Earlier this week, a reporter for WPIX asked Mayor Mike Bloomberg about a report that the city was selling spent shell casings to a gun store in Georgia that recycles them for ammo.
The mayor tried to explain that the city sells its scrap metal to the highest bidder, but when Mary Murphy tried to press him, the mayor shot her back down:
“Either you want to ask a question and I give you an answer, or please come to the next press conference and stand in the back,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “I’m happy to answer your question, thank you very much. But I’ve given you the courtesy and I expect the same courtesy. Thank you very much.”
The folks at WPIX turned this into a story more about the persistent Ms. Murphy trying to get answers to her question than about Mr. Bloomberg’s actual answer (that the city has to sell to the highest bidder to get the best return on its investment and to avoid corruption, and that the gun dealer probably just bought the casings to embarrass him, which struck us as fairly reasonable).
But the story won’t end there.
Now, someone who goes by the name “The News Diva,” has started an online petition at the website Change. org that calls on Mayor Bloomberg to apologize to Ms. Murphy.
Ms. Mary Murphy simply asked you if the city would be able to change its policy so that ammunition dealers would not be able to get access to the aforementioned shell casings. You appeared upset, even uncomfortable by being asked such a question. You proceeded to treat Ms. Murphy with such disrespect and unprofessionalism, replying with such statements as “If she wanted to attend your next press conference, she could “stand in the back of the room”, and “Reporters are being fed information by a gun dealer and that gives you (directing your comment to Ms. Murphy in particular) a story to rile up everybody.”
Ms. Murphy was then manhandled by your representation and was pushed, shoved, and treated like she was a criminal.
Is this how all female reporters should be treated Mr. Mayor? Was it necessary for you to insult, intimidate and embarrass Ms. Murphy in this manner? Ms. Murphy is a celebrated news reporter, with years of experience to her credit and deserved better treatment.
This is a formal request for you and Commissioner Kelly to extend a sincere apology for your misconduct. And you will publicly agree that all women should never be spoken to in such a manner, nor physically abused as Ms. Murphy was, and that you will take the necessary steps to ensure this never happens again.
While Politicker appreciates The News Diva for sticking up for our colleagues, we have to note that this kind of behavior isn’t exactly out of character for hizzoner.
[H/T to Mediabistro]