What Art Is Online

Supplement to What Art Is: The Esthetic Theory of Ayn Rand (Open Court, 2000)
by Louis Torres & Michelle Marder Kamhi

Appendix D

"Arts, Briefly" at the New York Times

Like "The Arts" section of the Times in which it appears, the daily column"Arts, Briefly"--which made its debut on October 4, 2004--includes many items that have nothing to do with the arts and that belong, instead, in such sections or pages as International, National, Business, Sports, and Science. It consists of news items written by reporters--not by arts critics--and occasionally by the compiler himself. Following are titles and brief summaries of representative examples. (Note: To access articles on the website of the New York Times you must first register.)

See the New York Times archives for more examples of items from this column.

June 2008 - Following each item, we indicate, in caps, alternative sections in which it might have appropriately been published (e. g., "SPORTS," "BUSINESS" and "ENTERTAINMENT"--the last, a new category we recommend that the Times adopt). Entries added this month are marked . See also Appendix C: "The Arts" at the New York Times.

"Foreclosure Possible for Ed McMahon," Alex Davis (compiled by Felicia R. Lee), June 5, 2008.
Johnny Carson's former sidekick on "The Tonight Show" is behind in payments on $4.8 million in mortgage loans, and may lose his Beverly Hills home. [ENTERTAINMENT]

"Host Out at Air America," Brian Stelter (compiled by Lawrence Van Gelder), April 11, 2008.

Randi Rhodes is out at Air after a video of her "making disparaging remarks" about Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton appeared on YouTube. [BUSINESS] [NATIONAL]

"Charlie Rose Joins '60 Minutes,'" Brian Stelter (compiled by Lawrence Van Gelder), January 18, 2008.

Rose, host of PBS's "Charlie Rose Show," will moonlight as a contributor to the CBS newsmagazine. [BUSINESS] [NATIONAL]

""Trouble at the Winfrey Academy," Peter Edidin (compiled by Edidin), November 3, 2007.

"A former dormitory matron at Oprah Winfrey's school for disadvantaged girls in South Africa has been arrested on charges of abuse and sexual assault." [INTERNATIONAL]

"Fox Hires Rival's Host," Bill Carter (compiled by Lawrence Van Gelder), October 19, 2007.

The new Fox Business Network announces that it has hired Liz Claman from CNBC. [BUSINESS]

"Some Low Ratings for the President," Benjamin Toff (compiled by Lawrence Van Gelder), September 15, 2007.

President Bush's televised address on Iraq attracts a much smaller audience than his previous one. [WASHINGTON]

"Orders for Simpson Book Soar," Motoko Rich (compiled by Lawrence Van Gelder), August 29, 2007.

About the book in which O. J. Simpson hypothesizes on how he might have killed Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman in 1994. [NATIONAL]

"Speaker Pelosi to Write a Memoir," Ben Sisario (compiled by him), July 21, 2007.

On Nancy Pelosi, the first woman to be speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives. [WASHINGTON]

"Paris Hilton Says She's 'Learning and Growing' in Jail," Lawrence Van Gelder (compiled by him), June 11, 2007.

Van Gelder informs readers that Hilton "has accepted her fate as a jailbird." [ENTERTAINMENT]

"Aw, Shucks! Provocateur Takes On Health Care," Manohla Dargis (compiled by Lawrence Van Gelder), May 21, 2007.

On Michael Moore's latest documentary, Sicko--"a persuasive, insistently leftist indictment of the American health care system." [HEALTH] [NATIONAL]

"There She Was," Peter Edidin (compiled by him), March 31, 2007.

The Miss America Pageant is without a television outlet for the second time in three years. [NATIONAL]

"A Top Spot for 'Dance,'" Kate Aurthur (compiled by Lawrence Van Gelder), June 16, 2006.

No, the "dance" in question doesn't refer to the art forms of ballet or modern dance but to the sort of entertainment seen in Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance." Aurthur, as regular readers of this page may have noticed, specializes in television ratings, as in this example: "In Nielsen's estimates, 'Dance' drew 9.7 million viewers [on Wednesday night], and its viewership and demographic ratings built as the evening went on." [ENTERTAINMENT]

"A Challenge to Smithsonian," John Files (compiled by Lawrence Van Gelder), June 13, 2006.

