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Bloomberg News editor declined reporters' request to publicly clarify coverage policy: report

Bloomberg News editor declined reporters' request to publicly clarify coverage policy: report
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A Bloomberg News editor declined a request by reporters to publicly clarify its coverage policy on founder Mike Bloomberg and his rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, The New York Times reported on Monday.

After Bloomberg announced his candidacy in November, Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait issued a public memo stating the news service would not “investigate” either the former New York mayor or any other Democratic 2020 candidate.

In a staff meeting the next month, Micklethwait said the memo was in reference to Bloomberg News's specialized investigative reporters, but declined reporters’ requests that he issue a clarification, according to the Times.

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As Bloomberg has risen in the polls, bolstered by a blitz of TV advertising paid for by his personal wealth, Bloomberg News's longstanding policy against covering his “wealth or personal life” has become increasingly difficult to adhere to, the Times reports.

At the December meeting, Micklethwait denied that the company had held off on any sensitive political reporting. “If you look at what we’re doing and the pieces we’re writing, any doubt that we’re reporting this aggressively disappears,” he said.

However, political reporters have complained that they have been perceived as biased by readers and campaign personnel since the announcement, with President TrumpDonald John TrumpGeraldo Rivera on Trump sowing election result doubts: 'Enough is enough now' Murkowski: Trump should concede White House race Scott Atlas resigns as coronavirus adviser to Trump MORE’s reelection campaign seizing on it to bar Bloomberg reporters from covering its events.

On the other side of the aisle, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenBiden budget pick sparks battle with GOP Senate Warren, Brown voice support for controversial Biden budget office pick Biden's economic team gets mixed reviews from Senate Republicans MORE (D-Mass.), who has been a sharp critic of what she calls Bloomberg buying his way into the race, tweeted in January, “If Michael BloombergMichael BloombergBiden's great challenge: Build an economy for long-term prosperity and security The secret weapon in Biden's fight against climate change Sanders celebrates Biden-Harris victory: 'Thank God democracy won out' MORE wants to be the Democratic nominee, he should let reporters do their jobs and report on him, and everyone else, as they see fit. And he should divest from Bloomberg News so there’s no question about his influence over news coverage of presidential candidates.”

Bloomberg News declined The Hill's request for comment, while the Bloomberg campaign did not respond to questions.

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Bloomberg News reporter Mark Niquette , who the publication assigned to cover the Bloomberg campaign, has reported on negative developments relating to the candidate, including a resurfaced recording of a 2015 speech when the former mayor defended throwing young minorities “up against the wall” as part of the stop-and-frisk policy.

A spokesperson for Bloomberg News told the Times that “over the past 30 years, editorial independence has been at the core of Bloomberg News.”

“We are proud of the more than 760 articles Bloomberg News has published on the election and the candidates, not to mention a host of broadcast interviews, since Mike Bloomberg announced he was running for president,” she added.

—Updated at 5:45 p.m.