Life imitated parody this week when New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio performed a dramatic reading of an Onion article about himself to a group of reporters.
The article was a post published Monday by satire news site The Onion spoofing De Blasio’s intense warnings about impending winter storm Juno.
In the fictional story, the mayor urged city residents to “make peace with whatever higher power they call God,” and “clutch your babes close to your breast and take small comfort in knowing that they will howl for but a few hours before death becalms them.”
Then there was the real mayor sitting in the City Hall press room, reading aloud the ominous words attributed to him in the fake story. “The furious hoarfrost bearing down upon us knows neither mercy nor reason, “ de Blasio told reporters, “and all within the five boroughs will perish, cowering in their brittle dwellings.”
After his press room visit, the mayor’s staff posted a recording of the performance on his SoundCloud page. The 1-minute clip garnered more than 50,000 plays in two days.
His reading drew a fair amount of media attention, too. “Bill De Blasio Stages Dramatic Reading Of An Onion Article About The ‘Furious Hoarfrost’ Of 2015 “ a Huffington Post headline said.
“Bill de Blasio admits Juno joke is on him with solemn reading of Onion article,” proclaimed the Guardian.
The Onion’s story mocked the real warnings de Blasio had issued in the lead-up to Juno, which was expected to blanket New York in more than 20 inches of snow. At a news conference Sunday, the mayor had urged city residents to “prepare for something worse than we have ever seen before.”
While the snow didn’t stick as expected (the National Weather Service blamed the challenging nature of the storm for the failed predictions), the comedy did, as de Blasio read aloud all 150 words of The Onion post.
“It’s so brilliant, I had to do a reading of it,” de Blasio told the reporters.