A vast archive of images from the Sept. 11 attack and its aftermath, assembled by Steven Rosenbaum, a Manhattan producer of documentaries, can be sampled on the Internet at www.911archive.net/Google. The future of the collection is uncertain. [Link]
Back in April newsgrist blogged a NYTimes piece on filmmakers petitioning the Smithsonian's Faustian deal with CBS/Showtime. Here's more on that story from MAN's Tyler Green):
In today's New York Times, Glenn Collins tells a fine story about a documentary producer who has accumulated an important archive of video and other material related to the Sept. 11 attacks. The producer has 7,000 gigabytes of historically-important footage and he's looking for a buyer or a donor. But not just any buyer: Some kind of non-profit that will make the footage available to historians, documentarians and the like. Here's hoping that the Smithsonian isn't interested.
Last Thursday Smithsonian boss Lawrence Small explained to Congress the details of the Smithsonian's contract with CBS Corp. The deal gives CBS subsidiary Showtime nearly exclusive access to America's collection of documentary film footage. It's a brazen, sad example of a government agency allowing private business to benefit from something owned by the American people. The closest parallel is the Bush Administration's giving valuable gas and oil leases to Big Energy for nearly nothing.
"We apologize for the hullabaloo this has caused for Congress," Small said.
Small should be apologizing for selling our history to a private corporation. Unfortunately, incompetence is nothing new for Larry Small. His reign at the Smithsonian has been filled with mismanagement, deteriorating facilities, the illegal importing of bird feathers to benefit his own personal collection, the effective rental of Smithsonian museum space to private corporations such as Clear Channel, and the sale of naming rights and the conceptualizing of exhibits to fatcat donors.
Lawrence Small's leadership of the Smithsonian has been a national embarrassment. His errors have been of Munitzian proportions. He should resign or be fired.posted by tylergreendc @ Tuesday, May 30, 2006 | Permanent link