Omission Watch: Empire State Building Honored Mao's Revolution, But Won't Honor Mother Teresa

May 20th, 2010 3:12 PM

This sounds like an obvious jazzy story for national news. Last September, the Empire State Building drew controversy (at least in anti-communist circles) for honoring the 60th anniversary of the communist revolution in China with red and yellow floodlights. But now, as Lou Young of WCBS-TV reports, the same brass at the Empire State Building refuse to honor saintly Mother Teresa with blue and white lights, the colors of her religious order. "It's kind of hard to be against Mother Teresa," said Archbishop Timothy Dolan.

The lighting would consist of a simple tribute in blue and white, the same colors used for a Yankees World Series win or an Israeli Independence Day. In this case it would be the colors worn by a crusader for the poor and a candidate for sainthood, the venerable Mother Teresa. Yet the people who own the Empire State Building said they won't pay this simple tribute in blue and white for the 100th anniversary of her birth this coming August, and they refuse to offer an explanation to people who made the application....
CBS 2 tried again Friday to see if we can get an answer for them, but every time we've asked it's been simply, "No comment." Then, they asked us to leave the building.

We also got no where at the 42nd Street offices of Anthony Malkin, who owns the Empire State Building. Silence. He's out of the office. That's it.

So the building that went pink for the release of Mariah Carey's album and red for the 60th anniversary of the Chinese Revolution still refuses to go blue and white for Nobel Peace Prize winner and advocate for the poor, the late Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

Even Democrats on the New York City Council who love her work with the poor are requesting the building's managers to reconsider. 

City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. introduced a bill Friday formally requesting the tribute in behalf of the city.

"She deserves better. She's one of the greatest women history has ever known," he told CBS 2.

This should be a story on CBS nationally. But none of the national TV outlets offered a story, according to a Nexis database search. ( has a story.) The only newspaper on it was The New York Post. This is one reason why Anthony Malkin figures he doesn't have to comment.