Invited by Dicker to criticize the ‘Times,’ Cenedella pivots to a report on Gillibrand

Fred Dicker. (Photo via howiewolf on Twitter.)
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On Fred Dicker's radio show this morning, Marc Cenedella, the undeclared challenger to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, tried to turn the story about his racy blog posts into an attack on Gillibrand's campaign.

"This is a smear attack on a bunch of guys who were just trying to put together some type of online publication, online magazine, eight years ago," said Cenedella, who described the "edgy" content as a way to lure readers and make the site a viable business.

In response to a question from Dicker, Cenedella critiqued Monday's New York Times story that first reported the posts, saying it failed to mention that the posts were written so long ago, despite repeated requests, and that the screen grab used by the Times didn't include the date line.

Dicker, the veteran state editor of the New York Post, tried to take it a step further.

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"It must have something to do with the New York Times' own orientation, don't you think?" he said.

Cenedella declined to go along.

"Look, I'm not going to hop on that bandwagon. [Times reporter] Ray Hernandez did a great job exposing Kirsten Gillibrand's tobacco past three years ago," he said, referrring to a March 2009 story about Gillibrand's work for tobacco companies during her time as a corporate attorney.

Cenedella said the story about his blog, which the Times reported was brought to their attention by an "opponent" of Cenedella, was an "unprecedented smear attack" launched by Gillibrand's campaign because it was "fearful" of him.

Dicker asked how soon he might declare as a candidate.

"Soon enough," Cenedella said, adding that he "would love and really honor the privilege to run for U.S. Senate this year."

The only officially declared Republican challenger to Gillibrand at the moment is Nassau County comptroller George Maragos.