NY1 Cameras Banned From Mayoral Debate Post Mortem

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Why was last month's mayoral election much closer than expected? If you get your political news from TV, you might not find out. The New School hosted a post-mortem debate this morning that included the always-entertaining Howard Wolfson representing Team Bloomberg and the equally-fiesty Eddy Castell speaking for Bill Thompson's campaign. The crowd featured plenty of print reporters and bloggers — but not NY1, the media outlet that devotes the most time and energy to local politics: Its camera was turned away at the door. "In 2005 we videotaped the entire conference with no complaints from any of the participants or by the sponsor,"; says Bob Hardt, the station's political director. "We're puzzled why a university dedicated to open discussion would now limit access to an event that is supposedly on-the-record." A New School spokesman says "the group of organizers decided eons ago that cameras changed the dynamic of the room and that we didn't want a superficial discussion." Castell says the Thompson folks weren't asked and had no objection to NY1. Wolfson says he knew nothing about the ban until this morning and would have let the cameras in. Perhaps the New School simply wanted to give the operatives the freedom to work blue?