On Sunday morning, New York mayor Bill De Blasio appeared on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” to discuss free speech, but just a few hours later, the Democrat mayor watched as two of his bodyguards physically removed a reporter from a ribbon cutting event.
De Blasio had appeared on the CNN show to discuss an interview with The Guardian in which he criticized The New York Post’s parent company, News Corp.
While the mayor criticized newspaper as a “right-wing rag,” De Blasio said, “I believe in a free, strong media with diverse views — I’ll defend it with all I’ve got.”
However, The New York Post reports that two hours later, De Blasio was set to cut the ribbon to kick off the annual Dominican Day Parade in Manhattan, when its reporter Kevin Sheehan asked a question about a story that had appeared that earlier that day in the New York Post.
The reporter simply asked the mayor to comment on the front page story, “CITY FOR SALE.” It was then that De Blasio’s bodyguards, members of his NYPD security detail, reportedly grabbed the reporter’s shoulder and led him away from the event.
The mayor watched as this took place, failing to comment or even decline to comment on the question.
The security guard, who was in plainclothes at the time, told the reporter, “Kevin, you have to leave. You can’t be here.” The bodyguards then took him about a half a block away where Officer Brian Magoolaghan, who is a member of the NYPD’s public information office told Kevin, “Come on, Kevin. No stunts today.”
After the event, the mayor’s press secretary issued a statement via email concerning what took place at the ribbon cutting. The email said, “The Department takes appropriate and necessary measures to protect dignitaries, including the Mayor of the City of New York.”
A tweet from the Post shows a picture of the reporter being escorted off by the police.
Both bodyguards escorted the reporter about a half-block away, where a member of the NYPD’s office told him, “Come on, Kevin. No stunts today” https://t.co/OviToNQrWT
— New York Post (@nypost) August 13, 2018
The mayor attacked the New York Post earlier in the CNN interview when asked by Brian Stelter, “Why do you feel it’s your role to be calling out a newspaper because you don’t like the content?”
De Blasio replied, “Because I think it’s not happening enough. … It’s not happening the way I think it should.”
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