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September 10, 2009 @ 3:30 pm

The Times Covers for Bloomberg

It looks like The New York Times is covering for Bloomberg. Matt sent us the following e-mail earlier today:

I saw your post on Stuy Town last night. I read the link to the NYT and I read your transcription of the article. Both featured a paragraph about Bloomberg’s involvement (although the sentence was lame and weak). But in the print version the Times ran today – they took the entire paragraph out and there is no mention of Bloomberg at all. And now when you link from your site to the NYT article – it brings you to the Bloomberg free article. Dirty. Clearly Bloomberg’s people called them up last night and squeezed them – and these lame asses changed the story.

Matt’s right. The article is free of any mention of Bloomberg, which in the original piece said:

The Stuyvesant Town travail has put a dent in the armor of Tishman Speyer, a real estate company that zealously protects its image as the preferred caretaker for the city’s crown jewels: Rockefeller Center, the Chrysler Building and the Met Life Building on Park Avenue. Indeed, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said as much in response to criticism when they bought Stuyvesant Town that the city should have supported a rival $4 billion bid from tenants.

Why cut out Bloomberg’s name? Probably because Bloomberg doesn’t want the Times to remind people of his involvement in the whole deal. Here’s Wayne Barrett last week:

The mayor, mesmerized as ever by private deals involving 10 digits, called Speyer “a great landlord” and said, less than prophetically, “I think the tenants will be well-protected.” Dan Garodnick, the understated City Councilman who lives in and represents Stuy Town, said last week that Speyer has “moved against people in 1,500 apartments and been forced to drop half the cases.”

At the time of the sale, Garodnick got every major Democrat in the city and state at the time—including Chuck Schumer, Hillary Clinton, Christine Quinn, and Bill Thompson—to raise alarms about the sale’s inevitable detrimental impact on the city’s affordable housing stock and even to join him in championing a $4.5 billion bid put together by tenant and union leaders.

Bloomberg appealed to fans of the free market. “MetLife owns it, and they have a right to sell it,” he declared before the sale occurred. “When you have a lot of people wanting to live there, prices go up” was another Bloomberg pre-sale explanation. “You always feel sorry for those who can’t afford it,” he mused on his radio show. “But those who can afford it say, ‘Well, what about me?’ ” The Daily News called Bloomberg’s comments an “endorsement” of the sale, and the Times later noted that “the Bloomberg administration supported Tishman Speyer’s record-breaking purchase.”

But Bloomberg wasn’t just in favor of the sale. In fact, he and Doctoroff undercut efforts by others in the administration to come up with a proposal to save Stuy Town’s affordable apartments.

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