The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee "has questioned the role of the secretary of the Smithsonian in selecting a new inspector general at the institution, citing concerns over a possible conflict of interest." [NATIONAL]

"Germany Examines Its Past," Sarah Plass (compiled by Lawrence Van Gelder), May 30, 2006.

Only the Times considers political history--this time the first permanent exhibition of the German Historical Museum in Berlin--to be the same thing as the history of art. Among the 8,000 objects on display will be Hitler's desk, seen here in a 1939 photograph by the infamous Albert Speer. [INTERNATIONAL]

"Basketball and Wrestling Compete for Viewers," Kate Aurthur (compiled by Lawrence Van Gelder), May 22, 2006.

Doesn't Van Gelder know that basketball and wrestling are sports not arts? [SPORTS]

"A Chess Rift Repaired," Dylan Loeb McClain (compiled by Ben Sisario), April 15, 2006.

Only the Times covers chess--this time a face-off between two competing champions--as one of the arts. Everyone else knows it's a game or, as one expert persuasively argues, a sport. (Search for "chess" throughout this page for more.) [SPORTS]

"Indonesian Police to Ask Playboy for Postponement" (by Lawrence Van Gelder), April 14, 2006.

The first local issue [more] of the magazine in Jakarta had caused a violent demonstration by Male Islamists. The local publisher moved its offices and published a second issue nonetheless.

"Doris Kearns Goodwin Wins $50,000 Prize" [reprinted on History News Network website] (by Lawrence Van Gelder), March 29, 2006.

The historian is honored for her book Teams of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.

"Channel 13 Cancels Panel on Armenians" (by Randal C. Archibold; compiled by Lawrence Van Gelder), 1 March 2006.

PBS drops plans to air a contentious panel discussion on the killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks. (See also "'The Arts' at the New York Times," February 25, 2006.)

"Turkish Film Pulled from German Screens" (by Lawrence Van Gelder), 25 February 2006.

"Valley of the Wolves--Iraq" is removed from its movie theaters by Germany's largest theater chain "after complaints that it is anti-Semitic and anti-American."

"Some Happy News for ABC" [scroll down; see also other non-arts "Arts, Briefly" items] (by Jacques Steinberg; compiled by Lawrence Van Gelder), 11 February 2006.

New co-anchor Elizabeth Vargas is expecting a second child.

"Manuscript Sheds Light on Early Science" (by Lawrence Van Gelder), 10 February 2006.

On recently discovered minutes of the Royal Society (London) compiled by the astronomer and physicist Robert Hook from 1661 to 1682.

"Memoirist to Add Author's Note" (by Edward Wyatt; compiled by Lawrence Van Gelder), 14 January 2006.

The Times continues to imply that James Frey's fabricated memoir, A Million Little Pieces, is a work of literary art. In reporting here that Frey will add a note to future reprints of the book, the paper's editors make no distinction between fiction and fictional nonfiction.

"'On the Record' Ratings Up" (by Kate Aurthur), 3 January 2006.

TV host Greta Van Susteren's "On the Record," which specializes in legal issues and "reporting about missing young people," among other topics, is now the third-most-watched show on cable news, according to a Nielsen ratings report.

"A Kiss is Not Just a Kiss" (by Lawrence Van Gelder), 20 December 2005.

The Hershey Company has gone to court over Simon & Schuster's use of a chocolate bar and other images (including a Hershey's Kiss) on the cover of a new book about Hershey's founder: Hershey: Milton S. Hershey's Extraordinary Life of Wealth, Empire, and Utopian Dreams.

"Dupont-Columbia Awards" (by Lawrence Van Gelder), 16 December 2005.

The winners of the 2006 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for broadcast journalism (both radio and television) include ABC News, for "live coverage of the death of John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI" and Frontline, WGBH, and the New York Times for "The Secret History of the Credit Card," on PBS.

"Stephanopoulos Promoted" (by Felicia R. Lee; compiled by Lawrence Van Gelder), 14 December 2005.

George Stephanopoulos, a senior advisor to the president during the Clinton administration,"whose glamorous insider aura and good looks helped make him a television personality," will be the new chief Washington correspondent for ABC News starting at the beginning of 2006. Stephanopoulos will keep his job as host of This Week, the Sunday morning talk show.

"Computers 8, Humans 4" (by Dylan Loeb McClain; compiled by Ben Sisario), 26 November 2005.

More chess as "art" at the Times. Three former chess champions of the World Chess Federation played three chess-playing computers . . . and lost.

