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August 18, 2009

Paper of record accused of bias

Courier Life Publications
by Stephen Witt

Steve Witt, who was nosing around last week trying to conjure up a story of discord here at NoLandGrab (sorry, Steve, the only thing troubling us is Atlantic Yards), instead found his "story" in a sordid tale of alleged media bias. Buckle your seatbelts for this one.

A longtime civic activist charged The New York Times with propagating a smear campaign as she tries to unseat incumbent Letitia James in the upcoming 35th District City Council Democratic Primary.

Delia (Dee) Hunley-Adossa, who has been the president of the 88th Precinct Community Council for the past 10 years, said she was appalled that The Times ran a story about her this week saying she was unreachable.

The story, which ran under the headline, “Have you seen this woman?” alleges that Hunley-Adossa has been unreachable and is dodging the media.

“I question their objectivity and have from the beginning,” said Hunley-Adossa, who has always been very reachable by this newspaper.

Well of course she's always been reachable by the Courier, which hasn't exactly been critical of Atlantic Yards or its supporters.

As for The Times, we have also questioned their objectivity — because Bruce Ratner is their development partner. We find it a bit odd, though, that the Atlantic Yards candidate would think that The Times, which has always supported the project editorially, would be out to do a hatchet job on a pro-project candidate. Times reporter and The Local blogger Andy Newman, however, has always played it straight.

“I’m also appalled that The New York Times constantly links to someone’s blog who reports one-sided on Atlantic Yards,” said Hunley-Adossa, referring to Norman Oder’s Atlantic Yards Report blog, which writes lavishingly of James and continually criticizes any community supporters of the project.

We'll leave it to the one-sided Mr. Oder to poke holes in these far-fetched claims.

Hunley-Adossa is the chair of a group of community-based organizations that signed a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with Atlantic Yards developer Forest City Ratner.

Several of these organizations, including Hunley-Adossa’s, received funding from Ratner as per the CBA.

Good for you, Steve Witt, for including this disclaimer. But to say that Ms. Hunley-Adossa's organization "received funding from Ratner as per the CBA" makes it sound like everything's on the up and up. The CBA has been widely criticized, and let's keep in mind that Ms. Hunley-Adossa's organization's biggest expense is Ms. Hunley-Adossa's compensation.

“This campaign is not only about Atlantic Yards. It’s about the 35th Council District and I will continue to run our race. The Local is highly favorable to James and it is what it is,” said Hunley-Adossa.


NoLandGrab: Readers can decide for themselves if The Local is highly favorable to Ms. James. However, we're betting the voters will most definitely be so.

Check out Atlantic Yards Report for more coverage of The Courier Life's non-story.

Posted by eric at August 18, 2009 9:05 AM