‘Rolling Stone’ Rips Bloomberg: “Just Killed the Bloomberg News Agency”
Michael Bloomberg is feeling the heat on multiple fronts from fellow leftists. Not only is he taking criticism for being another old rich ‘white guy,’ but now far left entertainment rag Rolling Stone is chastising him for directing his news agency to not investigate him or his democrat rivals. In fact the entire editorial board has been suspended. Trump and the Republicans, however, are still fair game.
Writer Matt Taibbi declares this to be “death of the news business” in his write up for Rolling Stone:
Bloomberg News suffered a major disruption over the weekend. The episode predicts the future of the news business, and the death of the news business.
After billionaire and former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg formally entered the race for the Democratic presidential nomination Sunday, Bloomberg agency Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait circulated a memo to editorial and research staff. In it, Micklethwait told staff it would not “investigate” either his owner and boss, or any of his boss’s Democratic opponents:
If Mike Bloomberg had any respect for the news business he would encourage his editorial staff to kick him in the balls at every opportunity. Either that, or he would sell his media business. Or not run for president.
Characteristically, he picked the one path that is most contemptible and destructive, retaining ownership of one of the world’s biggest news outlets just to defang it for the duration of his (incidentally moronic) presidential run. It’s an awesomely selfish act that shows his contempt for the whole idea of journalism.
With this decision, Mike Bloomberg just put the roughly 2,700 journalists who work for him in a terrible ethical bind. If huge portions of the political landscape are closed off to those reporters by fiat, by definition none of their reporting in any other direction can really be legitimate.
It’s appropriate to focus investigative coverage on President Donald Trump. But if this is the only avenue you’re allowed, it’s not news, and reporters aren’t really supposed to put up with such conditions. It amounts to forcing a political directive on the editorial staff.
Bloomberg readers and viewers will have no idea what stories were passed over. They won’t know what facts or narratives are being left out of coverage. It’s a joke.
Bloomberg with this move is the first major news outlet to openly transform into an unidirectional political organ, formalizing a trend I wrote about in a book called Hate Inc. The news landscape has already been divided into a binary coverage paradigm. For-profit media companies have stopped telling their audiences bad news about their political “sides.”
The Bloomberg dictum created to accommodate a grandiose billionaire jumping in the political ring is less of an organic development than the coverage problems at places like Fox or MSNBC. Still, it comes from the same misguided belief that there’s such a thing as credible one-sided reporting, or credible reporting that pre-excuses owners or sponsors from coverage.
For Mike Bloomberg to own a media network for as long as he has without understanding or caring about this is astonishing. He’s been a presidential candidate for just a few days now, and he’s already done tremendous damage by telling voters he thinks it’s OK to buy the free press. And this is the guy who’s going to rescue democracy?
You know you’ve gone off the deep end when you’ve lost Rolling Stone.
Former Bloomberg Washington chief Megan Murphy joined the chorus of critics over this:
For the record, I was presenting with a near identical “memo” during his 2016 flirtation. And I was very clear that I would quit the second it ever saw the light of day.
— Megan Murphy (@meganmurp) November 24, 2019
To make matters even more comical, the Bloomberg writer’s guild is urging the network to rescind this order:
— Guild at Bloomberg Industry Group (@GuildatBIG) November 26, 2019
Maybe we’ll luck out and see the entire newsroom quit. Surely this is just the first gaffe Bloomberg will make on the campaign train. Can’t wait to see the next ones!