Hypothetical Free Presser de Blasio Says U.S. Better Without Fox News
But the NYC mayor got a pass — surprise! — from liberal media members who are outraged at Trump's 'fake news' and 'enemy of the people' labels
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) targeted conservative media outlets and Rupert Murdoch’s media empire Tuesday during an interview with The Guardian, saying he wishes the U.S. could “remove” unfavorable outlets “from the last 25 years of American history.”
De Blasio insisted that “if you could remove News Corp from the last 25 years of American history, we would be in an entirely different place.” Gotham’s mayor also condemned Murdoch and Fox News for President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election victory and its aftermath.
Without Murdoch and Fox News, de Blasio said “We would be a more unified country. We would not be suffering a lot of the negativity and divisiveness we’re going through right now. I can’t ignore that.”
DeBlasio’s targeting of conservative media outlets comes as the nation debates Trump’s controversial comments about “fake news” and his “enemy of the people” label.
Trump explained Thursday on Twitter that “they asked my daughter Ivanka whether or not the media is the enemy of the people. She correctly said no. It is the FAKE NEWS, which is a large percentage of the media, that is the enemy of the people!”
They asked my daughter Ivanka whether or not the media is the enemy of the people. She correctly said no. It is the FAKE NEWS, which is a large percentage of the media, that is the enemy of the people!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 2, 2018
Even so, the label again hit the headlines last week when CNN’s Jim Acosta challenged White House press secretary Sarah Sanders during Thursday’s press briefing to denounce her boss’s use of the phrase. Acosta’s grandstanding dominated coverage of the briefing.
To be fair, de Blasio has also criticized the liberal-leaning New York Daily News and The New York Times for their coverage of his administration of the city. He slammed the conservative-leaning New York Post for its coverage in May during an interview on “The Brian Lehrer Show,” saying, “No, I will not shed a tear if that newspaper is no longer here, because I think we need a better civic discourse.”
“Their presence in our society, unfortunately, is harmful,” de Blasio said.
Although de Blasio exhibited no qualms against wishing for the destruction of Murdoch’s media empire, he rebuked Trump for targeting “fake news” as “the enemy of the people.”
“There is no comparison between a progressive critique of the media — and overwhelmingly corporate media, by the way — and a president who does not believe in free speech and is trying to undermine the norms of democracy,” de Blasio insisted.
But if Trump’s criticism of liberal media bias leads to “a steady decline in democracy,” de Blasio said he might be forced “to vividly defend a lot of media we don’t agree with. But I don’t want to give them a free pass on what they have done to all of us.”
When Trump attacks the liberal “fake news” media as “the enemy of the people,” outlets like CNN go nuts. For example, CNN’s “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter claimed Sunday that “Trump and some of his allies are promoting a hate movement against the American press.” Stelter also said such criticism “attempts to strip away our legitimacy and humanity.”
But Stelter did not extend this same warning against de Blasio’s rhetoric Tuesday. Stelter initially tweeted The Guardian’s article on its interview with de Blasio, writing, “de Blasio v. Murdoch: “If you could remove News Corp from the last 25 years of American history, we would be in an entirely different place.”
Then The Daily Caller’s Joe Simonson replied, “Does this mean it’s trump vs cnn, brian and not trump vs. the press?” Stelter replied, “Deep breaths Joe! The quote I tweeted was about Murdoch, not the ‘press.’ In the quote, de Blasio was specifically criticizing Murdoch’s media empire.”
Stelter’s response spurred New York Post columnist Karol Markowicz to reply, “Ohhhh I see. Trump hates media critical of him and BdB hates media. critical of him and this is different because … wait, why is it different?”
The CNN host merely replied, “If you can’t see the difference between Trump’s quotes and de Blasio’s quotes — in framing, in frequency, in ferocity — then there’s nothing I can do to help you.”
If you can't see the difference between Trump's quotes and de Blasio's quotes — in framing, in frequency, in ferocity — then there's nothing I can do to help you. ??♂️
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) August 7, 2018
Curtis Houck, the managing editor of Media Research Center, told LifeZette, “The hypocrisy couldn’t be any clearer when it comes to media criticism. For too many on the Left and media cheerleaders, condemning or smearing Fox News or any outlet that doesn’t act like them is a naturally occurring patriotic duty.”
Houck added that “trying to take down the Murdochs or any conservative outlet that doesn’t play by their rules is fair game, while daring to chant ‘CNN sucks’ or call out the rampant bias at CNN or The New York Times is skewed as dangerous.”
“What we’ve seen today with the way the Brian Stelters of the world have all but defended de Blasio shows how blatant the double standard is when it comes to critiquing the media,” he added.