Rudy Giuliani Hated Times Reporter Michael Powell

Columbia Journalism Review interviewed New York Times business reporter Michael Powell (an Observer alumnus). Mr. Powell was The Washington Post’s New York bureau chief, and he covered Mayor Giuliani after September 11. Mr. Giuliani hated this. Mr. Powell was also part of The Times metro desk’s epic scoop about Governor Spitzer’s involvement with a prositution ring. A few excerpts from the CJR interview here:

On his early career:

“I did the usual gypsy route from Burlington, Vermont, to The Bergen Record, to New York Newsday where I spent eight years, and then, when New York Newsday folded, killed by the Times Mirror Company, after a brief interregnum at the New York Observer I went down to Washington D.C. I covered Marion Barry there for The Washington Post.”

On living in New York City:

“There are aspects of the city where you see in it things you don’t like in yourself. You get crazed, and Type A, and all this sort of thing.”

On covering Mayor Giuliani:

“If you did your job covering Giuliani you were going to have a contentious relationship with him. His dislike of reporters was bred in the bone and intense.”

On his most cherished Giuliani quote:

“Fuck Michael Powell.”

On how much time he had with Mr. Giuliani:

“[H]e talked to me all of three minutes over the course of eight months.”

On flying with the press on Air Force One:

“It’s suffocating.”

On competing with other reporters:

“[T]hough it’s perfectly collegial and many of the people from the other papers became friends of mine, you’re in this sort of sweaty competition at the same time.”

On covering the president:

“Obama’s a very challenging cat to cover.”

On what President Obama told him about finding time to read during the campaign:

“I basically floss my teeth and watch Sports Center.”

Rudy Giuliani Hated Times Reporter Michael Powell