Mario Batali Bankers

November 10, 2011 by staff 

Mario Batali Bankers, Hitler is in the news again. Celebrity chef Mario Batali has bankers buzzing – and boycotting him – following a remark he made on Tuesday at a Time magazine event in New York to promote its “Person of the Year” issue, out next month.

NBC News anchor Brian Williams, law professor Anita Hill and Jesse Eisenberg joined Batali. For Person of the Year he recommended the food writer Michael Pollan.

Then, reports The New York Times, Batali said, “But I would have to say that who has had the largest effect on the whole planet without us really paying attention across the board and everywhere is the entire banking industry and their disregard for the people that they’re supposed to be working for. … The way the bankers have toppled the way that money is distributed, and taken most of it into their own hands,” Batali said, “is as good as Stalin or Hitler, the evil guys” whom Time named Man of the Year long ago, Stalin in 1942, Hitler in 1938.

Soon the restaurant world was chattering, notes the Times, causing Batali’s spokeswoman to email an apology from him, saying, “It was never my intention to equate our banking industry with Hitler and Stalin, two of the most evil, brutal dictators in modern history.”

But, Forbes reports, many in the banking industry have already tweeted that they’ll take their expense account lunches to someplace other than Babbo and Del Pesto, Batali’s high-priced restaurant.

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