“NYC Community Media” Endorsements

In Workers Need Not Apply, I showed the endorsements the non-neighborhood papers owned by NYC Community Media LLC (NYCCM) made, to demonstrate their lack of editorial independence. Today I’m going to see which of their people won.

endorsements

Mayor

Well of course the big loser was Christine Quinn. They weren’t just off, they were way off! She came in third! You have to wonder what motivated this holding company to endorse her. I can’t take any of the newspapers themselves to task, because they don’t write their own editorials, but did NYCCM think people wanted Bloomberg-2? It’s more likely that they thought they would benefit from a Quinn victory, and this was their chance to get people to help them. It will be interesting to see how their reporting changes going forward, now that their audience let them down so.

On the Republican side, Joe Lhota won over NYCCM’s Catsimatidis. It’s interesting that they only endorsed a Republican in The Villager and The East Villager. I wonder if there are more registered Republicans in these areas? You’d think there would be more in the Downtown Express domain. Well, I would think so, anyway. Maybe it was the “self-made” man thing. That kind of thing resonates strongly here.

Public Advocate

Daniel Squadron, who now faces a runoff election against Letitia James, was endorsed in only one NYCCM’s newspapers: Gay City News. Their reasons for endorsing him are valid, in an identity-politics sort of way, but if you’re trying to influence people, why endorse him in only one newspaper? If they’d have endorsed him in their other four newspapers, maybe he would have won?

Comptroller

Oddly enough (is it odd?) NYCCM didn’t endorse anyone for Comptroller.

Manhattan Borough President

Julie Menin came in last. Last! I like what Tenant.net wrote:

    [A]ll four candidates are disappointments. Of the four, Gale Brewer is less objectionable…

Gale Brewer won. Julie Menin came in last.

City Council District 1

If I were registered to vote Democrat, and lived in District 1, I would have voted for Rajkumar!

City Council District 2

Rosie Mendez is the big winner over Richard Del Rio, but why would NYCCM not endorse Mendez in the newspapers where her district is situated? Maybe they thought there was no reason, that she was a shoe-in. Still, why not score some points? They only endorsed her in a newspaper with a significant portion of its readership outside Mendez’s district. Maybe they don’t really support her?

City Council District 3

Corey Johnson was the winner over Yetta Kurland. Another successful choice for NYCCM. It’s probably not a surprise that they endorsed Quinn and Johnson. Tenant.net describes Johnson as “Christine Quinn’s mini-me.” They link to this article back in June:

    Corey worked for a billion dollar real estate company, GFI Capital, which has made a habit of evicting poor and middle class workers and replacing SROs with luxury hotels and condos. His former employer has even been sued by the Department Of Justice Civil Rights Division for discrimination.

Endorsements aren’t predictions. These are the candidates NYCCM wanted it to appear their neighborhood newspapers thought would best serve the residents of their circulation area. But if they also want us to think these newspapers have their finger on the pulse of the neighborhood, they bungled it big time. I suspect Jennifer Goodstein will be looking to sell soon.

Workers Need Not Apply

There are a number of web sites that report on news of the Lower East Side: The Villager; The East Villager; The Lo-Down; NoHo News; to name a few. There are also more personal-type blogs that cover local events. Of all of these, only one reported on the recent walkout by fast-food workers that occurred on August 29, even though there are twenty fast-food restaurants in the Houston-to-14th, Avenue D-to-Broadway quadrangle. That site was Quilas.

The Villager is owned by NYC Community Media LLC, which owns the following papers: Chelsea Now, Downtown Express; The East Villager; Gay City News; and The Villager. Not one of these papers mentioned the day of walkouts, neither announcing that it would occur, nor reporting on it afterwards, despite the number of fast-food restaurants that exist in this area:

local-newspaper-map

Although these papers position themselves as neighborhood newspapers (with the exception of Gay City News), they are relatively uniform in their reporting (many of the same stories, written by the same people), and absolutely uniform in their endorsements of political candidates for the primary election:

endorsements

NYC Community News is itself owned by Jennifer Goodstein. Through each of these newspapers, they demonstrate their hostility to workers’ interests. In their endorsement of Christine Quinn for Mayor, they write:

    She would be a tough negotiator with the unions, which will be critically important for the next mayor.
    The East Villager, The Villager.

    …the city wrestles with fundamental questions about how policing is carried out as well as critical challenges regarding affordable housing, schools, healthcare access and public employee union contracts [Emphasis mine –Q]
    Chelsea Now, Gay City News.

    She also understands the city’s budget process, and is an experienced hand who can run the difficult labor negotiations to come. [Emphasis mine –Q]
    Downtown Express

Both of these papers (The Villager and The East Villager) also recently ran an article titled “Will a Democrat for mayor stand up for small stores?” followed-up a month later with “Who has the guts to fight for our small businesses?” Advocating for small business is a coded way of attacking workers’ rights. Small businesses don’t want the minimum wage to increase, nor do they want paid sick days. Neither do large businesses, but they can’t very well advance their agenda by writing: “Who has the guts to fight for our large businesses?”, or “Who has the guts to fight the increase in the minimum wage?” They know that if fast-food workers are successful in achieving their goal of $15/hour, it will have an upward push on their own workers’ wages.

Interestingly enough, through The Villager and The East Villager, NYC Community News endorsed a Republican candidate. They describe him as “a self-made man,” which is true only if “self-made” means on the backs of his workers.

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The “personal-type” blogs didn’t write anything about the walkouts either. In their effort to oppose chain stores, they cannot bring themselves to support the people who work in fast-food restaurants (unless they can use it as a cudgel against the chains themselves). For that matter, they don’t support the workers who work in the small businesses they favor. It’s as I wrote before, workers are not a part of the “community”. Community members are shopkeepers and their customers, only. But even that’s tenuous, as I will discuss in a future piece.

When I first started writing Quilas, I wrote that some day the banner of “East Village” activism would be raised to fight the increase in the minimum wage. I think that day is drawing near.