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Bill de Blasio acknowledged Friday that his views of the mainstream media sound like Donald Trump's rhetoric about the press — but the New York City mayor said the key difference is that the president doesn't really mean what he says.
In an interview with BuzzFeed News Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith at the Northside Festival in Brooklyn, de Blasio spoke out against the mainstream media, saying it has lost credibility. (You can watch the full interview here.)
“I can't tell you how many people in this city have abandoned mainstream media,” the mayor said, saying that reporters and outlets often focus on frivolous controversies instead of substantive issues.
When Smith asked if it gave de Blasio pause that his words sound like Trump's criticisms, the mayor quickly replied, “no.”
De Blasio also added that his opinions pre-date the 2016 election.
“I felt this a long time ago,” he said. “Donald Trump doesn't actually mean it. Donald Trump spouts fake populism all day long and gets away with it. He is part of the problem … He's chummy with all these people. So when he rails against the media it's to fake appeal, a cynical ploy to appeal to a right wing base.”
“The bottom line is, a lot of us felt a long time ago. the media ownership trajectory was dangerous to the democratic process.”
De Blasio is currently in his own feud with several members of the City Hall press corps — the mayor referenced recent pieces about a Puerto Rican Day parade that turned into a political issue.
The wider problem, de Blasio said, is that much of the mainstream media is owned by a few wealthy, powerful people. “We actually need to undermine the mega-concentration of media ownership in the hands of a few,” he said.
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