Reporters from various newspapers and television stations across New York City are lighting into Mayor Bill de Blasio (D.) for his attacks on the press and accusations of corporate media bias.
After losing a court battle with NY1 and the New York Post, City Hall released more than 4,000 pages of de Blasio's emails with outside advisers this week. The documents revealed him to go on profane tirades about coverage by The Atlantic, express hope for the demise or diminishment of publications like the New York Post and the New York Daily News, attack the New York Times for not publishing op-eds he wrote, and blast the news business in general.
"The news media is pitiful and it’s sad for our city and nation," he wrote at one point.
NY1 political director Bob Hardt tweeted the point of the lawsuit wasn't to illustrate de Blasio hated the press but to find out more about a relationship between the mayor and a "prominent consultant in city government and how it affected decisions made by City Hall."
"It's less sexy and a lot more important," he wrote.
The point of our lawsuit wasn’t to find out that the mayor hates the media; most mayors do. We wanted to learn more about the role of a prominent consultant in city government and how it affected decisions made by City Hall. It’s less sexy and a lot more important.
— Bob Hardt (@bobhardt) May 25, 2018
The New York Post editorial board wrote de Blasio should stop complaining about the media and do his job.
"The problem, Mr. Mayor, may not be with the press — but with you," the board wrote.
— New York Post (@nypost) May 25, 2018
New York Times reporter Alex Burns, without naming de Blasio, wrote, "If you're a politician and you think that every single major outlet covering you is compromised and biased for a different reason … maybe ask yourself what's the variable and what's the constant."
If you're a politician and you think that every single major outlet covering you is compromised and biased for a different reason … maybe ask yourself what's the variable and what's the constant
— Alex Burns (@alexburnsNYT) May 25, 2018
After de Blasio spoke to WNYC radio on Friday and doubled down on his attacks on the Post—he said he wouldn't shed a tear if the newspaper shut down and called it harmful to New York culture—New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman marveled at its grip on him. Haberman worked at the Post early in her career.
The degree to which NYP is in his head… https://t.co/5JjgqVbIQM
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) May 25, 2018
New York Daily News city hall bureau chief Jillian Jorgensen marveled at de Blasio's hope that a significant company shutdown.
"Can you imagine the mayor saying this about any other company that employs people in his city?" she tweeted.
Can you imagine the mayor saying this about any other company that employs people in his city? https://t.co/6q1Flk5HBz
— Jillian Jorgensen (@Jill_Jorgensen) May 25, 2018
Times investigative reporter Brian Rosenthal said it was "remarkable" that de Blasio's response to the email fallout was to express regret for expressing his true thoughts.
"Yet another sign of lack of respect that NY has for public access to govt," he wrote.
Times city hall reporter J. David Goodman wryly noted de Blasio's preferred newspaper was the left-leaning Guardian, a British outlet.
"It’s not my cup of tea," the mayor of New York City says of The New York Times. He also doesn't like the New York Daily News or the New York Post.
He says he likes The Guardian, a British paper.
— J. David Goodman (@jdavidgoodman) May 25, 2018
BuzzFeed writer Tom Namako, formerly of the New York Post, called de Blasio's language about the Post "grotesque" and praised his former paper for successfully getting his emails into the public eye.
New York Daily News opinion writer Josh Greenman criticized the mayor for his contention that a paper's ownership influences coverage.
"In theory of course it can, and yes, editorial boards ultimately answer to their publishers. But he *vastly* overstates ownership meddling in news coverage or editorial stances, which right now, in our case, is nil," Greenman tweeted.
New York Post opinion editor Seth Mandel said the comparisons between de Blasio and Donald Trump in their press loathing were unfair … to Trump.
Maybe time to stop the de Blasio-Trump comparisons on the media. Trump is waaaaay more pro-press freedom than Blas. https://t.co/mbYdaVowVT
— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) May 25, 2018
Bloomberg reporter Henry Goldman expressed similar thoughts on de Blasio for making bad-faith criticisms of articles that "make him uncomfortable."
.@BilldeBlasio is not wrong when he says corp news ownership can & sometimes does affect coverage but wrong & self-harmful thinking stories he disagrees with or that make him uncomfortable is informed by that, not by fact and data. It's like saying a pol is owned by donors https://t.co/LEWlaEoAsU
— Henry Goldman (@hgoldman77) May 25, 2018
NY1 reporter Josh Robin ripped de Blasio for expressing no remorse for hiding his communications for years.
Man oh man 100% to this. And BdB expresses zero remorse that he hid these communications — at taxpayers' expense — for years. https://t.co/sK75Aa35gW
— Josh Robin (@joshrobin) May 25, 2018
Yahoo national correspondent Alexander Nazaryan said anyone outraged by Trump's attacks on the press should feel the same way about His Honor.