In a piece at Artnet called "L.A. Confidential," writer Emma Gray surveys local galleries and also gives credit to journalist Jori Finkel, a sometime contributor to the New York Times, as "a reporter who time and again manages to trump the Los Angeles Times in its own backyard." I wouldn't know if she does or not, but Tyler Green would and he calls BS at Modern Art Notes. Actually he calls it "the most clueless sentence this month."
Say what? Nothing against Finkel -- I'm friendly with her and this piece in particular is plenty interesting -- but what on earth is Gray talking about -- and how did this line get published? Finkel hasn't 'trumped' the LAT on anything. (Which is not a criticism of Finkel -- that's not her job.)
This is worth mentioning for two reasons: It perpetuates the myth that the NYT's arts coverage is something great. As I've noted here for years: It's not. Sometimes it's good: the byline "Roberta Smith" is the best tip-off that quality will follow. Often it's clueless. (It bows at the feet of NYC institutions, is riddled with errors, only acknowledges that West-of-the-Hudson America exists when it has to sell ads for its museums advertorials, thinks that Anthony Caro has arrived only when he has a show in Chelsea, and I could keep going.)
The claim rankled some on the arts staff at the LAT, I'm told. Especially since Gray is married to Calendar staff writer Chris Lee.
Also today: Christopher Knight essayed in the LAT about the Italian culture minister's campaign against the Getty.