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The Empire

Paladino rips media as 'very much part of the problem'

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Carl Paladino sent a letter today to YNN reporter Capital Tonight anchor Liz Benjamin, blasting her for not being tougher on governor-elect Andrew Cuomo in a recent interview, calling it "pathetic."

"He was allowed to walk on his use of drugs," Paladino writes in the letter, dated November 24, but which was sent out today, according to his secretary. "If a complacent, lazy and apathetic press doesn't police government, who will?"

Paladino ends his four-page letter telling "Liz" that "you and your friends in the press are very much part of the problem."

Paladino had many, many problems with reporters. He threatened Fred Dicker with the line, "I'll take you out, buddy!" and blocked from his media contact list a well-respected Associated Press reporter after he thought she wrote an unfair story about one of his policy initiatives.

As for Benjamin, she's tenacious, tireless, and, fair. The criticism here from Paladino are hard to accept, since reporters did ask about many of the issues raised in the letters (Cuomo's drug use; prosecuting Steven Rattner, etc.).

As for criticism of the modern political press in New York, it's hard to accept them coming from Paladino, considering his behavior on the campaign trail.

For example, after a speech to Orthodox Jews in Williamsburg, Paladino marched to his car, several blocks away, ignoring reporters' questions, even as they marching along side of him. Days later, after the speech was widely criticized, Paladino stood at a Columbus Day parade in Midtown, saying his comments in Williamsburg were mischaracterized and unfairly reported by the media. They weren't.

Anyway, Paladino had said all along he would only run for office once. But it seems he's unlikely to remain a silent spectator to New York politics.