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October 16, 2009

So, why did the print Times ignore the eminent domain hearing?

Atlantic Yards Report

Today, Norman Oder revisits the original raison d'etre of his blog, the pattern of shoddy coverage of Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards project in The NY Times, in light of the developer's business relationship with the paper.

Why did editors of the print-edition Times kill the report from the "City Room" blog, covering the "landmark" oral arguments before the NY State Court of Appeals in the Atlantic Yards eminent domain case?

Breaking news routinely appears on the blog when a story is filed, and is subsequently published in the print edition, or at least is summarized in the "City Room" column — not this time.

If it wasn't "interference" by the publisher, then it was "incompetence;" either way "it's sure suspicious."

Consider that the City Room post, by former Brooklyn reporter Nicholas Confessore, focused on tough questioning of the lawyer for the Empire State Development Corporation and could have been balanced by some references to the skepticism the judges showed toward the attorney for the nine plaintiffs.

(Would you believe it: a New York Times article slightly unbalanced in favor of Atlantic Yards opponents?)

Surely Forest City Ratner wasn't pleased by the coverage. Did someone call the publisher's office at the Times? I don't know. Does the publisher intervene in news coverage? That is not supposed to be happen.

If not, then the only explanation is incompetence. Was a print article about a real estate fraud in Harlem, however interesting, more important than the "landmark legal test"?

That's not a tough call, but here's an easier one: Are two paragraphs about Pataki's portrait more important than even a mention of this case?

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Posted by lumi at October 16, 2009 6:32 AM