September is Be Kind to Editors and Writers Month. No, I didn’t make this up. Somehow, both President Donald Trump and Mayor Bill de Blasio seem to have missed the memo.
“Despite the blaring headlines competing for your outrage, you may actually be proud of what you see,” de Blasio wrote in a Medium.com opinion piece, disputing stories about certain real estate developers and donors to his campaign getting special favors.
“A bitterness between those in power and those who hold us accountable has set in,” he grumbled.
Hey, I’m not bitter. But here’s an idea, Mr. Mayor: Stop attacking the messenger and actually answer the questions about City Hall’s relationship with developers. Democratic mayoral primary challenger Sal Albanese told the New York Daily News that de Blasio “spent most of the op-ed piece criticizing the media, taking no accountability for his own actions.”
Speaking of real estate developers, Trump takes a back seat to no one when it comes to demonizing the media. Trump recently told a Phoenix crowd that, “It’s time to expose the crooked-media deceptions and to challenge the media for their role in formenting [sic] divisions. For the most part, honestly, these are really, really dishonest people.”
It’s amazing how a left-wing mayor and a right-wing president who believes “some very fine people” march with white supremacists find common ground attacking the media. Hmm, wonder why? Could it be because both are thin-skinned and can’t take any criticism or scrutiny?
Trump and de Blasio speak vaguely about freedom, but call the media “bitter” or “fake” when they publish a truth they don’t like, such as de Blasio’s cozy relationships with developers or Trump’s creepy relationship with Russia. To them, a free press is celebrated only when it kisses up to them; but when it holds them to account, watch out.
So be kind to editors and writers this month in your own way. Take us to dinner. Send us a nice note. Or even better, a nice donation. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.
Kidding! My message to Trump and de Blasio is simple: The truth shall set you free. Probably from the White House and City Hall.
Playwright Mike Vogel blogs at newyorkgritty.net.