C'mon--is Goldstein more powerful than the BP, et al.? "The hardest part is the order," says Mr. Brownstoner himself. "It's kind of a silly exercise to actually rank these folks."
The AY response
Indeed, Goldstein and the Atlantic Yards opposition--toward which I am aligned, given my consistent scrutiny and criticism of the project, but hardly in lockstep--have managed a vigorous, daily fight, notably using the Internet and going to court.
Such a watershed strategy in the development wars deserves notice. Still, it's hard to argue that outweighs the power of public officials with budgets to exercise clout in multiple areas.
A project as big as Atlantic Yards--in terms of sheer size, public commitment, and p.r. effort--and impacting well-settled neighborhoods like Prospect Heights, Fort Greene, and Park Slope would inevitably have spurred a response.
Then again, had specific people like Goldstein not committed themselves, the response would not have been as tenacious. Indeed, trained as a graphic designer, the remarkably persistent spokesman now provides an AY rapid-response more typical of a political campaign (though he's occasionally been hair-trigger).
By way of comparison, the Yankee Stadium deal arguably deserved as much of a response, but there are fewer people in the South Bronx who could take time out for activism.
What about the media?
Btw the media, myself included, are #9, which is of course debatable; while I do think the media can be powerful, I'll write separately about some serious flaws in media coverage.