The Daily Grind Video

Chirlane McCray, First Lady of New York City and wife of Mayor Bill de Blasio, took to her personal blog Tuesday to address claims she was “short-tempered” and angry about a recent personnel change within the NYPD.

Those claims, which came from the New York Post following the resignation of NYPD’s chief of department Philip Banks, “simply weren’t true,” she said.

“Reading through it was an astonishing and surreal experience,” she wrote. “It’s like the reporters created a fictional character that happened to look like me and have the same name as me.”

“They put words into my mouth that I never said. They gave me opinions that have never crossed my mind. They made it sound like NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton is my sworn enemy, when in fact he has my full support.”

The Post wrote that McCray, “a strong Banks partisan,” addressed de Blasio, blasting him for trusting Police Commissioner Bill Bratton after he offered the job of first deputy commissioner to Banks. But Banks, who asked that the ceremonial position come with power, resigned after Bratton denied the request.

From the NY Post:

Hell hath no fury like a first lady whose passed-over pick for police commissioner — the outgoing Chief of Department Philip Banks III — is further scorned.

“I told you we can’t trust him!” a furious Chirlane McCray railed at her husband, Mayor de Blasio, after learning that Police Commissioner Bill Bratton had stood up to Banks during a power struggle Friday that ended with the chief’s resignation, sources told The Post.

By “him” McCray meant Bratton, whom she never wanted to see at the commissioner’s desk.

“She is friendly with Banks, and he was her choice” for commissioner, a source said.

McCray, who the Post painted as “an African-American with a short temper” in a second article responding to her blog, maintains that not only does she support Bratton, but she refuses to accept the narrative that she is angry — a view she believes is created and sustained in newsrooms that lack diversity.

The only effective defense against lies is the truth, so here it is: I admire Commissioner Bratton and the work he is doing. I have never questioned his integrity. I respect the decision of Chief of Department Philip Banks to resign. And most importantly, I will continue to do everything I can to support the crucial reforms undertaken by Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Bratton.

This truth was nowhere to be seen in today’s article, which brings us to my second question – how do these lies make it through the editorial process and end up in a major newspaper? How do opinions leak out of the “Editorials” section and onto the front page?

The answer to that question is more complicated, but I think it comes down to this: Too many city newsrooms do not reflect the population of NYC or the experiences of the majority of New Yorkers.

In a city with a long and storied history of great journalism, we must demand more as readers.

We must demand newsrooms that are as diverse as the city they serve. And we must demand stories that are works of fact, not fiction.

To read McCray’s entire response, click here.


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