A city government-run news organization would be “more fair,” said New York City mayor Bill de Blasio in a closed, private session with news reporters last week as to which the reporting seems shaded to curry favor with a potential future employer.
The closed session included some reporters laid off during the recent shuttering of two “local” news operations owned by Trump donor Joseph Ricketts in November. Some reporters might need jobs, while De Blasio might be looking for additional friendly sources to cover, or hide, various stories while he apparently ramps up testing the presidential waters for 2020. De Blasio was in Iowa and denied running for President, but it’s highly unlikely a city mayor travels to the first-caucus-in-the-nation state two years early for any other reason.
So, during this unusual co-dependent partnership get-together, De Blasio admitted he trusted the “public sector to create [a] fair and responsive media more than a bunch of rich people from multinational corporations.”
Any seasoned reporter would have noticed the obvious target: De Blasio’s immediate predecessor and three-term mayor, Mike Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of the eponymous media empire Bloomberg L.P. with an estimated net worth of $47 billion. However, many out-of-work reporters might not want to print that conclusion, perhaps thinking they want to preserve another job option.
This should all raise the question as to how “fair” current news reporting can be, when potential employers including the government can exercise such control over the careers of financially-struggling (and by implication, controllable) reporters.