Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mike Snaps Back

from nymagazine
As the Times once exhaustively noted, Bloomberg loves the word “unconscionable.” He is apparently less enthusiastic about the word “maintain,” judging by this exchange with Newsday reporter Michael Frazier:
Frazier says: “Mayor, you maintain that you kept a dialogue open with Sean Bell—”
Bloomberg, whose head had snapped up at the word maintain, interrupts: “‘Maintain’ is a word that I don’t think is appropriate, sir. The next time you have a question and want to insinuate that I lie, just talk to the press secretary. I don’t think we have a question for you.”
We don't even know what the reporter wanted to ask; we just know that the question involved the murder of Sean Bell.
When there is a divergence of opinions, and you believe you are right, then, especially if you are in a position of responsibility and authority, as the mayor is, the correct and respectful thing is to explain clearly and logically why you hold the opinion you do.
The mayor bullied this reporter out of asking his question but the people should condemn the mayor for bullying the reporter in that way. The word "maintain," used in a situation like this, does not imply that somebody is lying, as Bloomberg asserted. It implies that they have one understanding and/or view while others have other views. There was nothing legitimate about Bloomberg's reaction to this reporter. I for one would like to see New York magazine learn that reporter's identity, and the question he wanted to ask, and then pose the same question to the mayor. It could be re-phrased to mean the same thing without using the word "maintain."
Noelle Hancock
The mayor's behavior was cowardly and obnoxious. He just doesn't want to answer any challenging questions about the case around the killing of Sean Bell.
By ScottRose on 05/12/2008 at 4:48pm

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