Although New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has come under fire for supporting the questionably racist “stop & frisk” police tactic, the city chief took aim at the New York Times for its crime coverage. During a speech yesterday (April 30) after responding to a city council ruling to enact a police watchdog group, Bloomberg took a swipe at the Times by alleging the paper doesn’t care about Black people.
While Mayor Bloomberg didn’t quite channel Kanye West’s infamous post-Hurricane Katrina critique of George Bush, he didn’t mince words by saying the Times lack of covering the murder of 17-year-old Alphonza Bryant would have been different if the teen was White.
From the speech as transcribed by NY Mag:
“Last week Bronx resident Alphonza Bryant was shot and killed while standing with friends near his home. He was 17. Like most murder victims in our city, he was a minority …. Alphonza was a person — he had a loving mother, family, friends. It does not appear that he was even the intended target of the shooters. He was just a victim of too many guns on our streets. But after his murder there was no outrage from the Center for Constitutional Rights or the NYCLU. There was not even a mention of his murder in our paper of record, the New York Times. ‘All the news that’s fit to print’ did not include the murder of 17-year-old Alphonza Bryant. Do you think that if a white, 17-year-old prep student from Manhattan had been murdered, the Times would have ignored it? Me neither.”
The Times quickly responded via e-mail, as reported by Politico.
“Mayor Bloomberg is trying to deflect criticism of the City’s stop-and-frisk practice by accusing The New York Times of bias. Among those critical of the practice is The New York Times editorial board, which is separate from the news side of the newspaper. The Times aggressively covers violence in the city’s neighborhoods, and to select one murder as evidence to the contrary is disingenuous. His claim of racial bias is absurd,” wrote Times spokesperson Danielle Rhoades.
Watch Mayor Bloomberg’s full speech on public safety below.
Let us know if you think he needs more people in the comments.
Photo: The Gloss