Apples to Apples
The Fourth Estate
John Catsimatidis was not too pleased when he opened up today’s New York Times to read about his reportedly embattled supermarket chain, Gristedes, which it dubbed the “unloved uncle of the New York City grocery scene.”
“I’d say ‘ugh.’ I’d say ‘ugh,’” the billionaire Republican candidate for mayor replied when Politicker asked him about his reaction to the piece, which detailed how the grocery chain has been struggling financially and targeted by several class action lawsuits.
He elaborated by comparing his relationship with Gristedes, which launched his successful business career, to a wife who doesn’t like her name.
War of Words
Yesterday afternoon, Mayor Michael Bloomberg fiercely condemned The New York Times for its lackluster coverage of the shooting death of 17-year-old Alphonza Bryant and its editorials critical of the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy. “Do you think that if a white, 17-year-old prep student from Manhattan had been murdered, The Times would have ignored it?” Mr. Bloomberg sarcastically asked himself. “Me neither.”
Several of The Times competitors took notice.
“Take that, New York Times!” New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin declared in an op-ed piece prominently featuring The Times‘ logo. “And thank you, Bloomy.”
Enter the Weiner
Earlier today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg harshly criticized the media, specifically The New York Times, for giving insufficient coverage to murder victims of color while editorializing against NYPD policies like stop-and-frisk.
“Four days after Alphonza Bryant’s murder went unreported by The Times, the paper published another editorial attacking stop-question-and-frisk,” Mr. Bloomberg said, referencing a recent slaying in the Bronx and claiming a white victim would have received more attention. “They called it a ‘widely loathed’ practice. … Let me tell you what I loathe. I loathe that 17-year-old minority children can be senselessly murdered in the Bronx and some of the media doesn’t even consider it news.”
Well, it seems The Times can push back.
Early this morning, The New York Times Magazine published an extensive, 8,400-word profile of former Congressman Anthony Weiner, his wife Huma Abedin and their life since an infamous social media-induced scandal destroyed his political career. The piece directly addressed the topic most political observers are interested in: “Weiner quickly put all the speculation to rest: he is eyeing the mayor’s race.”
“I don’t have this burning, overriding desire to go out and run for office,” Mr. Weiner told the publication. “It’s not the single animating force in my life as it was for quite some time. But I do recognize, to some degree, it’s now or maybe never for me, in terms of running for something.”
Yesterday, The New York Times made a splash in the city’s political scene by dropping a front-page look into Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s forceful management style. The article–full of catchy anecdotes like threats against colleagues’ “balls”–generated a small storm of media coverage, and this morning, Ms. Quinn went on CNN to embrace her “pushy” personality and the accomplishments she says it helped her achieve.
“At times I get really emotional about the work I’m doing,” she said. “It’s really important work and at times you need to be really forceful to get things that are stuck unstuck. Now, obviously we all want to modulate our tempers and keep them in check, but I have big emotions and I care deeply about delivering for New Yorkers and sometimes that means you got to push things forward. And I think New Yorkers know that. This a tough town and we’re a tough people.”
Late last night, the New York Times reported Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his advisers have reached out to at least a small slew of big-name candidates to run for Mayor of New York City, ranging from Senator Chuck Schumer to New York Daily News publisher Mort Zuckerman. The news was reported as a slight to Council Speaker Christine Quinn, widely thought to be Mr. Bloomberg’s preferred candidate in the race. However, Mr. Bloomberg denied the report on MSNBC’s Morning Joe earlier today.
“The article was so erroneous,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “It goes after one of the people who’s really made a difference in this city, Chris Quinn, our speaker in the City Council, who really has done a great job. Without her, it would have been a lot tougher, let me tell you.”
Former Mayor Ed Koch is very upset with The New York Times at the moment.
The cause? An editorial on immigration, where the the publication of record saw a new opportunity to push for reform in the wake of Republican election losses this year. But Mr. Koch, in one of his regular missives typically containing movie reviews, instead used the space to accuse The Times of overreaching in its rhetoric.
Elected officials in southern Brooklyn are putting The New York Times on notice.
At issue is an article about insurance fraud in Russian-speaking communities of Brooklyn where a law-enforcement official was quoted saying, “This is the Russian mind-set, and this is why it’s endemic in the system …. If you’re not scamming the system, if you’re not scamming the government, you’re not doing what you’re supposed to be doing — you’re looked upon as a patsy.”