Mayor Bill de Blasio is going to war with the New York Post, ignoring the longtime adage that you never want to pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel. It's the latest sign of his souring relationship with the press in general. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
Mayor Bill de Blasio had a frosty response to a New York Post reporter trying to ask a question at the mayor's weekly open session with reporters.
Q: Mr. Mayor -
de Blasio: You can keep calling all you want. Go ahead.
Q: Are you calling on me today? Hey...
de Blasio: I'm calling on real media outlets. Go ahead.
The reporter, Yoav Gonen, has been the Post's City Hall bureau chief for more than three years.
"You can talk all you want. Right back there," de Blasio said.
De Blasio froze him out.
"I got no use for a right-wing rag that attacks people who are good public servants and tries to undermine their reputation," he said.
It's been clear from the start that the mayor has little regard for the conservative tabloid. But he's recently taken his displeasure public in a new way. He will go weeks without calling on reporters from the Post. And last month, he cut off the same Post reporter for asking about a new contractor training officers at Rikers Island.
"I appreciate your propagandistic newspaper, but the bottom line point is, I'm sorry. I'm just not playing this game," de Blasio siad at the time.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg once banned a blogger from his news conferences, and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani sparred with the press corps as well. But no modern mayor has engaged in a directed fight with one of the city's biggest and most powerful papers in this way.
The New York Post and NY1 have jointly sued the mayor to obtain emails he exchanged with outside advisors.
The mayor is up for re-election next year and may think this battle helps him with his left-leaning, progressive base.
"It doesn't have to help. I am saying what I think is the truth," de Blasio said. "And by the way, I think the people share a lot of my view."
Donald Trump has attacked individual reporters and banned news organizations from his events, including outlets like the Washington Post. The mayor is no fan of Trump's, but in this case he seems to have taken a page from his playbook.