Thursday, May 10, 2012

So complain-y! The Times's Streisand coverage treats "neighborhood critics" as making allegations, not winning a big court case

The New York Times, heretofore uninterested in the number of jobs at the Barclays Center arena, goes long in the CityRoom blog and in today's paper with A Daughter of Brooklyn, Now Known as ‘Barbra,’ Will Return to Perform.

This passage gives a nod to larger issues:
Because of Ms. Streisand’s identification with Brooklyn, the Streisand concert is a feather in the cap of the promoters of the arena, which will hold 220 entertainment events a year. Concerts by Jay-Z, Leonard Cohen and Andrea Bocelli are scheduled, as well as the roughly 40 home games of the newly christened Brooklyn Nets basketball team. The developers have been fighting neighborhood critics who say the crowds and traffic will overwhelm quiet small-scale neighborhoods. News of the concert was first mentioned on a blog that tracks the issue, Atlantic Yards Report.
Getting all complain-y

Isn't it unfortunate that developer Forest City Ratner has to be fighting "neighborhood critics," who sound so complain-y. The "he said, she said phrasing" sounds like another example of "the usual tumult," the Times's dismissive August 2009 phrase regarding the public process concerning the re-approval of Atlantic Yards.

The thing is, there's reason to get all complain-y. The state has been lying--or, at the least, obfuscating--about the plan to rebuild the Carlton Avenue Bridge.

And tbose "neighborhood critics" won a big lawsuit against Forest City Ratner and Empire State Development--at both the trial court level and with a unanimous appeals court-- establishing that the state essentially misled the public in failing to study the community impacts of a 25-year project buildout, rather than the long-promised (and long-dubious) decade.

Now the state has to conduct a Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS), at least if it doesn't pursue a longshot appeal to the state Court of Appeals.

Giving back

The Times quoted Streisand's cliche-laden press statement:
“Brooklyn to me means the Loew’s Kings, Erasmus, the yeshiva I went to, the Dodgers, Prospect Park, great Chinese food,” Ms. Streisand said in a statement announcing the concert, which is set for October 11. “I’m so glad I came from Brooklyn — it’s down to earth. I guess you can come home again.”
And the Times quoted a Streisand classmate:
Ms. [Susan] Friedman seemed delighted by the news of the concert. “She remembers where she came from, and she wants to give something back,” she said.
With ticket prices starting at $90, is that giving back? What about free or low-cost tickets? Or donating some of the proceeds to charity.

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