NEW YORK (AP) — Mayor Bill de Blasio has demanded two newspapers apologize for their characterizations of his wife’s comments on motherhood.
The Democratic mayor, whose family played a significant role in his election, on Monday called the newspapers’ stories “deeply disturbing” and “offensive” and criticized their “misunderstanding” of the first lady’s remarks.
His wife, Chirlane McCray, told New York magazine in an interview published Sunday that she struggled adjusting to motherhood after the couple’s first child, Chiara, was born.
“I was 40 years old. I had a life,” McCray told the magazine as part of a cover story profile about her outsized role in her husband’s administration. “Especially with Chiara — will we feel guilt forever more? Of course, yes. But the truth is, I could not spend every day with her. I didn’t want to do that. I looked for all kinds of reason not to do it.”
McCray said she loves her daughter but had been working since she was 14.
“It took a long time for me to get into ‘I’m taking care of kids,’ and what that means,” she said.
On Monday, both city tabloids ran stories about the interview and put McCray’s picture on their front pages.
The New York Post ran a screaming headline of “I was a bad mom,” a sentiment that McCray does not express in the magazine piece. The Post’s article says her comments are “bound to horrify most moms.”
The Daily News ran a headline of “Didn’t want to be a mom,” which de Blasio said was inaccurate and wasn’t reflected in the magazine piece.
Requests for comments from the Post and the Daily News weren’t immediately returned on Monday.
De Blasio said he thought “a lot of hardworking women in this city are offended” by what they read in the newspapers Monday.
“I think both the Post and the Daily News owe Chirlane an apology,” he said. “I think they owe all of us an apology for absolutely misrepresenting what she said and for caricaturing a reality that so many women face.”
De Blasio, who took office in January, has had rocky relations with the city’s media, particularly the tabloids. The Post, which often has conservative leanings, has frequently attacked the mayor and repeatedly called him Che de Blasio for his leftist leanings. The Daily News, meanwhile, has run a front-page campaign objecting to de Blasio’s plan to ban carriage horses from the city.
The mayor’s family has long been a political asset. His son, Dante, starred in a campaign commercial that helped swing the electorate to him. And the mayor frequently calls his wife his closest adviser and his “guiding light.”
De Blasio and McCray celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary last week.
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