A New York Times representative has reportedly denied claims made by some media outlets that recent editorials critical of the NYPD were influenced by the office of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
A Fox Business report claimed that “top aides” to de Blasio had reached out to Democratic political allies and newspapers, urging them to “blast” Patrolmen's Benevolent Association Chairman Patrick Lynch as well as officers who had turned their backs to the mayor at the funeral of two murdered NYPD officers. The report claimed that the Times was “taking orders from the mayor's office,” when it ran stories critical of the city's police.
In recent days, the Times ran an editorial entitled “Police Respect Squandered in Attacks on de Blasio,” which took issue with what it saw as a “snarling sense of victimhood that seems to be motivating the anti-de Blasio campaign -- the belief that the department is never wrong, that it never needs redirection or reform, only reverence.”
Another editorial was highly critical of what it claims are instances of NYPD officers “walking off the job” over the conflict with de Blasio. A report from the New York Post claims that NYPD traffic tickets and summonses for minor offenses have dropped off by a staggering 94 percent when compared with the same period last year. The drop amounted to a “virtual work stoppage,” the paper said.
The Times' editorial claimed that the grievances motivating the unofficial work stoppage “[add] up to very little, unless you look at it through the magnifying lens of resentment fomented by union bosses and right-wing commentators.”
CNN Money reporter Tom Kludt quoted the Times' head of communications, Eileen Murphy, as branding the Fox allegations “ludicrous." The paper has made no other comment about the claims.
In addition to the Fox News report, DNAinfo New York published a story earlier this week claiming that de Blasio's office had tried to influence Democratic lawmakers in the state to publicly take a stand against the behavior of some NYPD officers. The site added that de Blasio's press secretary, Phil Walzak, said that the mayor's aides "did not ask elected officials to 'attack' anyone," and only requested that politicians "support the families" of the murdered NYPD officers.
De Blasio held a summit meeting with leading NYPD union officials on Tuesday, in a bid to defuse the simmering tension between the department and City Hall, but the meeting left the key issues between the parties “unresolved,” according to reports.