Accidental email or pointed pitch?

Observers seem divided over whether New York Mayor Bill de Blasio slipped up when he copied a New York Times reporter on an email complaining about subway service, or he did it on purpose.

An email from New York Mayor Bill de Blasio to aides turned into a New York Times story Tuesday because the mayor copied a reporter on the message.

According to the Times (and, one would assume, the mayor’s office), including the reporter was an accident, but some observers wondered if it wasn’t a clever ruse to raise an issue.

De Blasio’s email describes a frustrating trip via subway to a speaking engagement in downtown Manhattan. He wrote:

We waited 20 mins for an express only to hear there were major delays. This was knowable info. Had we had it, we would have avoided a lot of hassles.

De Blasio went on to ask aides to do a better job of coordinating his subway trips with local transit officials.

Mediaite pointedly put the word “accidentally” in quotation marks in its write-up about the mayor’s missive, and it added context about de Blasio’s push for increased transportation funding. New York magazine openly wondered whether the mayor’s seeming ignorance of subway delays is “a subtle way to sneak back into the good graces of the one percent.”

Meanwhile, Gawker‘s Hamilton Nolan seemed to think the accident was legit, saying the email slip-up was one of two “justified reasons to make fun” of the mayor. (The other was his subway complaint.)

What do you think, PR Daily readers? Was de Blasio’s email an accident? Either way, could copying a reporter on something meant to look like an internal email be a clever way to get her or him interested?


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