Bloomberg News, the media outlet owned by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, has decided to refrain from conducting investigations of Democratic presidential candidates during the 2020 elections.
On Sunday Bloomberg editor John Micklethwait sent a letter to staffers laying out the organization’s policy for covering the elections while its owner participates as a candidate. Micklethwait revealed that two of the outlet’s senior editors, David Shipley and Tim O’Brian, would be taking a leave of absence to join Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign.
“We will continue our tradition of not investigating Mike (and his family and foundation) and we will extend the same policy to his rivals in the Democratic primaries,” Micklethwait wrote. “We cannot treat Mike’s competitors differently from him.”
While investigations into the Democratic candidates will be out of bounds, the outlet will still carry on investigations into the Trump presidency.
“For the moment, our . . . team will continue to investigate the Trump administration, as the government of the day,” said Micklethwait. “If Mike is chosen as the Democratic presidential candidate (and Donald Trump emerges as the Republican one), we will reassess how we do that.”
Michael Bloomberg formally announced on Sunday that he would be joining the presidential race. The billionaire former mayor recently bought $34 million in advertisements, in what Politico reported is one of the largest ad buys ever for a presidential candidate.
The Bloomberg campaign faces a steep climb to victory in the primary race. Bloomberg will in fact skip the first four state primaries, and he has already faced questions from fellow Democrats about past tough-on-crime policies and lewd comments to women. The former mayor has apologized for implementing “stop-and-frisk” police policies during his time in office in New York.
According to a 1997 lawsuit, Bloomberg responded to the news of an employee’s pregnancy by saying, “kill it!” While he denies that allegation, the New York Times reported that Bloomberg has a history of crude comments towards women.
“Mike has come to see that some of what he has said is disrespectful and wrong,” said Bloomberg’s spokesman, Stu Loeser. “He believes his words have not always aligned with his values and the way he has led his life.”