01 June 2009

Mayor Bloomberg Will Tell You What You Can Ask Him, and When You Can Ask It

My God, how much longer are we going to put up with the high-handed, imperious, prickly, fickle "fuck you" behavior of our increasingly unhinged Mayor.

Bloomberg read reporters the Riot Act today, still trying to stem the tide of bad press following his "You're a disgrace" gaffe of last Friday. He has some new rules.

From now on, he will tell reporters what they can ask.

And he will tell they when they can ask those questions.

There will be a time for State of the City questions. There will a time for State of the Campaign questions. Reporters will abide by the guidelines.

"Mayor Bloomberg will receive you now."

City Room has been excellent in its tracking of the growing Madness of King Bloomberg. Read this:

In the past, the mayor has frequently refused to take campaign questions at campaign events, leaving reporters who wanted to inquire about his third term bid no alternative but to post the questions at City Hall events.

But on Monday, at a campaign event in Midtown Manhattan, at which he announced the endorsement of Representative Gary L. Ackerman, a Democrat who represents parts of Queens and Long Island, the mayor seemed to announce a new policy of taking such questions at campaign events — with strict rules governing what may be asked.

Mr. Bloomberg said he would answer campaign questions only at campaign events, and questions about city government at official city events.

“You can’t have it both ways,” the mayor said. “You can’t want me to be mayor and govern in a nonpartisan way trying to do what’s right for the city, rather than for my election, and then confuse the two.

Reporters immediately protested, asking the mayor how he can separate the two spheres, given that he is a sitting mayor seeking re-election.

The mayor conceded it would be challenging, but nevertheless stuck by his new policy.

“You are right: You can’t separate the campaign from what you do as mayor, because I am going to run on a record,” he said.

“It’s a question of where you take the questions, and whether you — and if you are going to try to keep the two separate, you should try. You can’t do it perfectly. You are one human being. I will try to do that.”

What does this sound like? Does it sound like Democracy? Does it sound like New York?

Get this straight: On any occasion where the Mayor makes a public appearance, journalists can ask Hizzoner any question they choose, on any subject, in any way they choose. That is their job. It is also their duty, their right and their privilege. The Mayor has the right not to answer (though he's a lousy public servant if he does), but he has no right to tell the reporters what they can or can't do.


L'Emmerdeur said...

Bloomberg is starting to sound and look like Ed Koch more and more every day. We sure he's not closeted, too?

Ken Mac said...

but who on the horizon is any better? We need a man or woman who comes from the streets, from the people. Not from freaking Wall Street and the Hamptons. Or is that Bermuda where Bloomie spends his weekends?

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Quite frankly, Ken, at this point, I think anyone is better. We need to stop asking that question. It plays into his hand, this idea that he's the only answer, the only viable candidate. There is no irreplaceable man. We need to reframe the argument. A better question is "What's so good about Bloomberg, anyway?"

Unknown said...

Bloomberg's might-makes-right style is very disturbing. He is a monster.