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Monday’s Headlines: The NY Times Needs a New Framing Store

12:03 AM EDT on June 13, 2022

Graphic: The Streetsblog Photoshop Desk

People think we're always ragging on New York Times reporters. Truth is, we respect our colleagues over there immensely. It's their editors that we simply can't understand.

This weekend provided yet another example of how editors and producers at the Times consistently misplay and poorly frame important livable streets news.

Here are a few examples from just this weekend:

    • Ginia Bellafante wrote a great column that touched on the yawning chasm between the haves and have nots. The piece was not elitist — in fact, it spoke great truths about how badly everyday New Yorkers are treated because influential wealthy people can insulate themselves. The headline? "How to Avoid a City Pool for Only $150 a Day."
    • Reporters Clifford Krauss and Marie Solis did a story about the fact that gasoline reached $5 a gallon.The lede? "Gasoline prices reached a grim milestone on Saturday..." Grim milestones are for pandemics and school shooting, not to stoke the anger of drivers amid a war in Ukraine and decisions by oil companies to "return profits to investors" rather than lower prices. And not a word in the story about how drivers have cost everyone else in our society, thanks to how they externalize all the costs of their driving (the pollution, the death, the crashes, the infrastructure, the traffic, etc.)
    • John Taggart wrote a completely reasonable photo essay about his road trip to New Orleans. The headline? "The Dream of the Open Road Collides With the Reality of $5-a-Gallon Gas." No, we're not begrudging Taggart a rental car for a trip, but there was nothing in the story where Taggart was really even complaining about the high price of gas. And that "dream" of the "open road" that the Times is always evoking? That "dream" was built on generations of lies told by politicians and car makers. The truth of car ownership is starved transit systems, neighborhoods torn apart by highways, kids lungs filled with pollution and more than 40,000 direct deaths a year. But to the Times, renting a car and driving halfway across the country is "American Graffiti."

The nation needs to solve so many problems. Yet we're not served by a newspaper of record that can't frame the issues properly.

In other news:

    • Speaking of the Times, columnist Ezra Klein weighed in on the congestion pricing delay, but Streetsblog contributor Charles Komanoff pointed out one major flaw.
    • Like Streetsblog, Kevin Duggan of amNY and Max "Hell Gate" Rivlin-Nadler of Gothamist covered the Riders Alliance's rally on Sunday for a new definition of subway safety.
    • Meanwhile, Gothamist was a little late on its coverage of the DOT's announcement last week about "better" bike lanes (our story was here on Friday).
    • You've seen the magical basketball-on-head cyclist all over town. Now read the story of Leh-Boy in the latest good get by Hell Gate.
    • A Bronx man was badly injured in a hit-and-run (NY Post), and a driver badly injured himself crashing his Tesla (NY Post)
    • The City offered a good primer on the Eric Adams-Adrienne Adams budget handshake on Friday — but like the budget agreement itself, not much was said about transportation (because there were no additions beyond the previously announced $904 million by the Adams administration that fell far short of the Council's initial ask.)
    • Some people don't want the MTA to renovate the 68th Street station. (Nick Garber via Twitter)
    • But some people do want better transit, as the backers of the Queens Link pointed out in their Daily News op-ed.
    • The Washington Post had a nice profile of New Yorker Veronica Vanterpool, formerly of the MTA board and the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, but now the deputy director of the Federal Transit Administration.
    • Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso wants to turn the successful Vanderbilt Avenue open street into a permanent public plaza. (Brooklyn Paper)
    • Come for the noodle ride, stay for the last line: "We need immediate action." Streetfilms does it again, this time focusing on the need for basic respect from drivers and basic infrastructure from the Department of Transportation.

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