A brief tour of Fred Dicker

By Azi Paybarah

5:34 pm Apr. 13, 2012

  • 1/16

    'People enjoy seeing me on the air'

    Dicker gave a brief video tour of his office, which was originally occupied by Western Union. Legislators and aides would go there to send out telegrams (hence the large banker-style windows). Now, Dicker's office is a one of the highlights on tours of the Capitol, he notes. He also says that lawmakers provide internet free of charge to legislative reporters.

    Youtube.com/Talk1300

  • 1/16

    'Makes Glenn Beck look sober'

    Alan Chartock, who hosts a public radio show upstate, once suggested Dicker's coverage of Cuomo was compromised for reasons having to do with the owner of the Post's parent company, Rupert Murdoch. Dicker responded by killing two birds with one stone, saying "Chartock laid out a conspiracy theory so far-fetched it makes Glenn Beck look sober."

    Beck's last show on News Corp.'s Fox station was three months later.

    youtube.com

  • 1/16

    'Surprisingly inarticulate'

     

    Earlier this month, Dicker said President Obama is able to deliver a good speech, "But when he's off the prompter, he is often surprisingly inarticulate."

     

    Azi Paybarah via flickr

  • 1/16

    The fourth man in the room

    A 2005 New York Observer profile of Dicker described him as a journalist with extraordinary power, and an unusually up-close view of the private negotiations between the governor and two legislative leaders who make the state move.

    Azi Paybarah via flickr

  • 1/16

    'How presumptuous can you be?'

    On his radio show last March, Dicker criticized what he said was an attempt by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to dictate state policy.

    "Who the heck is a mayor, any mayor, to tell the governor that he wants something to be part of the budget? How presumptuous can you be?"

    The mayor was not successful.

    Azi Paybarah via flickr

  • 1/16

    'I'm a fucking steamroller'

    Dicker helped crystalize public perception of then-governor Eliot Spitzer with his report on the governor's blow-up at a lowly assemblyman in a private conversation.

    Azi Paybarah via flickr

  • 1/16

    The black cars meeting

    Spitzer later was forced to deny an anonymously sourced Dicker story accusing the governor of covertly doing business with aides without leaving a paper trail for investigators by conducting meetings in black cars driving around Albany.

    Azi Paybarah via flickr

  • 1/16

    When Spitzer tried containing Dicker

    In late 2007, Spitzer struggled to contain the damage from then-attorney general Andrew Cuomo's scathing report concluding that the governor improperly used the state police to monitor a rival in the legislature. When Spitzer tried holding a press conference in the Capitol on a different matter, Dicker's forceful questioning put an end to it.  

    "Your description of the facts do not jibe with what Andrew Cuomo, the attorney general has said, and certainly as a former attorney general, I'd think you'd be concerned about that." The video is here.

    Azi Paybarah via flickr

  • 1/16

    Spitzer's last day

     

    Dicker emailed Spitzer on his last day in office asking for an interview.

     

    Azi Paybarah via flickr

  • 1/16

    Dicker on the value of David Paterson's word

    After he decided not to pick Caroline Kennedy to finish out the remainder of Hillary Clinton's senate term, then-governor David Paterson denied knowing who from his office leaked unflattering and inaccurate information about her. The result was a memorable Dicker lede: "[T]he source of the information is about as close to him during the day as his wife is at night. He is a liar."

    nypost.com

  • 1/16

    Dicker quotes a source quoting Paterson trashing Spitzer

     

    Citing an anonymous source, Dicker quoted Paterson saying that Spitzer's "tantrums" were "bizarre" and had left him uncertain whether the then-governor was "contrived" or "a psycho." According to Dicker's source, Paterson also said that Bloomberg is "nasty" and has "the same kind of anger that reminds you of Spitzer." 

     

    Azi Paybarah via flickr

  • 1/16

    'You threatening me?'

     

    After Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino accused Cuomo of having an extramarital affair, Dicker demanded proof of the accusation.

    Paladino said he had it but declined to produce it. Then things got physical.

     

    cbs6 via theatlantic.com

  • 1/16

    Paterson's first day

    The New Yorker's Ben McGrath spent the day watching Albany from inside Dicker's office: "Dicker, like a politician, began rubbing disinfectant on his hands as New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo took a seat..."

    newyorker.com

  • 1/16

    Cuomo's 'blunder'

    Last year, Dicker remarked on Cuomo's delayed response to ethics allegations against two legislators, calling it the governor's "first major blunder since taking office."

    Azi Paybarah via flickr

  • 1/16

    Albany's caged animal

    The Times wrote a front-page profile of Dicker, focusing on his relationship with Cuomo, which reported that the governor equated dealing with Dicker to feeding a caged animal.

    The Cuomo-Dicker relationship is a frequent topic of conversation among other reporters.

    Marcus Yam for The New York Times

  • 1/16

    Dicker on the difference between being friendly and having friends

    “None of them has ever been my friend, as a real friend," Dicker said in 2005, of politicians and their aides. “I've always tried to be friendly to them. If somebody’s your friend, you can’t put a figurative stake in their heart, and I’d put a figurative stake in the heart of anybody I cover.”

    Azi Paybarah via flickr