Magazine | October 1, 2018, Issue

Cory Booker’s 911 Calls

Sen. Cory Booker at a Senate Judiciary hearing, March 2018 (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)


Start Call

911 Operator: This is the 911 operator, what is your emergency?

Cory Booker: This is Senator Cory Booker. I want to report a crime. No, wait, a series of crimes. I want to report nothing less than an entire criminal enterprise that has the tri-state area in its grip.

911 Operator: Sir, is this an emergency?

Cory Booker: I can’t believe you’re asking me that question. Is it an emergency? Yes!

911 Operator: Sir, what is your location?

Cory Booker: I understand why you’re asking that question. That’s the procedure, right? The rules and regulations of the whole 911 power dynamic. But you have to understand. I am in danger here. My life is in danger, just by dropping this stunning bombshell. I am exposing a vast and violent criminal organization — I call it “organized crime,” and sidebar: If you use that phrase please credit me — and despite the danger — and I’ll admit it, the fear — of paying the ultimate price, I am willing to stand up and speak the truth.

911 Operator: Sir, is this an emergency?

Cory Booker: There is an organized group of criminals in the tri-state area, some call it “the Mafia,” and they control illegal activities such as gambling, prostitution, drug peddling — though to be fair, one of the heads of the so-called “Five Families” has resisted entering into this arena — and they are about to move west, to the sleepy cowboy town of Las Vegas, Nevada — are you writing this down?

911 Operator: Sir, is this an emergency?

Cory Booker: Well, it’s not an emergency emergency.

911 Operator: The 911 line is reserved for actual emergencies, sir.

End Call



Start Call

911 Operator: This is the 911 operator, what is your emergency?

Cory Booker: This is Senator Cory Booker. I have reason to believe that the class of medications known as “opioids” are currently being abused throughout the country, with special concentration in post-industrial areas in the Rust Belt and the Appalachian Valley.

911 Operator: Sir, is this an emergency?

Cory Booker: People don’t want to talk about it. It’s something you don’t hear about. Maybe because the people currently suffering under the crisis — and yes, I call it a “crisis” and I’m aware that fashionable pundits will call me crazy or delusional — but because the victims of this crisis are poor and working-class, the entire problem is being ignored and swept under the rug. No longer!

911 Operator: Again, sir, is this an emergency?

Cory Booker: You’re not listening. I am going to blow the lid off this thing! Consequences be damned!

End Call



Start Call

911 Operator: This is the 911 operator, what is your emergency?

Cory Booker: This is Senator Cory Booker. I want to report that the Twin Towers in Manhattan’s downtown financial district have been struck by what appear to be two passenger jets that have been hijacked by terrorists.

911 Operator: Sir, what is your current location?

Cory Booker: It doesn’t matter where I am, don’t you see? The point is, the buildings are burning. And I am racing there to rescue whoever I can.

911 Operator: Sir, are you reporting a current fire emergency?

Cory Booker: Will I be in personal danger? Yeah, sure, I guess. Does that matter to me? Are you kidding? I don’t even think that way. I am going to run into those burning buildings and save every life I can, and if people call me “hero” or “brave,” so be it.

911 Operator: Sir, please give me your current location and the location of the emergency.

Cory Booker: Downtown Manhattan. Twin Towers.

911 Operator: Sir, the Twin Towers were destroyed 17 years ago. Current­ly at that location is what is called the Freedom Tower, a high-end retail mall, and a moving memorial to the victims of the terror attack and the first responders who lost their lives during the rescue.

Cory Booker: Yes. Yes, I knew that. But I don’t think any of that lessens my personal heroism. And if I could just add, at this juncture —

End Call



Start Call

911 Operator: This is the 911 operator, what is your emergency? Wait a minute. Is this Cory Booker?

Cory Booker: Maybe. Why do you ask?

911 Operator: Sir, you have been asked to stop making 911 calls.

Cory Booker: Can I just — this one — I’m serious about this one — look, I know, okay, that sometimes I’ve been a little late with some of this stuff —

911 Operator: Sir, there are emergencies waiting to —

Cory Booker: Can I finish? Seriously. This is a real one.

911 Operator: Okay. Fine. What is your emergency?

Cory Booker: Tropical Storm Katrina is building into a Category 5 hurricane off the Gulf Coast. If it hits the levees along Lake Pontchartrain, just above New Orleans’ Ninth Ward —

911 Operator: Sir, stop.

Cory Booker: I am heading down there to personally reinforce those levees and save the city.

911 Operator: Stop.

Cory Booker: Is my life in danger? Yes. Am I quote unquote a hero for doing this? Those are your words, not mine.

End Call

In This Issue


In Defense of the Constitutional Order

Books, Arts & Manners




Kevin D. Williamson responds to a reader's thoughts on his article, “More Important than Motorcycles.”
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