New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman

Is this a trend? The big guys from out east sweep through town, swoon with our mayors, then proceed to gloss over nearly every reality in the city.

The New Yorker did it with Daley. And now Thomas Friedman, the NYT‘s mustachioed pundit, has penned a column on Mayor Emanuel that reads like a long campaign flyer.

Friedman exalts Rahm’s plan to “cut and invest” as a model for other cities. And the columnist points to two of the mayor’s initiatives: the move to put more cops on the streets, and the push for a longer school day.

But if Friedman had stepped outside of City Hall on his visit and, say, picked up a few recent copies of the Reader, he might have seen a different picture.