"Martha Stewart's 'Apprentice' Days Are Numbered" (by Bill Carter; compiled by Lawrence Van Gelder), 15 November 2005.

NBC says it will not produce any more editions of Martha Stewart's version of The Apprentice. But Stewart's reputation is intact--the network, according to unnamed executives, never had any plans for any, "so that did not mean the show was canceled."

"A Slow Beginning for Anderson Cooper" (by Kate Aurthur; compiled by Ben Sisario), 14 November 2005.

Anderson Cooper 360, CNN's version of what television news should be, had "a pale first week." Cooper, it seems, is not catching on in spite of all the publicity surrounding him ever since his on-air emotional breakdown while covering Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana.

"A Lot of Sex and Sales" (by Lawrence Van Gelder), 10 November 2005.

Van Gelder reports that a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation has found that "sex scenes on television have doubled in the last seven years." He also reports, among other things (none related to the "arts") that NBC "nearly doubled product placement in its primetime shows last season and led the major networks."

"Chess Champion Crowned" (by Dylan Loeb McClain; compiled by Lawrence Van Gelder), 6 October 2005.

The "Arts, Briefly" column likes Chess. This item is about Veselin Topalov, a 30-year-old Bulgarian grandmaster and his victory at the recent world chess championship tournament in Argentina. (See "Kasparov Says Count Me Out" [by Dylan Loeb McClain], 20 January 2005, below.)

"PBS Hires an Ombudsman" (by Stephen Labaton; compiled by Lawrence Van Gelder), 6 October 2005.

Michael Getler, a veteran journalist at the Washington Post, is hired by the Public Broadcasting System as its first ombudsman. There is more to the story, but it gets pretty complicated, even in this brief account, so we will stop here.

"Tiger Woods Brings Golf to Central Park" (by Seth Schiesel), 27 September 2005.

The great golfer brings his clubs to New York City to plug his new video game, "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06." In addition to real golf courses, the game includes an 18-hole course in Central Park. In one image of Woods putting, the glorious sculpture Angel of the Waters is seen in the background.

"ABC'S Football Conquers" (by Kate Aurthur; compiled by Lawrence Van Gelder), 14 September 2005.

With thanks to the huge audience attracted by the Atlanta Falcons-Philadelphia Eagles rivalry, the season premiere of "Monday Night Football" led to "an easy victory" for ABC in Nielsen's preliminary estimates for that evening.

"Fox Dominates Hurricane Coverage" (by Kate Aurthur; compiled by Steven McElroy), 12 September 2005.

Hurricanes as art at the Times.

"ABC News Sued Over bin Laden Images" (by Steven McElroy), 5 September 2005.

The news here is that an Egyptian photographer is suing ABC News for copyright infringement. It seems that without first seeking permission the network used "rare images" [brief article and samples] he shot of the tall bearded man in the 1980s.

"Fox Led Bombing Coverage on Cable Television" (by Kate Aurthur; compiled by Joel Topcik), 11 July 2005.

Fox News draws an estimated average of 1.66 million viewers; CNN, 1.09 million; and MSNBC, 427,000, on the day of the terrorist attacks in London.

"In Plain English, Al Jazeera" (by Lawrence Van Gelder), 6 July 2005.

A planned Al Jazeera English-language satellite channel will be aimed at "some of" the one billion English speakers in the world who want news from a non-Western perspective.

"Moore Fights Libel Suit in Oklahoma Bombing Case" (by Ben Sisario), 4 July 2005.

The brother of Oklahoma bombing conspirator Terry Nichols charges that Michael Moore's purported documentary Bowling for Columbine "offered half-truths or total untruths" about his role in the bombings.

"PBS Seeks an Ombudsman" (by Lorne Manly), 15 June 2005.

The Public Broadcasting Service plans to hire a representative of readers, viewers, and listeners.

"Bob Costas to Pinch-Hit for Larry King" (by Jacques Steinberg), 9 June 2005.

The well-known sports broadcaster (bio) will serve as the "lead substitute" on CNN's Larry King Live.

"Writers and Lyme Disease" (by Felicia R. Lee), 19 May 2005.

Four acclaimed authors and an editor who have had Lyme Disease form an ad hoc group, "Literati with Lyme" to raise money and increase awareness of the disease.

"Dan Rather Accepts a Prize" (by Felicia R. Lee), 17 May 2005.

