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Bloomberg rips social media for dumbing down society in candid interview

Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg

The Atlantic magazine named Mayor Michael Bloomberg as one its "brave thinkers" in its latest issue and hizzoner didn't shy away from showing why he made the cut in a wide-ranging interview with the publication.

Representatives for the magazine said the mayor was the top of their list of 21 individuals and organizations because "he's proved you can get a lot done if you don't mind disagreement and don't worry about your approval ratings."

Here's some excerpts for the interview:

Media:

Bloomberg, who runs one of the largest business news networks in the world, said the quality of journalism is going down dramatically. Inexperienced reporters, microblogging and social media are not only killing the industry, but also hurting the population as a whole, according to the mayor.

"I think we've dumbed down, and it's not good for society," he said. "It's hard to argue that we aren't going more towards an instant-gratification, sound-bite kind of world."

On how people view him:

Despite being elected to three terms, the mayor has had his share of critics from the teachers union to the soda industry who bashed him for banning large size sugary beverages. Bloomberg says he doesn't care about poll numbers and elected officials who aim for high approval ratings are leading the wrong way.

"High approval ratings means you're skiing down the slope and you never fall. Well, you're skiing the baby slope, for goodness sakes," he said.

"You want to tackle the issues that are unpopular, that nobody else will go after."

Presidential candidates:

Bloomberg, who has said he has made his presidential choice but won't reveal it or give an endorsement, said former Gov. Mitt Romney hurts his campaign by flip flopping on issues he fought for during his time as governor.

"I think that's a losing strategy, to not have values. I think the public wants you to have them and will respect you for them."

At the same time Bloomberg said Obama shouldn't pat himself too much on the back for accomplishments that took place under his administration, especially the Osama bin Laden death.

"That's like giving Harry Truman credit for dropping the bomb: any president would've pushed that button, any president would've dropped the bomb," he said.

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