Sunday, March 12, 2006

Eminent Domain

It would appear that big city newspapers like the L.A. Times will always do what is best for the newpaper, whether or not that is best for the community in which they live. Sometimes, their editorial policies seem to be guided by their own connection to the project.

Last Saturday (March 11) the L.A. Times ran an editorial with the heading LA Gothic. In this, the seem to be suggesting that the City screwed it up, which they did, but that the ultimate solution is to return the land to the original owner, from whom it was siezed in 1980. Since then, the City's project fell apart and they have allowed it to be used for Community Gardens. Now, the Times is suggesting to give it back.

This lead the LA County Green Party to send the L.A. Times the following:

Subject: The L.A. Times and "eminent domain"

Re: "Los Angeles Gothic," March 11,

The L.A. Times's opposition to the use of eminent domain to protect the South Central Farm is ironic in light of the L.A. Times's own status as a "founding partner" of the Staples Center. Surely the L.A. Times is aware that dozens of small businesses up and down Figueroa were forced out, under eminent domain, to make room for the construction of the sports arena which the L.A. Times itself co-founded, and with which it infamously shared profits on the scandalous Sunday Times issue dedicated to the Staples Center opening. So, apparently, the L.A. Times is okay with eminent domain when it's used to benefit the L.A.Times itself, but not when it's used to benefit economically disadvantaged workers who've committed the unforgivable act of growing food.

The L.A. Times should be ashamed of itself. But, better yet, the L.A. Times should join the Los Angeles Greens, the California Green Party,and many others in calling for City Hall to protect this unique 14 acre urban jewel. We have enough warehouses, but there's only one South Central Farm.

Patrick Meighan Los Angeles Greens Media Coordinator

The LA County Green Party has supported this for a long time. Gubernatorial Candidate Peter Camejo appeared at the South Central Farm last week. The party even put out a state-wide press release on the issue.

Note, I have been very careful to refer to the L.A. Times so as not to confuse it with the New York Times, which has displayed an even more egregious example of biased journalism as regards several uses of eminent domain in New York City, specifically by the same builder that is erecting a new headquarters for the New York Times itself. This is all very well documented in the Times Ratner Report by Norman Oder, a journalist from Brooklyn.

Oder has adminrably documented the multiple conflicts of interest that have led not only to stupidly worded editorials, but stories that are filled with error. It is not surprising that these errors always seeming to support Bruce Ratner's mega-project, a huge redevelopment effort designed by Frank Gehry, tearing out multiple use buildings in the heart of Brooklyn to install a new sports complex (another similarity..Ratner owns the New Jersey Nets). I don't have the time that Oder spent on his effort or I might dig up LA the same way he is digging NYC, but even to read it a little confirms ones worst fears about the state of mainstream media.

No comments: