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October 27, 2009

How 2005 fudge from the mayor's office on AY affordable housing led the Times into a 2009 error it won't correct

Atlantic Yards Report

Back in 2005, Mayor Bloomberg's office overstated the City's role and commitment to affordable housing in Atlantic Yards, which found its way into an October 2009 article in The NY Times, which has informed Oder that the paper has no intention of setting the record straight, since the "reference to Atlantic Yards captured a specific moment in time."

[T]he Times claims that city officials were "signing off" on an "agreement" to help finance the Atlantic Yards affordable housing, even though the Housing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), excerpted at right, involved only Forest City Ratner's subsidiary Atlantic Yards Development Company and the advocacy group ACORN, not the city.

The error, as noted below, apparently was derived from a mayoral press release that inaccurately announced the deal as a fait accompli.

The bottom line: an error reprinted is an error, even if it can be attributed to a seemingly reliable source.

The larger context: the amount of time the Times spent in responding to me--and rather defensively denying that readers could be misled--could better have been used to print a correction or clarification regarding the article at hand.

Read the rest of the article to find out how Times staffers put their heads together and still got it wrong.

NoLandGrab: Norman Oder has a point — maybe the article "captured a specific moment in time," but it still erroneously cited "The city’s agreement to help finance the plan." There wasn't and still isn't a signed agreement with the City.

If Oder wasn't burning his time reminding the Times of this fact, few people would know otherwise.

Posted by lumi at October 27, 2009 5:01 AM