Journalist Koch p. 35

By: Dorothy Giobbe ALMOST FIVE YEARS after he was voted out of office, former New York City mayor Ed Koch has defected to the ranks of the media he used to regularly scold.
Besides hosting a daily talk radio program, Koch is keeping busy by writing a political column for the New York Post, as well as restaurant and movie reviews for other publications, and a book.
"I've never missed a deadline, and I spring out of bed the same way I did when I was mayor," Koch told a recent gathering for the Columbia Journalism Review.
Never one to shy away from a good confrontation, Koch recalled that while he was in office, "I had a lot of fights with individual reporters . . . . The difference between me, as opposed to many other politicians, was that I always fought back. I fought back at press conferences, I fought back in columns that I wrote as mayor, and I fight back now."
Koch, who used to hold as many as six or seven press conferences a day, shared his strategy for dealing with the City Hall press corps.
"There are about thirty people ? maybe more ? assigned to City Hall, who must have a story every day. If you don't facilitate that, help them, they will find their own . . . . Therefore, you can influence the nature of the stories by making it easy for them."
In a wide-ranging discussion with Jane Pauley of NBC News, Koch offered his view of current topics in the news.
On H. Ross Perot: "I think Perot comes over like a schmuck . . . a fool. If he didn't have a dollar, you wouldn't think he had a brain."
On the media, particularly those members that covered his administration: "While there are some miserable people who are part of the press," on the whole, said the former mayor, "the press does a very good job."
Koch said that the New York Times editorial board is the "most important voice in the media today."


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