Bill de Blasio is already practically a communist, so why not jump in and do the whole “state-run media” thing too?
The liberal New York City mayor floated the idea of a city-sponsored and run media outlet during a closed-door Q&A session with laid off Gothamist and DNAinfo reporters last Friday.
“I think it’s a really good question and one that intrigues me and one that I’d be open in seeing the city invest in,” said de Blasio. “Publicly sponsored, with appropriate grounds. The BBC model, not always perfect, but in the best sense — there’s definitely a place for that.”
The New York City mayor thinks that since the operation would be publicly owned, it would “create more balance” and be “fair and responsive” as opposed to outlets owned by “a bunch of rich individuals from multinational corporations.”
De Blasio’s comments expectedly raised more than a few red flags, according to the NY Post.
“The idea of the city directly funding local news would always raise questions about the independence of a news operation,” Paul Moses, a journalism professor at Brooklyn College, said.
CityLimits.org publisher Jarrett Murphy is dubious as well.
“I’m generally pretty skeptical of the idea because I think it opens the door for some issues — the credibility of the media is so important, and direct government funding could undermine that,” Murphy said. “I just don’t know if it’s a good idea.”
The mayor begs to differ, and used an example of a prior city-owned news outlet to bolster his case.
“Sure, the mayor named the head of WNYC, but that was a no-fly-zone in terms of political influence. You had to choose someone very much above the fray, using almost the same sensibilities we would think about naming judges, for example,” said de Blasio.
However, the NY Post brought up an Ed Koch 2008 op-ed to refute de Blasio’s contention.
“After private media outlets — newspapers, TV, radio — rejected my proposal and refused to publish the names of convicted johns, I ordered WNYC, then a city-owned radio station, to read the names,” wrote Koch about his actions in 1979.
And the temptation isn’t limited to Democrats. Guardian Angel Curtis Sliwa told the New York Times in 2006 that his 1994 WNYC show was “forced upon them by Rudy Giuliani.”
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