Last week, Hadas Gold and Joe Pompeo of Politico reported that Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor and billionaire owner of Bloomberg LP, told a mildly funny joke when he paid a recent visit to his company’s bureau in Washington, D.C.:
At a town hall on Thursday at Bloomberg LP’s Washington bureau, according to several sources with knowledge of the meeting, the former New York mayor said he refers to Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, who host “With All Due Respect” on Bloomberg TV, as “Haldeman and Ehrlichman.” That’s a reference to two of Richard Nixon’s most notorious deputies who eventually went to jail over the Watergate scandal.
It seems unlikely that Halperin and Heilemann, who formerly wrote for Time and New York magazines (respectively) and co-authored the popular election-season books Game Change and Double Down: Game Change 2012, were actually offended by this. After all, the pair are reportedly paid $1 million each to host With All Due Respect—an astonishing amount for a prestige editorial product that has nothing to do the company’s immensely profitable finance terminals. Anyone paid that much to write non-sensical “report cards” for presidential candidates should be able to take a joke or two.
According to Erik Wemple of the Washington Post, however, Bloomberg had a change of heart today, and apologized to employees for making fun of Halperin and Heilemann:
Michael Bloomberg today apologized for remarks attributed to him from last week's D.C. meeting, according to company employee.— ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) May 10, 2016
Bloomberg reportedly felt that the comments were misconstrued and that he supports "With All Due Respect," the Halperin-Heilemann show.— ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) May 10, 2016
Sick burn retracted!
Why exactly Bloomberg might have “felt [his] comments were misconstrued” remains unknown, and a spokesperson for Bloomberg LP declined to comment when we asked about Wemple’s tweets. We’ve asked Halperin and Heilemann for comment, and will update this post if we hear back.