Mayor Michael Bloomberg called a reporter a "disgrace" yesterday for asking a question he didn't like.
At a news conference with U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis to discuss how stimulus money is being used for job training, Bloomberg noted several ways the economy seems to be doing better. Then New York Observer reporter Azi Paybarah asked whether the improving economy cancels out Bloomberg's rationale for changing term-limits law last fall.
The billionaire mayor had the law changed so that he could run for a third term this year. The former CEO's main argument at the time was that New Yorkers needed him to use his financial expertise to protect the city from fiscal ruin.
Bloomberg snapped at Paybarah that the issue had long been settled and said it was not a serious question. As he turned to leave the podium, he looked at Paybarah and said, "You're a disgrace." A spokesman for the mayor did not immediately comment.
Paybarah also declined to comment. Observer political editor Josh Benson said Paybarah asked the mayor "a reasonable question."
Last month, Bloomberg singled out a disabled blogger whose tape recorder inadvertently began playing at a news conference.
The mayor stopped that event for more than 90 seconds and said the noise needed to be shut off. Michael Harris, who wears hearing aids and uses a wheelchair, did not hear it at first, and then had trouble reaching it. Bloomberg apologized to him the following day.