Saturday, January 13, 2007

PITY CITY HALL OR THE LOSER

On January 8, 2007, while I was at New York's City Hall, covering Mayor's Bloomberg news conference in the Blue Room, I went to ask an assistant press secretary what was the mayor's announcement. I stood up by the door leading to the mayor's press office and I asked what was the subject matter of the newsconference to assistant press secretary Mike Kelly. Suddenly, the mayor's press secretary came with an angry look screaming from the top of his lungs, and his eyes about to explode out of his cornea. shouting at me to get out of there and threatening me that he will take my press card away from me. The echo of his shouting resounded all over the main floor of City Hall.

After 20-years covering news conferences at City Hall this is the first time in my memory that a Mayor's Press Secretary has been disrepectful to a member of the press. That date, I wondered why Mr. Loeser, behaved in such a provocative matter. I was wondering wheather, it was my being a Puerto Rican instead of an anglo from the mainstream media. The position of a mayor's press secretary is an important one, and very demanding, however, there is no excuse to be belligerent and intimidating.

I am well aware, that the mayor and his press entourage don't like the questions that I asked during news conferences. My questions, to New York City mayors, from Mayor Dinkins, Mayor Giuliani and to Mayor Bloomberg, are questions relevant to issue affecting the people of this great city, especially, to Latinos, Blacks, and Asians.

I have never seen Mr. Loeser threatening a white reporter. Perhaps, his last name described him appropiately—a LOSER.

The mayor's aides say as much about him as his ties. There is an old adage that says "If you sleep with dogs, you get fleas" Hopefully, Mayor Bloomberg will fumigate his staff before he is contaminated with infestation.

By: Rafael Martínez Alequín
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