NEW YORK (PIX11) — An admittedly “frustrated” Mayor Eric Adams is not too happy about media coverage surrounding his visit to Albany.
He traveled to the state’s capital to push for changes to the state’s bail reform law, but did not appear to make much progress. However, Adams said calling the whole trip a failure is unfair, adding that a lack of diversity from the press corps is part of the reason he’s being criticized so heavily.
“If you want to acknowledge or not, I have been doing a darn good job,” Adams said.
He accused reporters of writing stories in advance and not correctly characterizing his series of meetings with fellow Democrats in Albany. Specifically, he insisted there was “no arguing, no yelling, no screaming” in any of the meetings he was a part of.
Adams seemed to fixate on an anonymous quote in the New York Daily News that said he got “beat up” by fellow lawmakers. He said if headlines like that persist, he would no longer take off-topic questions from reporters.
“If this is how it’s going to be, I’m just going to come in, and do my announcements and bounce,” Adams threatened. “Why am I even answering these questions?”
Veteran New York City political observer Hank Sheinkopf said the relationship between the city’s mayors and the media members who cover them is always contentious. He points to one reason Adams is lashing out so early in his term.
“The mayor is just trying to deflect the blame for what might not have happened in Albany,” Sheinkopf said. “He’d rather blame the press corps than blame his fellow politicians who told him they were not giving him what he wants and what he says he needs.”
Later in his remarks, Adams said he thought the coverage of him was racially biased.
“I’m a Black man that’s the mayor, but my story is being interpreted by people who don’t look like me,” Adams said. “How many Blacks are on the editorial boards? How many Blacks determining how these stories are being written?”
Basil Smikle, former executive director of the New York Democratic Party, an African-American man who frequently comments on politics for PIX11 News, said diversity could always be improved in newsrooms However, Smikle added he was not sure diversity was core to Adams’ frustrations.
He said every mayor has growing pains when it comes to handling the intense press coverage. Additionally, Smikle said Adams is under immense pressure to do something about the crime New Yorkers see every single day in the city.