What got Clyde Haberman and much of the city press corps circling the wagons wasn’t just Freddy Ferrer’s interview, it was the shots they took at a New School conference last week attended by a hundred campaign operatives, journalists, pollsters, and others involved in the 2005 campaign.
Ferrer adviser Roberto Ramirez denounced a Sunday Times Magazine picture of Ferrer overwhelmed by a guayabera with a T-shirt underneath, as well as the tabloid front-page caricatures and cartoons of him, accusing the press of “stereotyping” and “dehumanizing” this aspirational candidate, the first Latino ever nominated for citywide office. When Ramirez waved the NYT photo at the luncheon crowd, the paper’s metro editor Susan Edgerly interjected: “I have to tell you, we talked about that. The metro desk doesn’t have anything to do with the magazine, but when we saw the magazine that’s all we were talking about on Monday.”
A Ferrer aide explained that the candidate had gone to the Times photo shoot in a suit and changed into the guayabera afterward because he was heading to a parade. The photographer asked him for quick shots as he was leaving. Ramirez and his partner Luis Miranda also blasted the media for claiming that Ferrer “had never achieved anything in the Bronx,” asking the same Diallo question of Ferrer interminably that “I’m still waiting for the mayor to answer,” and dismissing the campaign’s core poverty message because it wasn’t one the press “wanted to hear.”