The front of the Sunday New York Times featured a 3,300 word story from Michael Kimmelman, “Houston After Hurricane Harvey: The Essence of America’s Struggle,” suggesting reckless free market building policies in Houston contributed to the massive damaged caused by Hurricane Harvey -- a reckless liberal charge in itself. Kimmelman’s hostility for Houston’s “runaway development” seeped out on Sunday’s front page: "For years, the local authorities turned a blind eye to runaway development."
Top of the news: Our architecture critic weeps over Aleppo? Indeed, the front of Thursday’s New York Times featured critic a “Critics Notebook” from Michael Kimmelman, “Aleppo’s Faces Beckon to Us, To Little Avail.” Staggeringly, Kimmelman managed to lament the tragedy in Aleppo on the front page of a major newspaper, without a single mention of President Barack Obama, the sitting president for eight years and the architect of failed U.S. foreign policy. Yet Donald Trump, who has precisely zero to do with current Syrian policy, has two disparaging mentions.
After Donald Trump chose former presidential candidate Ben Carson to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), journalists ridiculed the choice, mocked Carson’s beliefs and labeled him a “scammer.” Squawk Box co-anchor Joe Kernen anticipated the liberal media reaction on Dec. 5, saying, "Let's see, he's not a billionaire, so how's the mainstream media going to trash him? He's a -- he's just a loyalist. He's a doctor. Doesn't know anything about housing."
Television writer-producer David Simon, whose acclaimed HBO series The Wire and Treme pushed liberal approaches to urban policy, sat for a New York Times interview to promote Show Me a Hero, Simon's HBO mini-series about the Yonkers, NY, desegregation controversy of the mid-1980s. It also provided Simon yet another platform to rail against the "astonishing moment of political amnesia" that marks what he sees as today's "entrenched libertarian notion," as well as suggesting that libertarian rhetoric about "freedom" and "liberty" is just code for racism.
On June 4, 1989, the communist regime in China cracked down violently on democratic protesters in Tiananmen Square. American networks had provided weeks of coverage of the protests, and the crackdown was a global outrage.
But both then and later, some national reporters embarrassed themselves by making odd comparisons between the communist crackdown and allegedly similar outrages in America:
The romantic treatment of the leftist sit-in at Wall Street by Michael Kimmelman in his Sunday Review “news analysis” “The Power of Place in Protest" was bad enough, with talk of Aristotle and “the size of an ideal polis” and how “Zuccotti Park has in fact become a miniature polis, a little city in the making.” But the real offense came in the New York Times's choice of comparison photos.
The think-piece by the paper's architectural critic was accompanied by archive photos of other massive legendary protests; Kent State in 1970; the Central Park protest against the Vietnam War in 1967; the famous man in front of the tank in Tiananmen Square in 1989; the fall of the Berlin Wall that same year. Of more recent vintage was the Tahrir Square protest in Cairo and Occupy Wall Street.
New York Times critic Michael Kimmelman was granted the front page of Wednesday’s Arts section for a snobbish chiding of uncouth American conservatives who helped squelch a video some found sacrilegious, by a featured artist in a Smithsonian gay art exhibit: “In Britain, Separation of Art and State.” ("Separation" except for when it comes to actually subsidizing the art, which Britain does.)
The Times even ran a large photo of a clip from the controversial video by artist David Wojnarowicz, "A Fire in my Belly," showing ants crawling over a crucifix. This is the same newspaper that proudly refused to reprint newspaper cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad after radical Muslims instigated an uproar back in February 2006.
Kimmelman wrote from London: