Bill de Blasio Goes ‘Above and Beyond’ With the Press: Public Advocate

Public Advocate Letitia James/ (Photo: Andrew Burton for Getty Images)

Public Advocate Letitia James/ (Photo: Andrew Burton for Getty Images) (Photo: Andrew Burton for Getty Images)

Mayor Bill de Blasio doesn’t have any problem with how he handles the press, according to the Democrat who holds his old job.

Public Advocate Letitia James, a progressive who typically sides with Mr. de Blasio, pushed back on the criticism Mr. de Blasio faced from reporters over how he limits the line of questioning at his press availabilities.

“I think he answered a significant number of questions at the last press conference,” Ms. James told the Observer today, referring to a marathon press conference Mr. de Blasio held on Friday. “It was above and beyond.”

The New York Press Club sent a letter to Mr. de Blasio last week calling on him to reverse a practice, begun under Michael Bloomberg, of limiting what topics he can be questioned about at press conferences. Following a clash between a de Blasio spokeswoman and a CBS reporter over how often Mr. de Blasio takes questions, Mr. de Blasio held lengthy press conferences Friday and today.

He said on Friday, however, that in the future he would look to do more radio call-in shows and town halls at the expense of making himself available to reporters.

Ms. James insisted he’s doing more than enough.

“I do know that at a press conference just a few days ago, he answered 40 some-odd questions and was there for a long time,” she said. “I know he’s been addressing a number of the questions, on topic and off topic questions.”

Bill de Blasio Goes ‘Above and Beyond’ With the Press: Public Advocate