Arrogance, thy true name is Michael Bloomberg …
Billionaire businessman and Democrat presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, already under fire for, one, trying to buy the election, and two, blocking reporters who work for his eponymously named media organizations from investigating either him or any other Democrat presidential candidate, is in trouble yet again.
In a CBS interview recorded Friday, the 2020 contender defended his partisan no-investigations policy from criticism. Announced late last month, the policy grants all Democrats immunity from journalism being conducted on them by employees of Bloomberg News.
When CBS’s Gayle King brought up the fact that even his own employees have complained about the policy, he responded in a way so arrogant and demeaning that he’s likely to feel the repercussions for months to come.
Listen to the relevant part of the interview below:
“[E]ven your own news reporters have complained they think it’s unfair that they’re not allowed to investigate other Democratic candidates because their boss is in the race,” King noted.
Bloomberg responded by basically telling his employees to suck it up, buttercup.
“You just have to learn to live with some things,” he said. “They get a paycheck. But with your paycheck comes some restrictions and responsibilities.”
In other words, the men and women who were hired by his organizations to conduct journalism must instead now accept that they’re nothing but propagandists for his political agenda.
Perhaps never in Twitter history has a set of words spurred such a perfectly bipartisan bout of pure shock, outrage, and condemnation. For once, liberals and conservatives truly were united.
Observe (*Language warning):
What an arrogant, ignorant statement by @MikeBloomberg. If that’s the kind of presidency he’d run, it’d be rather #Trump-like. He’s made a hash of #BloombergNews, where it seems that part of the gig was and is supporting him — and not journalism. https://t.co/fTDiVYNHkf
— Howard Fineman (@howardfineman) December 7, 2019
Mike Bloomberg thinks of the salaries he pays his journalists as hush money.
— Jack Shafer (@jackshafer) December 6, 2019
There is literally no way to reconcile this policy with journalistic integrity.
— Michael Shapiro (@mis2127) December 6, 2019
Hey @MikeBloomberg, that’s not how journalism works. A healthy United States includes a fully functional Fourth Estate. This isn’t what I demand of any president, Democrat, or Republican. https://t.co/xAJGZOvjHm
— Jess Phoenix ? (@jessphoenix2018) December 6, 2019
Holy shit. Fucking unbelievable. You tie your reporters’ hands behind their backs and tell them who they can and cannot investigate, you’re no longer a news company. You’re a partisan mouthpiece. @MikeBloomberg I don’t know how you live with yourself. https://t.co/YI9jSn8gy2
— Bit Shifter (@bit_shifter_) December 6, 2019
Bloomberg’s effectively conceding that he’s turning a legitimate news institution into an anti-Trump PAC. Shouldn’t this be the moment that Money In Politics Fearmongerers call for Bloomberg to be regulated as such? https://t.co/7O0QKC2S3N
— Tiana Lowe (@TianaTheFirst) December 6, 2019
Some of the folks featured above are virulent anti-Trump haters, though as of December, it appears they’re now Bloomberg haters as well — and justifiably so.
Dovetailing back to the policy itself, while it provides Democrats with immunity, it offers none of the same to incumbent candidate President Donald Trump.
This fact hasn’t sat well with the president:
Mini Mike Bloomberg has instructed his third rate news organization not to investigate him or any Democrat, but to go after President Trump, only. The Failing New York Times thinks that is O.K., because their hatred & bias is so great they can’t even see straight. It’s not O.K.!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2019
When King addressed this concern with Bloomberg earlier in the interview, he tried to dismiss it by trotting out a bevy of odd arguments.
“When I started a news business in my company, I hired somebody outside. Their job is to run the news organization. The other job is to set the ethics. I think people have said to me, ‘How can you investigate yourself?’ And I said, ‘I don’t think you can,'” he said.
But technically, he wouldn’t be investigating himself. The journalists who work under his corporation would be performing the actual work …
“But if you take a look at the Bloomberg News organization, we carry news from lots of different places, like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post,” he continued. “There’s plenty of ways for people to get news about the candidates if they look at Bloomberg News.”
It’s not clear whether he meant that Bloomberg News features stories from other news organizations on its website, or that Bloomberg News uses these news organizations as sources. Either way, the suggestion appeared to be that those Americans interested in real news should look elsewhere.
Listen to the full segment below:
Former NYC Mayor & presidential contender @MikeBloomberg responds to criticism of his media company’s reporters not being allowed to investigate 2020 Democratic candidates: “With your paycheck comes some restrictions and responsibilities.”
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) December 6, 2019
According to Davis Martosko with the Daily Mail, the billionaire businessman’s employees aren’t handling his statement too well.
When questioned about it Friday afternoon, one unnamed political reporter reportedly texted an excrement emoji and the words, “Um…No.”
Asked Friday to respond to @MikeBloomberg‘s comment about coverage “restrictions” that come with his company’s paychecks, one Bloomberg political reporter texted a poop emoji and the words “Um…No.” https://t.co/319ZvRofUB pic.twitter.com/gkO1azu3FS
— David Martosko (@dmartosko) December 6, 2019
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