City Hall, Downtown Manhattan, New York
Oh, boy, looks like Mayor Eric Adams has let the job get to him or he’s in over his head, even with that massive ego he’s been carrying since primary election day last summer. That same ego is also getting bruised by New York City’s legacy media press, which at one point the nearly two month Hizzoner welcomed with open arms and treated with reverence that was entirely absent for 8 years when Bill de Blasio was stifling them and then suppressing them in the last 2 years of this pandemic. But 45 days later, which has seen a massive rise in all index crimes and his failed attempt to persuade Albany’s obstinate and arrogant legislative leaders to reform the bail reform laws that have exacerbated those crimes, Mayor Adams has decided to scapegoat journalists for his disappointing return to the city for the way they wrote about it and told them he wasn’t going to answer their questions anymore unless it’s about the issue or the theme of whatever he’s publicly speaking about in future “media availabilitys”
Although it might not be just the Albany powwow that Adams is frustrated about. The nascent mayor is having immense difficulties filling out administration positions (even though he’s going buck wild consolidating and rebranding a lot of municipal agencies into bigger ones). But Adams wouldn’t have these issues if he hired people who didn’t have major conflicts of interests like working for corporations that do business with the city or trying to manufacture a six figure salary nepotism deputy position for his brother. Another thing that’s surely pissing off Adams about these meddling reporters is all the stories written about his majorly tainted Chief Of Staff Frank Carone, who was just recently under two federal investigations regarding a deadbeat med tech LLC he had a partnership with that didn’t pay rent to a warehouse landlord for months, and get this, that consortium even decorated their space while still behind over 200 G’s on the rent.
Apparently, Adams Albany debacle was the tipping point for him with the local corporate news, and now he’s glowering to journos right to their faces and making demands to newspaper editorial boards for not reporting accurately enough. (I mean he got a pear and an apple from Assembly Speaker Cousins for fuck’s sake). Never mind the fact that these are the same editorial boards that universally endorsed him for mayor and never mind the other fact that these are the same journos that practically boosted Adams to the mayoralty by writing him up as is victory was predetermined on the second right after he won the June primary by a snatch’s hair.
The worst aspect of all this the Mayor’s megalomania and he doesn’t even realize how much of a dictator he sounds like. Or it’s possible he actually does, because what his diatribe is all about here is he wants to control the content coming from the press. Government control of the press. The most warped thing about what Adams wants from city journalism, one of many warped things about his whiny power grab, is for reporters too look like him. Adams seriously feels that he’s being ostracized because he feels the press is too White for him and if there were Blacks and POC reporters they would be more understanding, sympathetic. The mayor is defiantly race baiting and calling for biased reporting and for Black and POC to act as stenographers to tow the mayor’s office narrative.
But even if the papers hired Black or other POC journos so it would fit “the prism” he wants, they will still have to write articles that stays within the Mayor’s prism, which is his and his administration’s narrative. This was exposed when Adams hypothetically mentioned how would the press like it if deputy mayors would distort their news to them, basically telling reporters that if they don’t report the way he likes, don’t expect any transparency, accountability and truth from his administration. Adams has shown he will literally use spite if reporters don’t write what he wants to hear and sunk as low to use the race card to do it.
New York City can only hope that Adams’ tantrum was a one time thing, but when he played his hand at that presser and showed it full of race cards, it actually revealed that he’s still harboring bitter vindictive feelings that he displayed when he yelled about “crackers” at a convention right when his mayoral campaign began that was just revealed only few weeks ago. Now he’s channeled vindictiveness to the current press corps (which also consist of Blacks, Latinos and Asians), the same journalists that his administration’s media office approves access to. Adams blatantly conveyed this petty ante vendetta when he reassured a young man on stage who he thought was nervous in front of the press to not let “them” get to him. While also referencing himself.
What truly make Adams blathering about his perceived mistreatment from the fourth estate more egregious is that he signed an executive order that (allegedly) specifically required municipal agencies to respect the rights of constituents and the press and provide them with services to see the city records in a timely fashion, complete with a study by the NYCLU with it’s chairman Norman Seigel standing on the platform with the mayor. And the ink was not even dry on that EO when Adams violated it himself by mockingly cutting off Daily News reporter Michael Gartland right when he was going to ask two questions and was regulated to uno.
And this is where Adams, a mayor clearly not playing with a full deck but is throwing race cards and anteing up his perception of divinity, demanding the press to be nicer and more emotionally intelligent with him after his grandstanding decree for better transparency and accountability, trashing the entire press and demanding those things precise things from them with unmitigated projection and impunity. And it only took one week for Adams to violate his own EO. For the second time.
The race thing with Adams is nothing but a distraction for what he and his administration of corporatists and cronies really want, total control of narrative. Past New York City mayors used to rail against the press too, notably Rudy, Bloomberger and of course the thin skinned empty cranium The Blaz, but even they never crossed the line between government overreach of the press like Adams did, giving them an ultimatum if they don’t report the way he likes (he went to Albany and got a pear!). Sure elected officials harbor deep feelings to control stories that make them look bad or bring sunlight to their graft but Adams literally wants to manufacture consent regarding his policy decisions, his relations with fellow officials and his personal affairs. Which is ridiculously ironic since the “White editorial press staffs” manufactured consent to get him into City Hall, constantly referring him as “most likely to win the election” and “certain mayor”.
This is beyond Donald Trump’s repetitive exhortation of “fake news”, Adams wants total control of information itself. Like all authoritarians, autocrats and dictators and his buddy President Joe Biden who also has monstrous contempt for the press that once protected him, Adams also knows that who ever controls the narrative has all the power over the people and their ideas and thoughts and society as a whole, which he not so subtly referenced during his six minute hate rant against the press in the room with him, literally accusing them of manipulating their readers minds by calling his disastrous trip to Albany the disaster that it was.
But Mayor Eric Adams would rather order reporters, preferably Black and POC reporters, to manufacture consent for him so he can build these prisms to cover his ass in case his other meetings with officials turn to shit. Then he’ll will demand more prisms when his policies and programs collapse and fail. While Adams will be living large in his own prism, New York City will be left in the dark and languishing in it’s own prism.
Or prison that is. A prison under government established and reinforced cognitive dissonance.