EPA Gag Order
January 30, 2017 at 10:55 am
Do the editors of the New York Times and the art critics even read their own newspaper?
Forgive the question, but it's prompted by this juxtaposition:
The New York Times, January 26, 2017, "Federal Agencies Told to Halt External Communications":
Longtime employees at three of the agencies — including some career environmental regulators who conceded that they remained worried about what President Trump might do on policy matters — said such orders were not much different from those delivered by the Obama administration as it shifted policies from the departing White House of George W. Bush. They called reactions to the agency memos overblown. On Wednesday, Douglas Ericksen, a spokesman for the E.P.A., said that grants had been only briefly frozen for review, and that they would be restarted by Friday.
"I've lived through many transitions, and I don't think this is a story," said a senior E.P.A. career official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the news media on the matter. "I don't think it's fair to call it a gag order. This is standard practice. And the move with regard to the grants, when a new administration comes in, you run things by them before you update the website."
The New York Times, January 27, 2017, "'Perpetual Revolution' Shows Artists Shaping Their Times," by Times art critic Holland Cotter, who regularly injects political assumptions into art criticism:
Instagram pictures by the Native American photographer Camille Seaman document a protest in progress against the laying of a fuel pipeline at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota....
Here we're in breaking-news territory. The collage, with its miniature banners and countless, tightly packed figures, looks like a flashback, or flash-forward, to the recent Women's March. Ms. Seaman's photographs are whiplash reminders that, in his first week in office as president, Donald J. Trump not only ordered a go-ahead for the pipeline but also imposed a communications blackout on the E.P.A.
You'd be hard-pressed to find any relief to this grim picture...
So the Times news section, in an article by the reporter whose job is to cover the EPA in Washington is telling us the EPA situation is standard practice and maybe even not a story, but the Times art critic, from New York, who knows nothing about the situation, is busy insisting in the middle of an art review that this is a "grim picture" from which "you'd be hard pressed to find any relief." Well, relief could be found simply by reading the fact-based coverage available in the Times news section. But the Times art critic, Mr. Cotter, and his editor seem determined to avoid finding any relief — or providing any to the section's readers. Mr. Cotter and his editor prefer instead to fuel the panic that prevails among the Times readership, regardless of whether this specific anxiety about Mr. Trump is anchored in any factual grounding.
[Updated to correct the spelling of the art critic's last name.]
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