Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

NY Times Metro Editor: Bloomberg Used To Get "Deferential" Treatment From Press

This statement about Bloomberg is not a surprise, but it is nice to see somebody in the press actually say it:

Azi Paybarah:How would you describe the state of political coverage in New York, and City Hall right now?

Carolyn Ryan: My sense is that the press – other than Fred Dicker – is a bit puzzled about how to cover Cuomo.

Meanwhile, reporters have become more aggressive and skeptical of the mayor. I don’t know if that is simply a natural evolution, given that Bloomberg is in his third term. But it is striking to me, because when I first arrived here (in spring of 2007) the press, broadly, seemed remarkably deferential to the mayor, even a little docile. Now, especially in the tabloids, there seems to be tougher analysis, more truthsquadding, and a bit more bite.

I have said for years that Bloomberg was essentially given a free pass by the press for the first eight years of his reign.

I've never quite figured out the reason.

Was it the money that awed them?

Was it that he owned a media company and they were afraid to anger a potential future boss?

Given media consolidation and other changes, you can't overlook the self-preservation rationale.

Whatever the reason, there is little doubt that the media more often than not carried his water, framed stories the way he and his people wanted them framed and treated him as if her were, if not God, at least Moses.

A billionaire can sometimes live a charmed life when he knows how to use that money to buy loyalty and compliance from the non-profit world, the media world and the political world.

And boy, Bloomberg knew how to do that.

But now, well, the deference is gone.


It should have never been there in the first place.

But at least it's (mostly) gone now.

Except in the NY Post, where it's always 2005, a West Side stadium makes total sense, the NYC public school system is seeing an awesome increase in test scores and graduation rates and the Olympics are right around the corner as soon as Deputy Dan Doctoroff gets that deal squared away.

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