Once again, Mayor Bill de Blasio dinged the city’s two tabloids today, telling radio listeners that The New York Post and Daily News are greatly exaggerating the threat that crime and shootings pose to the five boroughs.
Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, appeared on WNYC this morning, taking call-in questions from New Yorkers for the first time since he became mayor more than a year ago. He took special aim at “New York’s Hometown Newspaper.”
“The Daily News, with all due respect to them, was really misleading to the people of this city,” Mr. de Blasio told host Brian Lehrer. “The headline you talked about on the subway crime, it doesn’t surprise me that there would be sensationlist headlines.”
Mr. de Blasio was reacting to a Daily News cover from yesterday that announced subway crime had soared, citing a 27 percent increase in felony assaults in the city’s subways. The mayor aggressively pushed back on those numbers, telling Mr. Lehrer that a straphanger has “about a one in a million chance of being a victim of crime.”
“This is the safest big city in the country by many measures, getting safer,” Mr. de Blasio said.
The liberal mayor has never had a warm relationship with either tabloid. Both boast editorial boards that are more conservative than he is, with the Post occupying more of the hard right. Each newspaper has also blamed the city’s spike in shooting crime on the decrease in stop-and-frisks under Mr. de Blasio.
While murders are up–135 compared to 110 from this time a year ago–Mr. de Blasio and his aides have aggressively pushed back on the argument that New York is becoming less safe. As he did in a press conference earlier this week, the mayor pointed to the overall 6.6 percent decrease in crime compared to a year ago.
Mr. Lehrer later asked Mr. de Blasio about a recent Post report that he was prepping for a presidential run. Mr. de Blasio, who openly resents that tabloid in particular, couldn’t resist taking a shot at one of Rupert Murdoch’s crown jewels.
“Brian, first of all [what] I would urge all listeners to understand is, do not believe everything you read in The New York Post. That could not have been more inaccurate,” he said. “I am proud to have this job. I look forward to running for re-election, that’s my focus.”