How Bill de Blasio Schooled a Right-Wing Planted Reporter -- A Guide for Progressives

A reporter asked one of the most divisive questions at a news conference in New York City featuring Bill de Blasio, his commissioner, and police chief. The reporter's question was barely audible. He asked the mayor if he approved of anti-police chants, with some equating the police to the KKK. Bill de Blasio did not run away from the question. He answered it straight on.

“We've talked about this so many times,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I am not going to talk about it again. Now the question is, what are you guys going to do? Are you going to keep dividing us? … Let’s get real.

Just in that question, 25,000 people marched down one of our streets a few days back, absolutely peaceful, no chants like that, peacefully calling for what they believed in as American citizens. And the NYPD protected them and I told people, at the time I said repeatedly, that I got calls from all over this country with admiration for NYPD for the way they protected people's democratic rights. I heard from so many protesters who appreciated the NYPD. I heard from NYPD officers & leaders who said they saw peaceful protest, respectful protest.

What you managed to do is pull up the few who do not represent the majority, who are saying unacceptable things, who shouldn't be saying those things. And some who actually physically attack police officers which I said is absolutely unacceptable.

We will prosecute them to the fullest. Everyone must participate in finding those individuals. Providing information to the police. Intervening to stop them. Alerting the police. I will keep saying this over and over the question is will you tell the world about it. Because you all are part of this too.

So yes there are some bad people who say inappropriate things. There are some people who say hateful things. They have no place in these protests. They are not what I am talking about. I am talking about the vast majority of New Yorkers and vast majority of Americans who believe in peaceful democratic process. I don’t care where they are in the political spectrum. The vast majority of our citizens are good and decent people who do not say negative things, racist things nasty things to police, threatening things to police.

The few who want conflicts attempt that and unfortunately so many times you guys enable that. I don't see reports on the many decent good people. I don't see reports on the everyday cops who do the exemplary thing and hold the line and show restraint and discipline no matter what invective hurled at them."

The reporter then attempted to interrupt Mayor as if everything the mayor said went unsaid. The Mayor slammed back.

You know what, I am telling you all over again that’s how you want to portray the world but we know a different reality," said Bill de Blasio. "There are some people who do that. It's wrong it's wrong they shouldn't do that. It's immoral It's wrong it’s nasty. It’s negative. They should not do that. But they my friend are not the majority. Stop portraying them as the majority."

More good politicians must challenge the media when they are attempting to steer the narrative instead of reporting the events. Too many times they have become but the tool of one side of the discourse at the detriment of us all.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.