NY Times succumbs to Mayor Bloomberg’s racism claims in youth’s murder coverage

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
Font Size:

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg accused his city’s largest paper, The New York Times, of racial bias Tuesday for not reporting on the murder of 17-year-old Alphonza Bryant.

“There was not even a mention of his murder in our paper of record, The New York Times,” Bloomberg said on Tuesday. “‘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.”

But in its Thursday edition, the Times published a story about the 10-day-old murder, mentioning Bloomberg’s remarks.

“Mr. Bryant’s life and death came into the public spotlight on Tuesday when Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg singled him out as a casualty of gun violence, using the teenager to illustrate the toll that illegal guns can have on New York, and the value of the Police Department’s stop-and-frisk tactics,” reporters Winnie Hu and Nate Schweber wrote. “Mr. Bloomberg criticized civil rights groups, saying they expressed no outrage about Mr. Bryant’s shooting, and suggested that The New York Times had failed to cover the killing because the teenager was black.”

The Times’ editorial board’s has voiced its disapproval of the city’s stop-and-frisk policy and actively covers crime, Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha wrote in an email to Dylan Byers of Politico.

“Mayor Bloomberg is 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.”

Follow Jeff on Twitter