Friday, July 29, 2011

What if Rupert cared? A few Atlantic Yards story ideas (!) for the New York Post (or other tabloid)

What if... in some kind of alternate universe, media mogul Rupert Murdoch made Atlantic Yards a special priority?

After all, as Azi Paybarah reports in this week's New York Observer, Rupert’s Post Game: His Royal Pie-ness Story on Page SShhh, the New York Post responds to its owners whims and directives. And the Post, not surprisingly, played down a great tabloid moment: the pie in the face Murdoch received when testifying before the U.K. Parliament.

When Rupert cares

And, on the flip side, Murdoch could focus attention, sometimes even more than merited. From the article:
One reporter was told by his editor that “Rupert ordered” a look into the connections between then-governor David Paterson and the lobbying activities of his father, Basil Paterson, according to a Post insider. It was, in fairness, a sound story to investigate, but there was an implied understanding that the reporter should turn up something, since his editor felt the need to mention where the idea came from.

Mr. Murdoch’s influence was so unambiguous and obvious, that often times, his preference was simply assumed.

One former reporter said his own editor requested a week’s worth of stories about the New York City public schools because “Rupert was going to be in town.” It was coveted real estate in the paper, and the reporter reluctantly obliged.
A few ideas for the tabs

Herewith, a few Atlantic Yards story ideas that could fit in the limited space and short attention span of the Post (or other tabloid):
  1. Baldfaced lying! Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, on tape, claims that "Brooklyn is 1000 percent behind Atlantic Yards."
  2. Scandal shift! Darryl Greene, whose role in the Aqueduct "racino" was so toxic it helped scotch the bid he was part of, continues as minority contracting consultant for Atlantic Yards.
  3. Convenient amnesia! Despite obligations to fund an Independent Compliance Monitor to evaluate the Community Benefits Agreement, Forest City Ratner has not done so.
  4. Delusionary behavior! Forest City Ratner, as if in some time warp, continues to maintain that tax revenues, as well as jobs, will be delivered as promised.
  5. Stunt! What might it be like for a few thousand arena-goers to walk down residential Dean Street, with its narrow sidewalks, from the surface parking lot to the arena? (Send a few hundred flash mobbers down the block!)

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