Whatever Happened to the “People’s Right to Know”?

As the story of failure of the New London redevelopment project that gave us the wretched Kelo Supreme Court decision unfolds, a fascinating phenomenot is unfolding with it. Given the enormous publicity that the Kelo decision received from the mainstram press and national broadcast media, one would think that there would be at least some follow-up coverage of events in New London. But there isn’t. Except for one 2005 article in the New York Times, the mainstream press has provided no coverage of the failure of the Fort Trumbull redevelopment project, and of what happened in New London after the Supreme Court gave the green light to the city’s seizure and destruction of a lower middle class neighborhood to make room for . . what?

The Supreme Court gave extreme deference to municipal redevelopment plans that were supposedly prepared by experts and thoroughly vetted by the municipal government officials. In fact, it was those plans’ asserted thoroughness and quality that motivated the Supreme Court to defer as greatly as it did to New London’s desire to proceed with its redevelopment plan at the expense of Suzette Kelo and her neighbors. But it now turns out that these plans were not realistic, that nothing of substance is being done to translate them into reality, and that the city’s redeveloper isn’t even able to secure financing for this grandiose projext that was supposed to revive the community. 

So where is the press on this one? Whatever happened to “the people’s right to know” that we never hear the end of when the press asserts its rights in controversies involving the First Amendment?

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