Mayor Bloomberg on OWS Raid: 'We Didn't Keep Anybody From Reporting'

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Mayor Bloomberg addressed (again) the NYPD's treatment of press at the Zuccotti Park raid in November during his weekly radio appearance on the John Gambling show this morning. The city has come under heavy criticism for not even allowing credentialed press anywhere near the action that night, and Bloomberg has maintained since the beginning that the police's rough treatment of reporters was appropriate.

"We didn't keep anybody from reporting, you just had to stand to the side," Bloomberg said today. "You don't have a right as a press person to stand in the way just in the interest of getting the story."

Bloomberg said that the way press were handled on November 15 was standard for police actions, and that "the police have to protect people."

Allowing the media to have full access to the raid "also wouldn't be fair to the protesters," Bloomberg said.

As for the police's conduct in general that night, Bloomberg said that "the police show amazing restraint. This is the greatest police department in the world. The number of times police fire their weapons here is so much less than any other police department."

The media blackout on Nov. 15 prompted observers to question the NYPD press credentialing process and a number of major news organizations, with the NYCLU, sent a letter to Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly objecting to the way press were handled.

[rgray@villagevoice.com] [@_rosiegray]

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8 comments
Gloria Jamie Avery
Gloria Jamie Avery

Mr Bloomberg is one of the most unethical men in the City Of New York.  He has enough money to buy out any hate group, plant traps to destroy careers of others who get in his way.  He has overstepped the democratic process in City Hall by appointing his own committees whom he know will agree with him, when he wants an initiative of his own to pass.  Ask Councilmen who spoke out against him (Liu); Congressmen (Weiner); Mayoral candidates who opposed him (Thompson; Mark Green); many whos careers have been ruined by provocateurs, paid in the game.  Who in the world is this guy who thinks he has an inkling of what democratic process is; or, governing for the majority, for that matter.  He's in the 1% and advocates for the 1%.  His time in City Hall is self serving as he walks out with another several billion richer.

Brandt Hardin
Brandt Hardin

Rights like Freedom of Press are some of the basic requirementsour Founding Fathers based our ENTIRE legal and political systems on.  These rights are being endangered andflat-out violated by denying access to Occupy events to witness the policebrutality going on in the police state we are being subjected to.  Raise your voice and concern and defend therights we are entitled to by spreading the word with these free posters Idesigned on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot...

Siobhan99
Siobhan99

I guess he doesn't consider batons, pepperspray and fists weapons. The only reason they haven't used deadly force is thanks the the restraint of the protesters & press of the occupy movement. If they were not peaceful , if they resisted or fought back in any way the rest of their artillery would have been used no doubt.

I personally saw a photographer blocks away from a protest jumped by 4-5 riot NYPD simply for photographing the caravan of 40 filled police vans on their way to the protest on the day they hoped to delay the trading bell. I don't call that restraint, I call that an attempt to squash anyone with a professional camera for trying to get the story out and an obvious unconstitutional violent act against the 1st amendment.

Aa
Aa

Due to the ever-increasing militarization of the US police forces over the last half-century, we should not be surprised that the police are now treating the press in similar fashion that the military has, ever since the Vietnam War ended. 

In the invasions of Grenada and Panama, the press were completely excluded, as all reporters not "embedded" with the military were considered the enemy, rounded up and imprisoned "for their own protection" - as the propaganda goes. 

It got even worse during the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions, where wayward news organizations like Al Jajeera had their headquarters bombed --twice-- by the US forces, and hospitals were occupied from the beginning to prevent pictures and videos leaking out that might show the world the bloody, dying babies and other inevitable war casualties.

Bloomberg is simply following standard (post-Vietnam) military principles in his treatment of the press -- principals which totalitarian rulers throughout history have always adhered to.

Strelnikov
Strelnikov

Everything the guy says on Occupy Wall Street is self-serving....he screwed up and he knows it.

I've noticed that, from the 1980s onward, the mayors of NYC have become more and more like emperors.

Drabbler
Drabbler

Everything he says about everything is self-serving.  Not that this makes him unique among politicians, of course, though he does seem less interested than most in the usual pretense.  [He still does it, but he always seems annoyed that he has to bother.]

Rich Clark
Rich Clark

I must say I love how most of those reporters were "protected." Some were "protected" with metal barriers thrown at their heads. Some were "protected" with fists and boots to the head, torso, extremities. Some were "protected" by a faceful of pepper spray or tear gas. Some were "protected" by spending a night in  jail, away from all the terrifying policemen tearing up  protesters' personal property and violating everyone's civil rights. Yes, please "protect" me, Mr. Mayor. I feel so safe with you and your personal army around. 

sauerkrautcity
sauerkrautcity

"Allowing the media to have full access to the raid 'also wouldn't be fair to the protesters,' Bloomberg said."I don't know one protester who didn't want the media there. Ridiculous

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