John Micklethwait, the editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News, announced Sunday that the outlet would continue its longstanding tradition of not investigating its owner, Michael Bloomberg, amid his announcement that he officially was running for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president.
Per a report from Axios, the Bloomberg-owned news outlet has been struggling to determine how it would cover Bloomberg’s bid for the White House. This was due to the fact that its current policy dictates that it cannot investigate Bloomberg, his foundation, his wealth, personal life, or the company itself, Axios reported Sunday.
Micklethwait said that as a result, it would not investigate the other Democratic Party candidates for president.
“We will continue our tradition of not investigating Mike (and his family and foundation) and we will extend the same policy to his rivals in the Democratic primaries,” Micklethwait wrote. “We cannot treat Mike’s Democratic competitors differently from him. If other credible journalistic institutions publish investigative work on Mike or the other Democratic candidates, we will either publish those articles in full, or summarize them for our readers – and we will not hide them.”
Micklethwait continued, writing that the Bloomberg News team would continue to investigate President Trump and his administration, calling it the “government of the day.” Micklethwait said that were Bloomberg chosen as the Democratic Party’s candidate to run against the president next year, that the organization would have to re-evaluate its coverage of the president.
In the letter to staff, Micklethwait noted that the news outlet does not investigate its parent company and has also not investigated its closest competitors, including CNBC and Reuters, although it does cover news relating to those companies. Micklethwait seemingly indicated that its coverage of other Democrats in the race for president will be similar to coverage of its rivals in that it will report facts and share news of other outlets’ investigations, but it will not conduct such investigations on its own.
The Bloomberg News editor noted that the company would immediately cease the production of editorials and that members of the editorial board, including David Shipley and Tim O’Brien, would suspend their positions at the organization to join Bloomberg’s campaign for president. The publication still plans to produce opinion pieces, Micklethwait said.
Micklethwait said that the company had already assigned a reporter to cover Bloomberg’s presidential run, announced Sunday, and that the news division plans to disclose that the candidate is its owner in all of its coverage about him.
“To those who would rather that we did not write about Mike at all, I would reply that ‘Bloomberg News’ has handled these conflicts before – and proved our independence,” he added.
Micklethwait said that the company had used similar tactics during Bloomberg’s run for New York City mayor.