Mayor Nutter: Pope Planning “Smart and Sane”

In Daily News op-ed: "Some members of the news media are scaring people."

Pope Francis | neneo /  Mayor Nutter | Jeff Fusco

Pope Francis | neneo / Mayor Nutter | Jeff Fusco

Mayor Nutter took over some op-ed space in the Philadelphia Daily News today to defend the planning for Pope Francis’ visit to the city next month.

“The decisions made to date are both smart and sane,” he told DN readers, once again blaming the media for any misinformation and confusion about the city’s preparations.

Nutter was responding to a piece by the Daily NewsWill Bunch, printed in Tuesday’s paper, that carried the provocative title, “An open letter to Mayor Nutter: You. Are. Screwing. This. Up.” Bunch said the confusion over plans for the pope’s visit — and apparent overkill with regard to security plans — is making the city look “small.”

“Philadelphia is playing this like Peoria,” Bunch wrote.

Nutter used his op-ed to deliver a section-by-section repudiation of Bunch’s piece, defending the shutdown of some SEPTA stations, the Ben Franklin Bridge, and much of Center City. He took issue, particularly, with comparisons to Mayor Frank Rizzo’s 1976 bicentennial planning, in which Rizzo reputedly scared visitors away from town with security concerns.

“We have not issued any warnings of domestic terrorism, not one,” Nutter wrote. “Some members of the news media are scaring people though.”

He encouraged residents to have a positive attitude about the events.

“Prayerfully and respectfully, enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience and this opportunity for Philadelphia to shine,” Nutter concluded. “Let’s all show our civic pride and demonstrate why we are worthy of world-class events and a heightened sense of self esteem.”

Read the whole thing at the Daily News.