Lamenting Loss of Left-Wing Museum at Ground Zero

October 7th, 2005 12:01 PM
There's one last hurrah for the controversial, now-shelved International Freedom Center in the New York Times in this morning's "Public Lives" section story by Robin Finn.

Many family members of 9-11 victims opposed the proposed museum as a possible base for leftist sentiments (the Times editorial page said such criticism "sounds un-American," a strange accusation from a newspaper typically hypersensitive when conservatives allegedly question liberal patrtiotism).

Reporter Robin Finn's profile of Richard Tofel, president and chief operating officer of the Freedom Center, reads as distinctly sympathetic to the museum: "Short-term political correctness has, he fears, snuffed out long-term vision. Instead of a memorial site that 'stands the test of time' and offers a continuing meditation on freedom's oft-threatened lifeline, there will be a 9/11 dead zone with 9/11 in perpetual focus. Reverent, yes. Forever relevant? He suspects not."

9/11 in perpetual focus at Ground Zero? Isn't that the point of the whole project? And "dead zone" is a peculiarly inappropriate metaphor for a site where nearly 3,000 Americans were murdered.

Finn later writes: "What is certain is [Tofel] will not write about his aborted attempt, alongside Tom A. Bernstein and Peter W. Kunhardt, to install a cultural and social beacon at ground zero: 'I don't want to relive it.'"

(In past "Public Lives" profiles, Finn has reveled in anti-Bush toilet humor and invited readers to "tune in" to left-wing Air America radio.)

For more New York Times bias, check out TimesWatch.