Chirlane McCray attacks New York City media in Tumblr post
New York City first lady Chirlane McCray took to her personal Tumblr page to attack a front-page story in the New York Post on Sunday, insisting the article "simply wasn't true" and demanding New York City's newsrooms become more diverse.
McCray, who did not appear alongside Mayor Bill de Blasio and police commissioner Bill Bratton at a press conference admonishing the Post article, entitled her Tumblr account "WANTED: TRUTH IN JOURNALISM."
She described reading the tabloid article as "an astonishing and surreal experience. It's like the reporters created a fictional character that happened to look like me and have the same name as me."
McCray never named the Post, but it was clear she was referring to Sunday's cover article, which featured her picture and the alleged quote: "I told you we can't trust him!" in large, capital letters.
The cover added the teaser: "Wife Chirlane's rant to mayor about Bratton."
According to the story, McCray complained to de Blasio about Bratton after Philip Banks III, the NYPD's highest-ranking African-American official and a 28-year veteran, abruptly resigned on Friday.
Three days earlier, Banks had accepted a promotion from chief of department to first deputy commissioner before announcing his resignation. Multiple news accounts reported he stepped down because he felt the number-two spot would actually be less powerful than his current job.
Banks tweeted that he retired for "professional" reasons on Friday and Bratton has said his replacement will be named this week.
Hours after news of Banks' departure broke, several reports, including one in the Post, said McCray had wanted Banks as commissioner all along. The assertion was attributed to unnamed sources.
Sunday's cover story further said the mayor "summoned Bratton to City Hall, blasting him face to face for not catering to Banks."
De Blasio and Bratton held a press conference at Gracie Mansion to denounce the article, without ever naming the newspaper. Last week, de Blasio also criticized the use of unnamed sources in response to an Ebola-related article in the Post.
McCray's tumblr submission attributed what she called "lies" to "a small but stubborn group of people who adamantly oppose the efforts of Mayor Bill de Blasio and Commissioner Bratton to create a more fair and equal policing system."
She called critics "myopically loyal to a status quo that serves their personal interests at the expense of everyone else" and accused them of "spreading lies to irresponsible reporters."
She then stated her support of the commissioner.
"I admire Commissioner Bratton and the work he is doing," she wrote. "I have never questioned his integrity."
She also criticized the New York City press corps at large, saying "too many city newsrooms do not reflect the population of NYC or the experiences of the majority of New Yorkers. … We must demand newsrooms that are as diverse as the city they serve. And we must demand stories that are works of fact, not fiction."
The ongoing feud between the Post and de Blasio intensified in recent months as the paper aggressively reported on a string of negative revelations about McCray's chief of staff, Rachel Noerdlinger, who did not disclose to city investigators on her background check that she lives with a man who was guilty of manslaughter at age 15, was involved in an interstate drug ring and recently tried to run a police officer off a New Jersey road while driving Noerdlinger's car. (Many other outlets, including Capital, also reported on Noerdlinger's troubles.)
It was also widely reported that her boyfriend received nearly $900 in parking tickets that he fought in court, telling city judges that the police officers targeted him because he is black.
The Post and other editorial writers called on Noerdlinger to be disciplined or fired. De Blasio steadfastly defended her and did not punish her for omitting her living arrangement to the city's Department of Investigation.
Noerdlinger is reportedly on a payment plan for the parking tickets.
The Post also slammed de Blasio for inviting Al Sharpton—Noerdlinger's former boss, incidentally—to a City Hall roundtable alongside Bratton to discuss policing after the fatal arrest of Eric Garner over the summer.
Earlier this year, both the Post and the Daily News criticized McCray's parenting skills after she told New York magazine of her initial concerns about having a daughter and saying "The truth is, I could not spend every day with her. I didn't want to do that. I looked for all kinds of reasons not to do it."
The magazine article also quoted her saying she will "feel guilt forevermore."
The Post story was titled "NYC's first lady: I was a bad mom."
A spokeswoman for the Post did not immediately respond to a request for comment on McCray's Tumblr post.
You can read McCray's post here: http://bit.ly/1pghb0m
CORRECTION: The original version of this post made reference to "murder" instead of "manslaughter."