Liberal billionaire and Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg has defended his namesake news organization's policy prohibiting its reporters from investigating him or any of his primary rivals in the 2020 race for the White House, dismissing complaints from staff by saying, "With your paycheck comes some restrictions and responsibilities."
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During a sit-down with "CBS This Morning"'s Gayle King on Friday, the host pressed Mr. Bloomberg on the policy, saying, "Even your own news reporters have complained they think it's unfair that they're not allowed to investigate other Democratic candidates because their boss is in the race."
"Okay," Bloomberg said, "we have, just have to learn to live with some things. They get a paycheck. But with your paycheck comes some restrictions and responsibilities."
According to the Daily Mail, when asked about Mr. Bloomberg's comments to King, one Bloomberg political reporter reacted by text with a poop emoji and the words, "Um...No." Another Bloomberg reporter the Daily Mail, "None of us likes this. This is the opposite of what the profession fights for."
Following Mr. Bloomberg's late entry into the Democratic presidential race, Bloomberg News notified staffers the organization would continue its policy of not investigating Mr. Bloomberg, and "will extend the same policy to his rivals in the Democratic primaries."
Bloomberg News went to say that it would not extend such courtesy to President Donald Trump.
In response to that decision, the Trump 2020 campaign announced it would not grant press credentials to Bloomberg News reporters at rallies or other campaign events. In a statement, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale explained, "As President Trump's campaign, we are accustomed to unfair reporting practices, but most news organizations don't announce their biases so publicly."
Pascale said that the Trump campaign would, however, "determine whether to engage with individual reporters or answer inquiries from Bloomberg News on a case-by-case basis" until the outlet reverses its policy.
Bloomberg News has taken a great deal of heat and questioning of its credibility for its decision not to investigate any Democrats but to dig up whatever they can on President Trump.
University of Missouri journalism professor Kathy Kiely — who quit her gig as Bloomberg News political director when Mr. Bloomberg was mulling a 2016 White House run — told the Chicago Tribune, "This is my nightmare come true. It's unfortunate that this is creating a perception that this is how journalism works, that journalists are manipulated by their bosses."