Mayor Bill de Blasio admitted Wednesday that he erred while interacting with the New York media the past eight years, conceding he often acted in an “off-putting” manner while pleading his case to reporters.
“I’ll be confessional and say, I think when there’s something wrong, you can’t say, ‘Oh, it’s somebody else,’ right,” the often combative mayor admitted.
“I mean, there’s something wrong and it has been something wrong in my relationship with the media. That’s obviously, to some extent, on me,” he said during a virtual press conference, when asked if he holds any regrets about his relationship with journalists during his time in office.
“As always, it takes two to tango, but that’s got to be to some extent on me.”
The lame-duck mayor, who often bristles at reporters’ questions and disputes their premise, copped to not always publicly admitting to his various “missteps” during his tenure.
“And I think, in retrospect, you know, maybe in the way I debated stuff, people found it off-putting, I didn’t mean it to be, maybe it’s good to acknowledge a little more openly [that] I’ve got my share of missteps,” he said.
“I got my share of mistakes, for sure. I got things I thought I was right on that I was wrong on, you know, maybe it’s better to be more open about that.”
De Blasio, whose second and final term ends Dec. 31, also praised reporters at the end of his media mea culpa for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I also don’t think any book is fully written until it’s over. So I’ve appreciated these last two years. We’ve all been in this together. I appreciate a very open dialogue with the media,” he said. “And I’ve often tried to be thankful for the many ways the media has helped the city through the COVID crisis. And you know, I want to carry on in that spirit.”
Since the pandemic began in March 2020, de Blasio has held virtual press conferences nearly every weekday. But reporters have been barred from attending them in person — even as de Blasio has in recent months ordered municipal workers to come back into their offices and spent millions on that effort as vaccination rates rose and COVID-19 infections in the five boroughs plummeted.