Friday, April 28, 2017

Ignoring the Press

Groundhog Day: Times Notices Again de Blasio Ignores the Press  “Don’t Ask, Don’t Answer”
A Mayor Raises Questions by Refusing to Take Any (NYT) Since walking out of a news conference last month, Mayor Bill de Blasio seems to be embracing a new approach of “don’t ask, don’t answer.”* De Blasio has restricted the times when he will take questions from reporters and has relied more on social media channels, town hall exchanges and one-on-one interviews with specific reporters, a model that has been largely untested in New York, the Times reports.No questions were allowed after a Police Academy graduation, by the statue known as “Fearless Girl” in Lower Manhattan, or even at the handful of events during the mayor’s weeklong road trip on Staten Island last week.“I’m here to talk about this,” he said at the March 23 event, held so he could talk about a so-called mansion tax proposal. “I’m here to talk about this. If you want to talk about this, I’m here to talk about this.” After three questions not about that, he walked off.

Times Admits to Scripted Controlled News by deB But It is Every Elected Officials Esp. in NY
Even before the March 23 news conference, Mr. de Blasio had increasingly relied on more scripted interactions with reporters when making a public announcement, insisting that reporters ask questions only about the topic that he had chosen to talk about that day, like police statistics, or affordable housing.  When Mr. de Blasio was public advocate, he gave the previous administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg poor marks for transparency and responsiveness to requests for information. But Mr. Bloomberg did take off-topic questions, once questions on the stated topic had been exhausted, said Bill Cunningham, a former spokesman for Mr. Bloomberg. Mr. Cunningham said the lack of a prominent opponent to the mayor in this year’s election has given him more space to do as he pleased. “As long as they’re able to get away with this, they will,” he said. City Hall and other city agencies have been active on social media and the mayor has conducted numerous live online video streams, including with a Staten Island couple during his time there last week and onboard the ferry on Monday. The videos provide a more intimate — if more controlled — view of mayoral activities than can be seen from a news conference.

NY1 in Their Weekly Interview (Campaign Commercial) With the Mayor Did Go Into Chiara and Dante's eating habits

Talking to New Yorkers Like They Are Children Using Tax Payer Dollars Our No Respect Mayor Makes A Dumb Song and Dance Video Daily News Epic Embarrassment

Taxpayers foot bill for glitzy ad touting de Blasio (NYP) Just hours before Mayor de Blasio sent out a plea for donations to his re-election campaign, City Hall posted a 3¹/₂-minute video on Twitter with Broadway actors touting Hizzoner and his accomplishments — all paid for by taxpayers.  The kitschy clip features former “Glee” actress Jenna Ushkowitz and former “Aladdin” actor James Iglehart test-running a song about pre-K, low crime rates and affordable housing for de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray.  Despite being described as a summary of accomplishments, the video cites a number of initiatives that have been pledged by the mayor but are years away from measurable progress. They include getting all second-graders to read on grade level by 2026, and providing computer-science education across all grades by 2025. The actors also trumpet a two-year rent freeze for rent-stabilized apartments, even though the Mayor’s Office has insisted it was imposed by the supposedly independent Rent Guidelines Board without City Hall interference.  * De Blasio hits awkward note withBroadway-style video promoting his 2016 achievements (NYDN) Mayor de Blasio released a cringe-inducing video on Tuesday to tout his accomplishments in 2016 that included awkward acting attempts from Hizzoner and City Hall staffers, while ignoring all of his missteps.  The video — financed with public money — stars Broadway actors Jenna Ushkowitz and James Iglehart and shows de Blasio on a flip phone requesting a song highlighting his administration’s work during 2016.  “Just hit it. Come on, hit it!” de Blasio barks into the phone to his wife First Lady Chirlane McCray and senior adviser Andrea Hagelgans, a nod to his reputation as a demanding boss.  The new video came on the same day the Daily News detailed his bad year with a front-page story, “Bill’s Sour ’16,” chronicling 16 troubling issues his administration faced during the past 12 months, including the law enforcement probes into de Blasio’s fund-raising and record homelessness, among other woes.  Not surprisingly, none of those problems made the cut for the puff video, which only shows the mayor in a positive light.  “No matter what will be, we got Billy D B,” Ushkowitz warbles.  And the video makes no mention of any of the problems the city faced this year.  That includes the controversy over his decision to take an NYPD helicopter to a Queens speech from Brooklyn during rush hour after making fund-raising calls in his favorite restaurant; the increase in cluster sites and hotel rooms to house the skyrocketing homeless population; and the city’s botched response to the Zymere Perkins child abuse case.John Kaehny, the executive director of the good government group Reinvent Albany, said the latest de Blasio video was too self-promotional for the public to foot the bill for. “It sounds like a campaign ad produced by taxpayer funds,” he said. Once 2017 starts — when the mayor will run for reelection — the Campaign Finance Board prohibits elected officials in New York from appearing in commercials for the city.* Mayor Bill de Blasio, who released a self-promoting video featuring Broadway talent that drew wide criticism, should concentrate more on delivering unimpeachable government if he wishes to drown out critics, the Daily News writes. Bill's Song and Dance Bright and early Tuesday morning, with the Daily News front page recounting “Tales of mayor’s roughest year yet,” the mayor’s Twitter and Facebook feeds unspooled a wacky mockumentary video in which two Broadway stars and First Lady Chirlane McCray purport to demo for the mayor, who’s listening in on a cellphone, his soaring accomplishments of 2016.  In song. With charts. Flashing the cryptic hashtag #alwaysnewyork and a satirical tone off-key to honest achievements touted, such as a million potholes filled, neighborhood policing taking root and affordable housing preserved. Then: Cut to McCray, who in all seriousness pleads with New Yorkers in mental distress to dial the city’s new NYC Well hotline for assistance. The spectacle’s punchline: de Blasio deems the effort “too elaborate. Maybe we should just do a couple of tweets.” Uh. Ha.  Such is the underwhelming stagecraft of Hizzoner’s new 15-head “creative communications” team, paid $75,000 each to broadcast the mayor’s message without the meddlesome fact-checking of news reporters.  The mayor’s new media adventures tread willfully close to the limit of the allowable. Had the spot emerged just five days hence, it would likely have been forbidden by a City Charter ban on taxpayer-funded self-promotion in an election year.  Had de Blasio been a state official and not a city one, the ad would likely have been forbidden by a state ethics law ban on public officials appearing in taxpayer-funded promotions .* A Song for Bill de Blasio Sounds a Sour Note for Watchdogs  (NYT)  Video on the mayor’s City Hall Twitter account uses two Broadway stars to promote his accomplishments. Some say it is too much like a campaign ad.* Mayor de Blasio tries to defend boastful video decried bywatchdogs (NYDN) "Great voices, catchy tune, and substantive content. What's controversial about that?" the tweet from the official New York City Mayor's Office read.* Fundraising Investigations, Homeless Crisis, and Failures at ACS Cloud Mayor's 2016  (NY1)Mayor de Blasio is struggling to put a positive spin on his exceptionally challenging 2016.

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