NEW YORK – New York City Councilman James Oddo may have had a meltdown during his first experience with gotcha satire media, but he wasn’t about to go down without a fight.
Dropping the “f-word” no fewer than 16 times in the course of what has become a popular You Tube video, Republican Oddo became irate when he realized the attractive, seemingly harmless young reporter who sat before him last week for an interview in his office was really a comedienne of note for the Norwegian program "Rickets Rost," a sort of Scandinavian "Daily Show w/Jon Stewart."
Click here to see the YouTube video. Warning: contains offensive and graphic language.
The video, which garnered more than 44,174 hits on YouTube as of midday Wednesday, shows Oddo exploding at reporter Pia Haraldsen, 26, after she asked whether Obama could legally run for office because he is African American, and about Hillary’s “cigar,” an obvious reference to President Bill Clinton’s scandal-ridden affair with intern Monica Lewinsky.
He blasted the woman, telling her repeatedly to “get the f—ck out of my office,” at one time telling her he would beat “the sh—t” out of them if she and her camera crew didn’t get out fast enough.
Oddo, who is up for borough president as a representative of both Staten Island in 2009, was unapologetic in a follow-up interview with FOX News.
Anyone who thinks they are going to come in and waste time while mocking him and other American leaders like the Clintons, while implicitly saying “America is a racist nation ... I’m going to throw you out of my office,” Oddo said. He apparently did apologize to his mother for the curse words.
“My language was inappropriate, I'm apologetic for it, I regret it,” said Oddo. “I don't regret the sentiment. In fact, I think that people across the country will see that I reacted the same way any Staten Islander walking down Hylan Boulevard would have reacted.”
Meanwhile, according to the Staten Island Advance on Wednesday, Oddo is not, so far, feeling the heat from thwarting a successful satire, or being "punked" — a format made popular by The Daily Show, and Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat and Da Ali G Show, where interviewees believe they are engaging in sincere and legitimate interviews and typically are made to look foolish.
"It could be hurtful in that everyone expects their representatives to be civil. However, it is tough to be civil when you’re being set up,” New York Democratic consultant and lobbyist George Artz told the newspaper. “This is such a miniscule issue. It won’t affect anybody, and he was scammed.”
Others have suggested the video celebrity will boost his image with no-nonsense New Yorkers.
For her part, Haraldsen, 26, seemed unruffled and even jazzed by the interview and the media attention she was getting for it.
When asked by FOX News in an on-air phone interview on Wednesday, the “reporter” said she was used to angry responses, and in the case of Oddo thought it was an attractive character trait.
“I think Mr. Oddo’s reaction was quite normal and I’ve always been fond of men with a temperament,” the heavily-accented Haraldsen said, adding that she wouldn’t mind having Oddo as a “rumba and salsa” partner on "Dancing with the Stars," a reference that indicates she is perhaps more of an American celebrity-seeker than an Ali G protégé.