Good day everyone on the call.
Not long ago, the NYC Council cronies ratified a bill into law that revoked the NYPD from issuing press credentials to journalists, a truly historically groundbreaking paradigm shift in city policy of what was a standard procedure for approving access to events, briefings and police crime scenes for decades. This came about after the NYPD basically sabotaged themselves last summer and in the following months when reporters became collateral damage as they got caught up in the throes of the NYPD’s overtly aggressive militaristic tactics battling and kettling protesters during last summer’s George Floyd protests and various BLM demonstrations and rallies that followed that have occurred in later months. Thanks to the menacing optics of a police state in NYC, it actually justified the necessity of this bill.
So now in a year’s time, the issuing of press passes will be approved by the officials inside the Mayor’s Office of
Film And Television Movies
And Entertainment. While it sounds progressive and better than having a
law enforcement agency determining the qualifications of a news source
and who they assign, in essence the determination of who is a journalist
or not will be mostly under the purview of the Mayor of New York City.
Why this is being brought up now is to illustrate what an actual danger this will be considering who is mayor as well as who the next mayor will be. And in the last week since this transfer of press duties was ratified, Mayor de Blasio is setting up a very dangerous precedent with his office’s recent actions regarding his daily briefings. Actually it even started days when the press cred bill was being written up.
Back in January, de Blasio put out a 25 minute b-roll video and passed it out as his State of the City address. Entitled “A Recovery For All Of Us”, the overarching theme of the video was about how the city will make a gloriously historic comeback from the pandemic, optically highlighting programs and policies that will be dispensed equitably that will return the city to normalcy (or at least a semblance of it). In the last 3 months since his office produced that feature, The Blaz has with persistent repetition brought up his “recovery for all of us” during his briefings, aligning his brand title with his self-proclaimed gold standard re-opening of schools and revival of city culture with the widening spread of vaccine distribution.
But The Blaz’s recovery, well the “recovery for all of us”, has hit some snags. The vaccine distribution has been not been as equitably distributed, as higher income neighborhoods have received the vaccine than lower income areas and the school re-openings have resembled more of a brown standard than gold according to frustrated parents and students. Then there was the sudden vanishing of the COVID case data map for three days after it revealed about 30 zip codes with over 15% of the population with positive cases, which revealed that even with hundreds of thousands of citizens inoculated, the contagion was still prevalent and persistent.
As for the contagion, COVID-19 as evolved to four different variants, including a New York strain for fuck’s sake. But it’s the UK strain that’s been the most stubborn as cases continue to plateau again in the five boroughs despite the prevalence of vaccines. What’s disturbing about these variants is how they mostly effect younger people.
About those vaccines, there’s been a little hitch there too, especially with Johnson and Johnson brands. If there wasn’t a problem with them being 30% less effective than the Moderna and Pfizer vacs, the Big Pharma corporation recently had to trash 15 million vaccines because they got mixed up with another brand at the warehouse building where both were being manufactured. It should be noted that the warehouse wasn’t even approved by the FDA.
The FUGAZIed vaccines presents a major quagmire for The Blaz, because he has been utterly dependent on these vacs for the recovery for all of us in New York City. And he was surely hedging his bets for them to correlate nicely with his recent decision to bring all his city employees working remotely from of their $2,500 studio apartments and back to the city offices in the merry month of May even though commercial office buildings still have to follow pandemic guidelines and keep staff levels low.
Somehow, having all city employees back in municipal buildings is tied to de Blasio’s recovery, along with his mission to revive NYC culture by having entertainment spring up on the streets and to open up Broadway by prioritizing vaccine access to theater workers and entertainers with mobile sites.
The Blaz has to explain how all this is going to work and because of his notorious proclivity for being secretive and unaccountable when it comes to his policies and decisions. When he does his weekday media availability (even that sounds Orwellian), it airs on the city’s station on Channel 25 and streams live on the Mayor’s Office youtube channel. Then the Mayor’s Office uploads the entire video to their channel not long after it’s done before noon. But on three recent uploads, de Blasio’s and even his crack quack health commission squad of Dr. Chokshi, Dr. Varma and Dr. Katz responses to questions regarding recovery and COVID cases were suddenly memory holed.
Fortunately, the Mayor’s Office website has the entire transcript of his daily briefings, which makes the butchering of these videos a fool’s errand (especially when the one giving the orders is a fool), but not necessarily moot because the video medium is still the one people go to and is easily available, so it makes sense from the standpoint of a scoundrel looking to cover his ass even though it won’t stop anyone from releasing his words in full. Like on this blog here.