“You know, you guys kill me. What part of Albany were you covering?”
Mayor Adams was talking to the reporters in the room.
His visit with state lawmakers hadn’t yielded the promises on bail reform rollback he wanted.
Nor, he made clear, had it yielded the kind of press coverage he wanted.
“Black mayor, Black speaker, Black majority leader, coming together and talking to each other,” Adams said Tuesday at City Hall. “And if you would have turned on the news this morning, you would have said, ‘It was all hell up there.’”
Adams railed against reporters for nearly seven minutes at the start of a news conference that was supposed to be focused on summer jobs for young people.
He linked what he said was a misinterpretation of him to the lack of representation in newsrooms.
“How many Blacks are in the editorial boards? How many Blacks determined how these stories are being written? How many Asians?” Adams said.
Adams carried the theme of racial reckoning to his announcement that the city is expanding the Summer Youth Employment Program and related programming by 25% to 100,000 spots.
The initiative was cited in his Plan to End Gun Violence as a means of prevention.
“I don’t care if it’s in Albany, if it’s in Washington, no matter where we are, when we look at the young people who are being exposed,” he said, gesturing next to him at a SYEP participant. “They don’t look like this young man who’s standing beside me.”
The investment is a priority for the mayor, City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.
Adams said there will be a job for any New Yorker who wants one, ages 14 to 24.
“So as far as I’m concerned, we’ve achieved universal youth jobs. And that’s an amazing accomplishment,” Williams said.
Then, after the mayor suggested he might stop taking questions from reporters, he took just two and left.
His spokesman said he had to get to his next event.