New York City Democrat Mayor Eric Adams said Tuesday that local media “distort” his positions and cover him in a different “prism” because he is black, and took the opportunity to open up the debate of racial diversity in the New York media.
“I’m a black man that’s the mayor but my story is being interpreted by people that don’t look like me,” Adams said during a press conference Tuesday.
“We got to be honest about that. How many blacks are in the editorial boards? How many blacks determine how these stories are being written? How many Asians? How many east Indians? How many south Asians? Everyone talks about my government being diversified. What’s the diversification in the newsrooms?”
Adams went on to say that citizens interpret his actions “through the prisms” of the media and not through his reality, and that reporters who write stories about his administration do not share their experiences.
“So, when you write stories, you’re not writing stories for people who were almost homeless like me,” the Democrat continued. “You’re not writing stories for people who were arrested and beat up by police officers. You’re not writing stories for those who are dealing with high crime. You’re writing them from your prisms.”
All of those characteristics are, by the way, the same ones Adams has insisted on highlighting about his life since he began his election campaign.
The mayor insisted that his intention was not to “attack” the media, but to highlight “the obvious that other people are uncomfortable with saying,” and took the opportunity to invite media owners to “diversify” newsrooms.
“Diversify your newsrooms so I can look out and see people that look like me and say we are going to write stories based on the prisms that we have,” Adams said. “That’s not what we’re getting and that’s why I’m covered the way I’m covered. And I’m not comfortable with it.”
Adams, upset with the media over his failure in Albany
Adams’ frustration stemmed from media reports about his recent trip to Albany to negotiate with some Democratic lawmakers to reverse criminal justice reforms, but he was unable to convince them. In his view, some reporters were too harsh.
“There was no arguing, no yelling, no screaming,” the mayor said of his meeting with Albany Democrats. “Areas we disagreed about — we talked about it, and we walked through them.”
He then went on to say that the media “kills him” and that he will change his relationship with them if that’s going to be the reaction, “If this is how [they will cover the facts], I’m just going to come in and do my announcements and bounce.”
Finally, the mayor said that he has been doing a “darned good job” even if the media does not recognize it.