It’s official. Michael Bloomberg is running for president. He announced this weekend that he will join the Democratic primary field.
Following this announcement, Bloomberg News put out an announcement on how the paper will handle coverage of its co-founder and owner:
Here’s the statement:
So, they won’t investigate Bloomberg or any of the other Democratic candidates while he’s competing in the primary.
The announcement caused some outrage among Twitter respondents, many of whom see this as just another example of media bias. At first, I was tempted to agree. The more I think about it, however, the less I actually have a problem with it.
Is this an example of media bias? Yes, but at least they’re being open about it. News outlets can choose what they publish. I don’t have a problem with outlets having a political bias – I have a problem with outlets lying about not having a political bias.
Bloomberg News also said they will reassess how to handle coverage if Bloomberg wins the Democratic nomination and goes head to head with President Trump in the general election. In that case, the outlet should investigate both men, or neither of them. The announcement clearly distinguishes current, direct competitors (the other Democratic hopefuls) and the government of the day (the Trump administrator). If Trump becomes Bloomberg’s direct competitor, I’d like to see them treated equally. As long as they’re public about it, however, I don’t care if they decide to ignore Bloomberg and continue to report on Trump.
This reassessment is completely hypothetical, of course. Bloomberg’s odds of winning the Democratic nomination are slim.