The former CBS anchor accepts a Peabody Award for excellence in electronic media for the program 60 Minutes II: Abuse at Abu Ghraib.

"CNN Stills Crossfire" (by Jacques Steinberg), 12 May 2005.

News programming changes at the cable network.

"C-Span Regrets" (by Lawrence Van Gelder), 5 April 2005.

A producer at C-Span expresses regret over the use of the word "balance" regarding its planned highly controversial coverage of Holocaust-related material.

"James Madison Online" (by Lawrence Van Gelder), 29 March 2005.

The papers of America's fourth president are released online by the Library of Congress.

"Stalin's Secret Hitler Book To Be Published" (by Ben Sisario), 14 March 2005.

An article in the Sunday Morning Herald (Australia) tells the story of a biography of Hitler commissioned by Stalin.

"New York Press Editor Quits over Article" (by Ben Sisario), 8 March 2005.

The editor of this free weekly newspaper objects to article entitled "The 52 Funniest Things about the Upcoming Death of the Pope (John Paul II)."

"More Books from Brokaw" (by Felicia R. Lee), 1 February 2005.

Tom Brokaw, the former anchor and managing editor of "NBC Nightly News" signs a deal for two more books.

"The Holocaust in Ukraine" (by Ben Sisario), 24 January 2005 [Arts, Briefly].

A new documentary on the Holocaust in Ukraine is scheduled, to be produced by Steven Spielberg and Victor Pinchuk, a member of the Ukrainian Parliament.

"Kasparov Says Count Me Out" (by Dylan Loeb McClain), 20 January 2005.

The world's top-ranked chess player is unwilling to work any longer with the world chess federation, Fédération Internationale des Échecs.

"Scott Peterson's Ex-Girlfriend Tops Best-Seller List" (by Edward Wyatt), 19 January 2005.

Witness, a memoir by Amber Frey (whose testimony helped convict Peterson of the murder of his wife and unborn son), is No. 1 on the New York Times list of nonfiction best-sellers.

"Fighting Words" (by Joel Topcik), 14 January 2005.

Producers of a new Iraq war documentary, Gunner Palace, appeal its R rating.

"Waiting for Paris" (by Lawrence Van Gelder), 1 January 2005.

The vapid socialite Paris Hilton is late for a pink-ribbon cutting at the opening of her first nightclub--Club Paris [!] [more]--in Orlando, Florida.

"Riveted on the News" (by Lawrence Van Gelder), 31 December 2004.

A boost in cable news ratings, with Fox News the biggest winner, follows the earthquake and devastating tsunami in Asia.

"'Meet the Press' Meets Criticism" (by Joel Topcik), 11 December 2004.

A consortium of more than twenty religious and secular organizations and individuals supporting reproductive rights objects to a segment on religion, politics, and moral values on the Sunday talk show.

"Prize-Winning History" (by Lawrence Van Gelder), 9 December 2004.

Harriet Jacobs: A Life--the biography of a remarkable woman who told of her 29 years as a slave in the 1861 autobiography Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl--wins the annual Frederick Douglass Book Prize.

"Museum Gets Reprieve" (by Kirsten Grieshaber), 20 November 2004.

Germany's highest court "has spared from demolition a partially built Gestapo museum in Berlin . . . on the site of the former Gestapo headquarters." [According to a later report, in Expatica magazine (dated 3 December), however, the architect lost the case and demolition had begun.]

"Winners, on Field and Tube" (by Kate Aurthur), 3 November 2004.

Ratings for the three networks on November 1 show the winners to be as follows: overall, ABC; most-watched show, CBS's "CSI: Miami"; and most popular with viewers aged 18-49, "Saturday Night Live Presidential Bash 2004: The Great Debates."

"Banned in Wal-Mart" (by Edward Wyatt), 22 October 2004.

The giant retailer decides not to sell America (the Book)--a parody of a high school civics text--in its stores after ordering thousands of copies, for fear that a majority of its customers would not be comfortable with one of its illustrations, showing nine nude figures with the heads of United States Supreme Court justices superimposed. [An article in USA Today reports the full story.]

"Like Kissing Your Sister?" (by Dylan Loeb McClain), 19 October 2004.

A world chess championship match in Brissago, Switzerland, ends in a 7-7 tie, and an upcoming world title match between two other grandmasters is scheduled.

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