Up Front: Bill Keller
By THE EDITORS
Published: July 7, 2011
Through the years, The New York Times’s coverage of the Roman Catholic Church and the Vatican has received sharp criticism from practicing Catholics — including the past eight years that Bill Keller has been the paper’s executive editor. Yet Keller, who wrote this week’s cover review of “Absolute Monarchs: A History of the Papacy,” by John Julius Norwich, was raised within the fold.
“My parents took their faith very seriously — especially my mother, who had the fervor of a convert (from Episcopalian),” Keller recalled in an e-mail. “My brothers and I had nuns and priests as our teachers through high school, and I look back on that education with real gratitude. I’m now what my friend Dan Barry calls a ‘collapsed Catholic’ — beyond lapsed — but you never really extricate yourself from your upbringing.”
Keller, as most readers probably know, recently announced he would step down from his current position in September, though he will continue to write a regular column (it now appears in The Times Magazine). Has he observed any parallels between the institution he has led since 2003 and the one he writes about in his review?
“I run into readers who believe The Times is a place directed from on high,” Keller replied. “The truth is that our priesthood of journalists operates with great autonomy, and our congregation of readers makes up its own mind — all as it should be. In the unlikely event that the pope ever invited me for tea, we’d probably have stories to swap about the practical limits of authority. ‘Absolute monarchs’ indeed!”
Indeed! What about the political dynamics of this following story?!
The Washington, D.C. “South Capitol Mall”. Though never formally named, it appeared front and center within and throughout U.S. National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC's) 1997 publication “Extending the Legacy: Planning America’s Capital for the 21st Century".
“Extending the Legacy” refers to extending that of Washington, D.C.'s Pierre L’Enfant and McMillan Commission Washington, D.C. planning, with the latter adopting a beaux arts 'city beautiful' mode incoroporating and extending the linear green-way of the National Mall westward with a Reflecting Pool culminating in a Lincoln Memorial with traffic circle.
The 1990s USNCPC 'South Capitol Mall' concept of a new promenade extending due south from the U.S. Capitol building, via a widened South Capitol Street corridor, was the largest addition to the monumental core of Washington D.C. since the West Mall with the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, completed respectively by the early 1920s and early 1940s, and a subsequent NCPC "East Capitol Mall" proposal from the 1920s into about the early 1960s.
Both the McMillan plan and the subsequent East Capitol Mall proposal were contemporaneously reported about by newspapers, particularly the former’s West Mall-Lincoln Memorial.
LINK- East Capitol Mall
In sharp contrast, the 1990s “Extending the Legacy” South Capitol Mall went strangely un-dereported, only starting with being seemingly un-named (the term “South Capitol Mall” and any variant with the word “Mall”, “Promenade” nor “Greenway” appears nowhere within USNCPC's ‘Extending the Legacy’ publications), and is effectively masked by being mis-described via the notably vague yet consistent terminology rather as a "gateway" and "boulevard".
This would be universal throughout the MSM ‘reporting’, but also with the various ‘environmentalist’ organizations, all following such a consistently selective use of terminology to NOT inform about the proposal for the new linear park along the South Capitol axis.
Such a uniformity of focus and lexicon -- for such a signature proposal -- defied any reasonable expectation of the odds, of say any of the past such proposals being so un-der-reported.
It was like there was a giant ‘magnet’ controlling all of these entities in their selections of words and actions, all working together to obscure the issue for a larger agenda, via entities sold to the public for defending the very ideals they must actually betray for the sake of their hidden master[s]. Something with its tentacles throughout the U.S. and other governments, the media, and the various private organizations.
LINK- 1996 MSM non-reporting on proposed South Capitol Mall
LINK- 2003 MSM non-reporting on proposed South Capitol Mall
LINK- 'E' Groups Indifference
The single most significent building saved by the un-der-reported cancellation of the South Capitol Mall is the St Vincent DePaul Church at the northeast quadrant of the South Capitol Street intersection with M Street.
Located at the northeast quadrant of the intersection of South Capitol and M Streets.
Completed and opened in April 1904.
Originally had more green space, now paved over for automobile parking, plus the addition to the rear of a rectory.
While any reporting about "Extending the Legacy" carefully avoided -- via the selective lexicon and omissions -- reporting on the South Capitol Mall, the conflict between "Extending the Legacy" and the Vatican went entirely unreported by the mainstream media.
LINK- Why Was Not The Public Informed?
Addition- Completed 9:14 PM
This is likewise true with the story of the single most significant building to be erected within the South Capitol Mall’s space – Nationals Ballpark Stadium – even as its planning predated the official abandonment of the South Capitol Mall concept in 2003; yet the planning for this stadium was publicized in 2002, and was notably again un-der-reported:
Advocates of major league baseball in the District this week made perhaps their boldest step yet in that city’s long quest for a team, sending the sport’s top executives a 70 page report documenting potential site plans for a stadium, as well as financing options for a project that could cost as much as $522 million.
