Ground Zero Backlash Backlash

snohetta Ground Zero Backlash BacklashToday’s big Ground Zero question was whether the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation would take any stand on the clash between the emotional Sept. 11 families and the stoic museums that want to set up shop on hallowed ground.

You may remember that recently some 9/11 groups objected–and got a lot of publicity for their objections–to the idea that topics beyond the historical events of the day the towers fell would be represented at cultural institutions stationed at Ground Zero. A group has formed to represent some of them.

Most of the objections were non-partisan: exhibits about slavery, for instance, were simply considered outside the scope of a museum commemmorating Sept. 11. But the way the story played out on the television news channels and in the papers was more political: the implication was that a liberal political agenda would drive the

Finally, the memorial foundation took no position on the conflict after a lengthy meeting today. While we don’t know what transpired behind closed doors–what, you want these people to act like a government agency or something?–its press release mentions no such resolution, pro or con.

At least Foundation Prez Gretchen Dykstra is getting a little help in her quest to raise $500 million. The board approved her hiring of an old employee from her Times Square BID days, Suany Chough, as senior design advisor; and as general counsel, Joseph Daniels, late of every celebrity’s favorite charity, the Robin Hood Foundation.

Also, Lynn Rasic, who ran Pataki’s New York City press operations until, well, today, will be vice president of public affairs. Does that mean this foundation thing really is as big a deal as everyone makes it out to be?

Speaking of the governor, the RPA‘s Bob Yaro et al. raised their pens in support of the Drawing Center and International Freedom Center–the aforementioned stoic museums–in a letter to Pataki today.

“We fear that this controversy may threaten the existence of civic and cultural uses at the World Trade Center site, activities that we feel have a rightful place at Ground Zero,” they write.

- Matthew Schuerman