Billionaire and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is plotting a possible White House run. Photo: Ruth FremsonA veteran Bloomberg News editor has quit because she fears the news agency won’t cover the fledgling campaign by her billionaire boss for the White House in an aggressive-enough fashion.
“The bottom line is, you can’t cover the circus unless you can write about one of the biggest elephants in the room,” the Huffington Post quoted Kathy Kiely, the Washington news director for Bloomberg news, as saying.
“I did not feel we could cover the Bloomberg trial balloon in the aggressive way I thought it deserved,” Kiely told HuffPost.
“I think there are a lot of good people at Bloomberg making an honest effort to work this out,” said the editor who’s covered every presidential campaign since 1980. “I just feel very strongly that the rules of the game should be the same for everybody.”
There have long been restrictions on Bloomberg News reporters on how they cover the 73-year-old former mayor of New York City, who owns the company, the report said.
There was scant coverage from the news agency about his plans, announced at the weekend, to possibly run as an independent candidate and then on Tuesday, the agency ran a Washington Post story “about the possibility of Bloomberg running at a time when 42 percent of Americans identify as independent,” the report said.
When the New York Times story first appeared, the company sent out an email reminding staff of the procedure for reporting on Bloomberg’s doings, Politico reported. Reporters were asked to “refrain” from writing about the boss’s possible candidacy without first consulting the “Standards Team”.
“Please don’t write or sum anything on Mike Bloomberg’s potential presidential run without speaking to [senior executive editor of standards at Bloomberg LP] Tim Quinson or someone else on the Standards team,” the e-mail said.
As part of the agency’s policy on how to report on themselves or the founder, the style guide says “Bloomberg News doesn’t cover Michael Bloomberg’s wealth or personal life”, Politico said.
Kiely joined Bloomberg News last year after reports of tensions over control of political coverage between the Washington and New York offices, the report said.
The Princeton graduate previously worked for The Pittsburgh Press, The Houston Post and The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and was a White House correspondent for the New York Daily News. She served on the Standing Committee of Correspondents, which handles press credentialling and logistics for Capitol Hill and the presidential nominating conventions.
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