The report – the result of a six-month, $300,000 site selection study by the D.C. Sports & Entertainment Commission, D.C. Office of Planning and a bid group led by financier Fred Malek – details the potential land use and financial plans for five potential stadium sites. The sites are scattered about the city: two along Massachusetts Avenue NW between Mount Vernon Square and Union Station, a location near the Southeast Federal Center and District waterfront, the RFK Stadium property, and located north of Union Station near New York Avenue NE.
Eric Fisher, The Washington Times November 15, 2002 District Outlines
Interesting how the South Capitol site is described with the most vague terms “a location near the Southeast Federal Center and District waterfront”.
Such un-reporting, like that for the Extending the Legacy South Capitol Mall and its defying the odds of mislabeling things consistently, suggests this was all the baby from rather high up the political pyramid, connected to the entities being employed for its facilitation: the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission; Major League Baseball, and the powerful Washington, D.C. law firm of Covington & Burling.
Who Got Involved
Michael Tuohey, then head of the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission, is well connected to this pinnacle of political power, known as the Roman Catholic Church.
He has been a member of the board of trustees of three Roman Catholic Schools: Jesuit Academy, Gonzaga High School, and Catholic University of America (CUA)- the latter with others including Washington Archbishop Theodore McCarrick (retired May 2006), New York Cardinal Edward Egan (retired 2009), and Egan’s replacement Timothy Dolan:
Board of Trustees*
Carl A. Anderson, New Haven, Conn.
Richard D. Banziger, New York, N.Y.
Nancy J. Bidwill, Phoenix, Ariz.
Bertha S.Braddock, Alexandria, Va.
Bishop Michael J. Bransfield, Wheeling, W.Va.
Archbishop Raymond L. Burke , St. Louis, Mo.
Timothy R. Busch, Esq., Irvine, Calif.
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Denver, Colo.
Paul J. Chiapparone, Frisco, Texas
Robert F. Comstock, Esq., Washington, D.C.
Robert E. Craves, Issaquah, Wash.
Robert J. Crimmins, Huntington, N.Y.
Bishop Edward P. Cullen, Allentown, Pa.
Leo A. Daly III, Washington, D.C.
Bishop Daniel N. DiNardo, Houston, Texas
Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, Milwaukee, Wis. [succeeded Egan]
David A. Donohoe, Esq., Vice Chairman, Washington, D.C.
Bishop Thomas G. Doran, Rockford, Ill.
Cardinal Edward M. Egan, New York, N.Y.
Archbishop John C. Favalora, Miami Shores, Fla.
Frederick R. Favo, Oakmont, Pa.
Sister Margaret Mary Fitzpatrick, S.C., Sparkill, N.Y.
Archbishop Harry J. Flynn, St. Paul, Minn.
Cardinal Francis E. George, O.M.I., Chicago, Ill.
Stephanie Germack-Kerzic, Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.
Archbishop José H. Gomez, San Antonio, Texas
Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, Atlanta, Ga.
Ray J. Hillenbrand, Rapid City, S.D.
Michael P. Hoffman, New York, N.Y.
Cardinal William H. Keeler, Baltimore, Md.
Bishop William E. Lori, Chairman, Bridgeport, Conn.
Cardinal Roger Mahony, Los Angeles, Calif.
Cardinal Adam J. Maida, Detroit, Mich.
Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Chancellor, Washington, D.C.
William A. McKenna Jr., Saugerties, N.Y.
Sandra A. McMurtrie, Bethesda, Md.
Bishop William F. Murphy, Rockville Centre, N.Y.
Archbishop John J. Myers, Newark, N.J.
Very Rev. David M. O’Connell, C.M., President, Washington, D.C.
Archbishop Sean P. O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap., Boston, Mass.
William G. Parrett, New York, N.Y.
Bishop Joseph A. Pepe, Las Vegas, Nev.
Neil J. Rauenhorst, Tampa, Fla.
Cardinal Justin F. Rigali, Philadelphia, Pa.
Andrea Roane, Washington, D.C.
Monsignor Walter R. Rossi, Washington, D.C.
Timothy C. Scheve, Towson, Md.Rodger D. Shay, Miami, Fla.
Mark H. Tuohey III, Esq., Washington, D.C.
Bishop Allen H. Vigneron, Oakland, Calif.
Frank G. Persico, Secretary of the Board, Fulton, Md.
Archbishop Theodore McCarrick’s name appears as follows in an article in The Washington Times, September 18, 2005:
OK, we know you have connections. An office overlooking the inaugural parade. Access to a private jet. A drink named after you at Zola. A booth at the Palm restaurant. Your face on the wall at the Palm.
