04 September 2008

Typical New York Times

The New York Times is seldom right about anything so it's no surprise they have no idea what they're talking about when it comes to the different missions of the Museum of the Confederacy and the American Civil War Center. This piece in the NYT is more of a subtle sneer at the MOC than it is an objective look at the two museums. Get this quote:

"The Museum of the Confederacy may be facing the limitations of that position. Annual attendance, from a 1991 peak of 91,000, has been dropping, to about 48,000 in the last year. Its 1976 building, like the adjacent White House, is also hemmed in by a growing hospital complex. So the institution has put together an ambitious $15 million plan to create a system of four museums in historic Virginia areas, increasing display space for its extensive collection."

Followed by:

"The American Civil War Center, which raised $13.6 million before opening in 2006 to much praise, has fewer apparent problems, though attendance is still low (about 25,000 in the past year). It creates a broader panorama, offering not one perspective but three: those of the Union, the Confederacy and the African-Americans." (Emphasis mine)

So the ACWC has fewer problems than the MOC which translates into about half the attendance of the MOC (?!). Now there's some mainstream media logic for you.

Later on in the piece, the writer opines:

"For greater understanding you must go to the American Civil War Center, [in lieu of the MOC] housed in the historic Tredegar Iron Works that once supplied the Confederacy with much weaponry."

A "greater understanding" of what? The Confederacy? I don't think so. A broader and "more general" look at the war. Yes. This NYT writer fails to grasp--or may have intentionally omitted--the fact that the two institutions have different missions and focus--BY DESIGN!

I don't have the time to go into everything, but there's a lot more wrong with this article and its very uninformed approach, but, again, it's the New York Times. Why would we expect accuracy? You can read it here.

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