Bloomberg Union Demands Removal of Ban on Investigating Owner, Other 2020 Dems

November 26, 2019 Updated: November 26, 2019

The union representing journalists at Bloomberg Industry Group, a company owned by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, said Bloomberg News’ ban on investigating Bloomberg or any of the other Democratic presidential contenders amounts to “silencing journalists.”

In a statement released Nov. 25, the union stated, “We are extremely alarmed by management’s decision to silence the journalists we represent at Bloomberg Industry Group, as well as the unrepresented journalists at Bloomberg News.”

“Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth and as journalists, we must maintain an independence from those we cover. The Guild believes journalists should not only be allowed—but encouraged—to thoroughly cover every single candidate as the profession demands, in one of the most important elections in modern history,” the statement continued. “A journalist’s job is, above all, to cover the news and to serve as an independent monitor of power.”

“We call on Bloomberg corporate management to rescind its policy and allow journalists throughout the Bloomberg family to do their jobs.”

John Micklethwait, editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News, said in a lengthy memo on Nov. 24 that it would “continue our tradition of not investigating Mike (and his family and foundation.)”

“We will extend the same policy to his rivals in the Democratic primaries. We cannot treat Mike’s democratic competitors differently from him,” Micklethwait wrote, a courtesy not extended to President Donald Trump.

“For the moment, our P&I team will continue to investigate the Trump administration, as the government of the day,” Micklethwait said. “If Mike is chosen as the Democratic presidential candidate (and Donald Trump emerges as the Republican one), we will reassess how we do that.”

If “credible journalistic institutions” release investigative reports about Bloomberg or other Democratic contenders, Bloomberg News will “either publish those articles in full or summarize them for our readers,” the top editor wrote.

The outlet also announced the suspension of its editorial board, with some members taking a leave of absence to join Bloomberg’s campaign. There will be no op-eds about the election.

Bloomberg, 77, announced his campaign on Nov. 24. The former New York City mayor, who has an estimated net worth of $58 billion, claims that he is the best person to challenge Trump.

“I’m running for president to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America. … We must win this election. And we must begin rebuilding America. I believe my unique set of experiences in business, government, and philanthropy will enable me to win and lead,” he said in a statement.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber