A longtime civic activist charged The New York Times with propagating a smear campaign as she tries to unseat incumbent Letitia James in the upcoming 35th District City Council Democratic Primary.
Delia (Dee) Hunley-Adossa, who has been the president of the 88th Precinct Community Council for the past 10 years, said she was appalled that The Times ran a story about her this week saying she was unreachable.
The story, which ran under the headline, “Have you seen this woman?” alleges that Hunley-Adossa has been unreachable and is dodging the media.
“I question their objectivity and have from the beginning,” said Hunley-Adossa, who has always been very reachable by this newspaper.
Hunley-Adossa pointed out that Times reporter Andy Newman, who also runs the paper’s blog covering the Fort Greene/Clinton Hill area, The Local, published a photo of himself singing karaoke with the woman who runs James’ blog.
“I’m also appalled that The New York Times constantly links to someone’sblog who reports one-sided on Atlantic Yards,” said Hunley-Adossa, referring to Norman Oder’s Atlantic Yards Report blog, which writes lavishingly of James and continually criticizes any community supporters of the project.
Hunley-Adossa is the chair of a group of community-based organizations that signed a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with Atlantic Yards developer Forest City Ratner.
Several of these organizations, including Hunley-Adossa’s, received funding from Ratner as per the CBA.
“This campaign is not only about Atlantic Yards. It’s about the 35th Council District and I will continue to run our race. The Local is highly favorable to James and it is what it is,” said Hunley-Adossa.
Newman responded that The Local’s blog-linking is highly unscientific and admitted they miss a lot of stuff.
“We link pretty frequently to Oder’s blog because he covers Atlantic Yards, one of the most important issues for the neighborhood, in great depth. Sometimes Oder will send us a note saying, ‘Hey, I just published a particularly interesting piece, you should check it out,’” said Newman in an emailed response.
Newman said that while he sang with the James staffer, it was not at a James event.
“It was at the apolitical birthday party at a bar for the blogger who does Clinton Hill Chill. At such a politically neutral event, I would be happy to sing with one of Ms. Hunley-Adossa’s staffers,” he said.
But Hunley-Adossa remains unsold about Newman’s response.
“I’m not sure he would sing with one of my staffers,” she said.