New York Mayor De Blasio Fantasizes About a Better World Without Fox News

In recent days, liberal New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has targeted Fox News and its parent company News Corp with accusations of damaging the country. In an appearance during Sunday’s Reliable Sources on CNN, he defended his claims and fantasized about how well off the country would be if News Corp-owned news outlets didn’t exist.

“If you ask New York City’s mayor what lies behind a lot of the negativity and the divisiveness gripping this nation, he’s got a simple answer for you: He says it's the media empire of Rupert Murdoch that’s at fault,” CNN media reporter and host Brian Stelter prefaced before their interview. Even though Stelter is obsessed with bashing Fox news, he worried that de Blasio was wandering into “Trumpian” territory.

After being asked what his “critique” was of the conservative New Corp, the far-left Mayor unleashed his hatred. “We would be a more unified country,” he declared. “There would be less overt hate. There would be less appeal to racial division, I guarantee it. Because what Murdoch did through Fox News and the New York Post, among others, is to create a dynamic where that stuff could come out in the open.” The smears of racism aside, what he’s really talking about is allowing only liberal outlets to exist.

De Blasio decried News Corp for having a “political agenda” with their reporting and asserted that all they did was sew divisions in the country. Stelter pushed back and argued he was sounding like Trump:

STELTER: So you would rather not have the New York Post or Fox News exist?

DE BLASIO: Look, it's a free country. I’m saying, because they exist we've been changed for the worst. Now, if you said—

STELTER: But isn’t that like saying their fake news or they’re an enemy of the people?

DE BLASIO: No, because I think what the President has tried to do is create a dynamic that's anti-media, anti-free speech, undermining democratic norms.

 

 

De Blasio admitted that he had “anti-News Corp feelings” and praised CNN and the rest of the liberal media by suggesting (falsely) that they didn’t have a political agenda. “I think it's also fair to say that when you look at CNN for example, you look at the major networks, they do not harbor a daily, hourly political agenda and bias. They provide both sides. It's part of their DNA,” he gushed.

“But singling out News Corp, it’s like Trump singling out CNN. Two wrongs don't make a right,” Stelter pushed back. He also noted that reporters from another New Corp brand, the New York Post had reached out to him to say de Blasio was doing the same thing Trump was. “But two things can be bad even if they’re not equal. They can both be bad,” Stelter said. (Remember this the next time the media decry Trump for creating a so-called “false equivalency”)

The Mayor responded by suggesting that News Corp was out to damage the fabric of society unlike the others and that was the reason that justified the means:

Does News Corp have a clear right-wing agenda? I think that one is pretty obvious. Do they sensationalize, racialize, and divide? Yes. Does that compare to CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, The New York Times, The Washington Post? No. One of these things is not like the other.

Again pitching his anti-News Corp fantasy, de Blasio insisted that without Fox News there would be no President Trump. “A world without News Corp … What would we look like today? I guarantee you Donald Trump would not be president,” he said.

Not only would there be no hate and no alt-right, he even there would be no normal political right either. “I guarantee you that what we're seeing today in Washington, the right and the alt-right and negativity and division coming out in the fore and feeling it has license, that wouldn’t be true,” he proclaimed.

If that’s the case, then clearly his fantasy isn’t just about a world without a conservative news outlet, but a world without conservatives.

The transcript is below, click "expand' to read:

 

 

CNN
Reliable Sources
August 12, 2018
11:17:22 a.m. Eastern

BRIAN STELTER: Welcome back to Reliable Sources, I'm Brian Stelter. If you ask New York City’s mayor what lies behind a lot of the negativity and the divisiveness gripping this nation, he’s got a simple answer for you: He says it's the media empire of Rupert Murdoch that’s at fault. Bill de Blasio has long been a critic of the hometown New York Post newspaper. Murdoch has owned it for years. He says it's right-wing propaganda. Now, he’s also been talking about Fox News as well. Of course, on a week when Laura Ingram’s hateful comments are on the news. This critique of right-wing corporate media coming from the left may appeal in the 2020 Democratic primary but isn't it rather Trumpian? Mayor Bill de Blasio joins me now here onset. Mayor, thanks for coming over.

BILL DE BLASIO: Thank you, Brian.

