Saturday, September 05, 2009

Old Gray Lady Dare Not Mention Atlantic Yards, Even When It Would Be Enlightening

The Times, unsurprisingly, has endorsed Brad Lander in the 39th Council District primary. Unsuprising because Lander safely straddles the fence and The Times loves that kind of stuff. Here's the endorsement:
District 39, Brooklyn (Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington, Borough Park):The top three candidates to replace Councilman Bill de Blasio, who is running for public advocate, are a remarkable group. Josh Skaller, a former Harvard composer of computer music, has made a name fighting big development in the area. Bob Zuckerman, a former director of the Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation, is an activist for environmental issues and gay rights. But it is Brad Lander who has the stronger history of working with the diverse issues the Council addresses. As the former director of the Pratt Center for Community Development and longtime director of the Fifth Avenue Committee, Mr. Lander has worked for affordable housing and for more jobs, parks, mass transit and other community needs. We endorse Mr. Lander.
Kudos to The Times for noting a strong field of candidates and who the frontrunners are. But notice the paper's non-reference-reference to Atlantic Yards:
"Josh Skaller, a former Harvard composer of computer music, has made a name fighting big development in the area."
Only The Times, with its conflicted relationship with Forest City Ratner, could turn "Atlantic Yards" into the generic "big development in the area." Had the paper actually used the name of the big development Skaller has been fighting it would have alerted readers who care about Atlantic Yards who their candidate is; by diluting it thoroughly the editorial has underinformed its readers and done a solid for Lander. (And that's not to mention the fact that Skaller is well-known for many other reasons including being the former president of the area's most active and reformist political club.)


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