray. They issued an immediate ticket and fined Conde Nast – the parent company of Vanity Fair – $200 (£120). Mr Carter has consistently ridiculed Mr Bloomberg’s laws, which ban smoking in all bars, restaurants and public gathering places, in addition to all offices or anywhere people are employed.
“Ashtrays are also outlawed lest they encourage people to smoke. Of 2,300 summonses issued since the Bloomberg Law came into force in May, more than 200 have been for “ashtray violations”.”
What a contemptible little law, and what a contemptible little mayor.