But have you yelled "Beer man" next to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice? Have you spilled popcorn on James Carville? Have you elbowed Tim Russert during the T-shirt toss or tripped over Al Hunt's loafers on the way to the men's room or cut in the hot-dog line in front of Judy Woodruff?
If so, you belong to an exclusive club of baseball fans -- high-priced lawyers, lobbyists, politicos and media types -- who have made RFK Stadium power
central during the balmy nights of late summer. The Nationals may win or lose,
but it's never a bad night behind the dugouts.
Mayor Anthony A. Williams, pundit Mark Shields and AOL emeritus Jim Kimsey all have season tickets. Guests spotted over the summer have been rocker Dave Matthews; rapper Ludacris; Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia; actor Kevin Sorbo; White House spokesman Scott McClellan; and athletes Art Monk, Carlton Fisk, Sonny Jurgensen, Joe Theismann and Daryl Green. Fred Malek, who is head of the Washington Baseball Club, a consortium hoping to buy the team when Major League Baseball holds an upcoming auction, has tickets two rows up behind first base.
“It gives you 81 opportunities to do this -- and the seats aren't so darn expensive that people can't accept them as a gift. It falls within the limits," he says. (He is referring to the $50 limit on gifts people in government can accept.)
"People do go to be seen," says a K Street lobbyist who often entertains out-of-town guests with seats at RFK. "Let's face it, there are very few things like this for middle-aged guys like me to do. Washington is venue-starved."
And if you've nibbled on lamb chops in D.C. Sports & Entertainment Commission Chairman Mark Tuohey's private suite, you know you're not in Baltimore anymore, eating soggy crab cakes and dreading that hour long ride home. (Mr. Tuohey also bought up a truckload of hot dogs and serves them to his guests. He also gives them to the team after each game.)
Washington finally has a new venue for schmoozing and deal-making, and by all accounts, the results have been formidable.
"It's all about building relationships," Mr. Tuohey said one humid night in his large suite, where he has entertained guests from Capitol Hill as well as Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and Eddie Jordan, coach of the Wizards. "Is this a good place to do that? The answer is yes."
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan and his wife, TV journalist Andrea Mitchell, recently sat behind home plate as guests of journalists Al Hunt and Judy Woodruff. Colin Powell, the former secretary of state, has sat on the hard orange seats. So have White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, Mary Matalin and President Bush's political architect, Karl Rove. (Mr. Bush himself has attended two games, sitting in the President's Box.)
The corporate entity of Major League Baseball was the tool to enforce the twin dictates of locating the stadium right next to South Capitol Street – essentially extending the St Vincent DePaul Church building line southward -- and its completion by March 2008, as conditions of the agreement crafted through Covington & Burling for the Washington Nationals franchise, reportedly via a vote of the MLB team franchise owners.
It gets to be called W stadium- double meaning referring to both the Washington Nationals and to a ‘kick-name’ of then U.S. President Bush, a former part owner of the Texas Rangers MLB team franchise, and whose last chance to throw the opening ball as U.S. President, a custom since the early 1900s, was March 2008.
"W"s Nationals Ballpark Stadium's 1st biggest VIP was Pope Benedict XVI, who held a huge outdoor mass on April 17, 2008.
Writing publicly on this then upcoming event, Washington Post real estate reporter Jacqueline Dupree (JD) said it best:
With the Douglass Bridge viaduct now demolished, the views looking north on South Capitol Street easily encompass both the ballpark and the Capitol dome. The Administration building at right is now topped out. Note the knife-edged clubhouse to the right. (10/21/07)
Above photo and caption by Washington Post real estate reporter Jacqueline Dupree http://www.jdland.com/dc/stadium.cfm?tab=no2
Looking across the roof of the under-construction admin building (or, as I call it, the bow of the S.S. Nationals), toward South Capitol Street and points south, including the new intersection at South Capitol and Potomac. I'm King of the World!!!
Above photo and caption Washington Post real estate reporter Jacqueline Dupree http://www.jdland.com/dc/stadium.cfm?tab=no3
Dupree hit the nail on the head with that caption of the view from that triangular shaped clubhouse, with the phrase she selected “King of the World”
She furthermore made a great analogy of it as the ‘bow of the S.S. Nationals’ and in the context of an event filled with VIPs in April 2008. Its a quite clear allusion of the political arrogance this structure reflects, as roughly analogous to the part of the Titanic that hit the iceberg.
It's an arrogance that can be quite apparant to anyone seeing and comprehending that 1990s Extending the Legacy South Capitol Mall proposal, the utter lack of reporting, discussion, debate, and that St. Vincent DePaul Church at South Capitol and M Street, as the only building fronting South Capitol Street saved by the mall’s cancellation as a monumental indicator of the continuing cloaked rule.
A White House Sell Out