Nolan Hicks et al., New York Post, February 15, 2022
Mayor Eric Adams unloaded Tuesday in an epic rant in which he threatened to stop fielding “off-topic” questions at his press conferences — and blasted the Big Apple’s news organizations over what he said was their lack of racial diversity.
The scolding, which came before an unrelated press conference on summer youth employment efforts, appeared to be sparked by coverage of his failed bid to get state lawmakers to budge on his anti-crime agenda — although the mayor failed to convey how race factored into that.
One day after meeting with Albany lawmakers in what he all but admitted was a failed attempt to roll back recent criminal-justice reforms, Adams claimed that accounts of his trip, none of which touched on race, were unfairly negative.
“If you want to acknowledge or not, I have been doing a darn good job and we just can’t live in this alternate reality,” a clearly angered Adams said.
Adams also warned that if the coverage of him doesn’t improve, “I’m just going to come in and do my announcements and bounce.”
Adams repeatedly suggested that race played a factor in news coverage of him, telling an almost all-white group of reporters who were hand-picked by his office and invited to cover the City Hall news conference, “I’m a black man that’s the mayor but my story is being interpreted by people that don’t look like me.”
“How many blacks are on editorial boards? How many blacks determine how these stories are being written?” he said.
“How many Asians? How many East Asians? How many South Asians? Everyone talks about my government being diversified, what’s the diversification in the newsrooms?”
Adams also accused the reporters of “writing through your prisms” before adding: “Diversify your newsrooms so I can look out and see people who look like me.”
Recounting his trip to Albany, Adams said, “I went to the Assembly conference. People raised the issues that they had and we talked. Black mayor, black Speaker, black majority leader, coming together and talking to each other.
“And if you would have turned on the news this morning, you would have said, ‘It was all hell up there,’ ” the mayor said.