Buzzfeed Responds To Reporter’s ‘Run’ For NYC Mayor
As Daily Download reported earlier today, Buzzfeed reporter McKay Coppins has been considering a run for mayor of New York in 2013 after prodding from such big-time operators as Luke Russert and a parody Twitter account.
The campaign took another step forward when it issued a press release on the Buzzfeed website announcing “an exploratory committee to investigate options for being added to the 2013 New York City mayoral ballot.” Coppins’ committee also released a list of trusted advisers, all of whom are fellow Buzzfeed staffers, including Buzzfeed correspondent and author of The Operators, Michael Hastings, as “Chief Executive of Pissing People Off.”
This poses a daunting challenge to Buzzfeed’s journalistic ethics as its political reporters are as engaged as the candidate and as staffers in a run for elected office. However, Buzzfeed’s press manager Ashley McCollum seemed to emphasize that the campaign was more oriented towards broadcasting its rather undefined message rather than achieving electoral success. She told Daily Download: “And if anyone takes McKay’s mayoral run as seriously as we do, then our job here is done.”
However, while McCollum was an ardent supporter of Coppins’ bid to occupy the Gracie Mansion, Buzzfeed Editor In Chief Ben Smith seemed more detached and may have subtly undermined Coppins’ campaign, simply stating: “I am slightly concerned that other mayoral campaigns will be taken as parody as well. But that’s a constant hazard in New York politics.”
Despite our investigative efforts, it’s still unclear yet whether Coppins will follow through with his exploratory committee and join the august list of notable politicians from New York City, including such important figures as Alexander Hamilton and Jimmy McMillan. But if he does so, it will mark a new milestone in American political history. In the early 20th century, William Randolph Hearst fell just short in his bid to become New York mayor as the candidate of the New York Journal-American. Will the 21st century produce a more successful media campaign as Coppins runs as the candidate of Buzzfeed? Or will he merely generate a little buzz?
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