Friday, January 19, 2007


Kneeling In Front Of Republicans: It's Not Just For The WHCA

It's not just the White House press corps that cowers in fear whenever a Republican clears his throat.

You're mayor of New York City. It's the day before your annual "State of the City" address. You want certain aspects of your speech to be teased in the next morning's papers, but you don't want a bunch of outside voices raining on your parade, dissecting your speech before you've even hit the podium. So, your people phone up city hall reporters, preview some of your proposals, provide anonymous quotes on portions of the speech you'd like highlighted, and insist that reporters not do any additional reporting or seek outside comment until the day of the speech. [...] And then, on the morning of your speech, you revel in seeing your version of events reprinted in papers throughout the city, featuring only quotes from unnamed people on your team ("officials said" and "aides said") touting only bits of the speech you chose to emphasize. (See, for example, the NY Post's headline yesterday: "$1B Tax Break For Bloomy Boomtown," and lede, "With revenues overflowing and the economy roaring, Mayor Bloomberg today will unveil a $1 billion tax cut, marking a stunning turnaround of the city's fortunes from the dark days of 9/11..." and, further along, "As opposed to increasing the size of government, the mayor believes that a good portion of surplus revenues should go back into the hands of the taxpayers of New York City," said one senior mayoral aide...")

Just try to imagine the firestorm that would have ensued if a Democrat had tried this stunt. Yet the New York media goes along with like meek little lambs.

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