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December 22, 2006

Chris Smith on Atlantic Yards: The ‘Times’ Screwed Up

New York Magazine, Daily Intelligencer

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A must-read for a glimpse into how corrupt many feel the political process to approve Atlantic Yards and the local media's coverage has been — political reporter Chris Smith lays it into The NY Times:

So there it is on today's front page: "State Approves Major Complex For Brooklyn; Vote on Atlantic Yards Caps 3-Year Conflict." And it is correct that the Public Authority Control Board — really George Pataki, Joe Bruno, and Sheldon Silver — yesterday signed off on Bruce Ratner's $4 billion stadium-and-skyscraper project. But what was truly "capped" was a farcical, corrupt political process and three years of irresponsible, lazy coverage by the Times.

Individual Times reporters have written significant stories along the way. But the Times, collectively, has never demonstrated the will or interest to examine Atlantic Yards in anything close to the proportion demanded by one of the biggest real-estate schemes in the history of the city. Maybe it's because Ratner is the Times' partner in building the paper's new Eighth Avenue headquarters. Maybe it's because Times editors think Atlantic Yards is an objectively good idea. Maybe it's because the Times, along with the rest of the city's mainstream media, does a lousy job of covering anything outside our midtown backyard. Whatever the reasons, the effect has been an abdication of the Times' civic and journalistic responsibility.

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NoLandGrab: Reporter and blogger Norman Oder has carefully documented the Times's shoddy — and often lacking — coverage of Atlantic Yards during the past year and a half, first on his blog Times Ratner Report and then on Atlantic Yards Report.

Posted by lumi at December 22, 2006 6:33 AM