On Tuesday afternoon, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the New York Times racist for their failure to cover the killing of Alphonza Bryant, a 17-year-old black teenager shot in the Bronx. “”There was not even a mention of his murder in our paper of record, the New York Times,” said Bloomberg. “‘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. I believe that the life of every 17-year-old and every child and every adult is precious.”
Bloomberg also went after the Center for Constitutional Rights and the New York Civil Liberties Union for not commenting on Bryant’s killing. Bloomberg said that Bryant was “shot and killed while standing with friends near his home,” and that he was an accidental victim “of too many guns on our streets … [four days after Bryant’s murder] the paper published another editorial attacking stop, question and frisk.”
Bloomberg was defending his own NYPD stop-and-frisk policy, which has come under heavy fire from the left, especially given the fact that a new bill would restrict officers from using racial descriptions when tracking suspects. Bloomberg said that under the bill, if someone said a “20-something-year-old white man with a blue windbreaker” committed a crime, “the officer under this bill could only use the color of the windbreaker as a lead.”
The New York Times fired back, accusing Bloomberg of “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.”
Bloomberg’s criticism of the New York Times has similarly been made repeatedly with regard to the media’s coverage of mass shootings like Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut, versus national media coverage of shootings in Chicago.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).