The Times and Clyde Vanel
September 16th, 2009

We know we’re not a blog of mediai criticism (and that people who live in glass houses…), but, readers, can any of you explain the amount of ink the Times has spilled on Clyde Vanel’s challenge to incumbent Leroy Comrie in the 27th council district in Queens? (They have done two long articles about him, here and here.)

No offense intended toward Clyde Vanel but this never seemed to be shaping up a one of Tuesday’s hottest cotests — and, indeed, Comrie won with a 24 percent edge.

On the other hand, as far as we could tell, aside from a roundup on the role of term limits in the primary campaign, the Times in its news pages did not cover, for example, Jumaane Williams’ successful campaign against incumbent Kendall Stewart. We could find no detailed reporting on Mark Winston Griffith, who though he lost, came far closer to ousting Albert Vann than Vanel did to ejecting Comrie; Daniel Dromm, who took on and beat establishment candidate Helen Sears; or any of the candidateswho ended Alan Gerson’s time on the council.

So, what is with Clyde Vanel?

By on September 16, 2009, 5:36 pm
In category: Gotham City | 3 Comments »

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3 Responses to “The Times and Clyde Vanel”

  1. John Baltiste Says:
    September 24th, 2009 at 6:49 am

    I watched this race closely. It was a very interesting race as compared to the other contests mentioned around the city.

    For one, Comrie and the Queens democratic club is one of the most entrenched political machines in the city. Comrie is a life-long politician from the old-school.

    Vanel was a first-time candidate, young professional and attorney in the like of Booker, Fenty, Duval and Obama. He even looks like those guys.

    As a first time candidate, he received close to 40% of the vote from such a formidable incumbent. It was and is interesting to see how queens is affected by the race.

  2. Anne Barnard Says:
    October 2nd, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Thanks for noticing our series. The stories about the Vanel campaign are part of a series that not only – or even primarily – about Clyde Vanel, but about some of the people who campaigned for him. The stories trace a group of grassroots campaigners who were galvanized by the Barack Obama presidential campaign, and — like many others around the country — decided to try to use that momentum to make a tangible difference in local politics closer to home. Without knowing how it would turn out, I set out to follow them and see whether they would succeed, or end up feeling that the momentum petered out, or something in between. (Watch for Part 3, about the election’s aftermath and next steps, later this month.)
    I began following these campaigners more than a year ago — long before I had any idea that their next move would be campaigning for Clyde Vanel (they themselves had never heard of him then). So it is not that the Times chose to profile Vanel rather than Dromm or Williams or for that matter Lynn Nunes, who came within a few votes of beating Thomas White in neighboring District 28. It is simply that Vanel came to figure in an ongoing narrative that I was following. You are correct in observing that the Times did little granular reporting on council races, although there was some detail on CityRoom. I hope to follow up on some of the other races and their fallout, particularly in Queens, in future stories. Feel free to send me tips about politics and other Queens stories at [email protected].

  3. Russel Davirro Says:
    March 20th, 2012 at 2:57 am

    Really cool article, highly useful and professionally written..Good Job

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