STELTER: What is your critique of Murdoch? You were quoted recently by The Guardian saying imagine the country if Murdoch had never had papers or networks here.

DE BLASIO: We would be a more unified country. There would be less overt hate. There would be less appeal to racial division, I guarantee it. Because what Murdoch did through Fox News and the New York Post, among others, is to create a dynamic where that stuff could come out in the open. We saw it in New York City for years and years. Where race was infused into the dialogue in a very negative way and it was, sort of, an apocalypse version was created of going back to time of crime and decay and always putting that through a lens of people of color as the villains.

(…)

But you’re seeing it on a national level as us too. They don't just dog whistle, they go farther than that. They put race front and center and they try and stir the most negative impulses in this country. There is no Donald Trump without News Corp. I firmly believe that. Never gets the presidency because he would never have been elevated the way he was consistently for years and years.

So, I believe in a free strong media with diverse views. I'll defend it with all I got but we have to be able to call out when a particular company has a corporate agenda, has a political agenda, and has very effectively changed the American discourse. And by the way, when I was growing up with, I think, some real heroes of journalism. Walter Cronkite is obvious and Morrow and so many others before him. They set a tone of evenness and respect. The Civil Rights movement of the ‘60s got a hearing because the American media gave them that opportunity to be heard. Today you have one outlet and one only that is constantly sewing division and we should be able to talk about that.

STELTER: So you would rather not have the New York Post or Fox News exist?

DE BLASIO: Look, it's a free country. I’m saying, because they exist we've been changed for the worst. Now, if you said—

STELTER: But isn’t that like saying their fake news or they’re an enemy of the people?

DE BLASIO: No, because I think what the President has tried to do is create a dynamic that's anti-media, anti-free speech, undermining democratic norms.

(…)

STELTER: Sure sounds like you feel anti-media feelings.

DE BLASIO: No, I feel anti-News Corp feelings. I feel angry when I see a media outlet, a corporate giant, a profit mating giant, dividing people, and creating hatred and negativity, and changing our political landscape for the worse.

(…)

STELTER: There’s lots of media critics but politicians make lousy media critics. Why do you feel it’s your role to be calling out because you don’t like the content?

DE BLASIO: Because I think it’s not happening enough.

STELTER: You're doing it because nobody else is? Is that what you’re saying?

DE BLASIO: It’s not because no one else is. It’s not happening the way I think it needs to.

(…)

DE BLASIO: I think it's also fair to say that when you look at CNN for example, you look at the major networks, they do not harbor a daily, hourly political agenda and bias. They provide both sides. It's part of their DNA. They may have values and views. When it comes to News Corp, they have a political mission and we have to be able to talk about it.

STELTER: But singling out News Corp, it’s like Trump singling out CNN. Two wrongs don't make a right. To versions of something bad—

DE BLASIO: Couldn't disagree more. CNN on a regular basis provides both sides of the story. CNN-- You can find some politics in CNN but it does not even come close to resembling the clear political agenda of News Corp.

(…)

STELTER: I had staffers at the New York Post say to me you were doing exactly what Donald Trump does.

DE BLASIO: Couldn’t be more untrue.

STELTER: So you think it’s a false equivalency?

DE BLASIO: Unbelievably false.

STELTER: But to things can be bad even if they’re not equal. They can both be bad.

(…)

DE BLASIO: Does News Corp have a clear right-wing agenda? I think that one is pretty obvious. Do they sensationalize, racialize, and divide? Yes. Does that compare to CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, The New York Times, The Washington Post? No. One of these things is not like the other. They have a right to exist but we also have a right to confront what they are doing to our country.

(…)

STELTER: Are you doing this because you want to run for President in 2020?

DE BLASIO: I am mayor of New York City and I continue to be. My term goes to 2021.

(…)

DE BLASIO: Again, think of that equation: A world without News Corp, a world with the kind of reporting both sides and a real devotion to objectivity that was the norm up through the 1970s, in this country. What would we look like today? I guarantee you Donald Trump would not be president. I guarantee you that what we're seeing today in Washington, the right and the alt-right and negativity and division coming out in the fore and feeling it has license, that wouldn’t be true.

(…)

STELTER: I still think politicians make lousy media critics though.

(…)

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