A couple of weeks ago, the Los Angeles Times ran a piece by art critic Christopher Knight on a local gallery exhibition called "The Anti-War Show: The Price of Intervention From Korea to Iraq." In the first couple sentences of the piece, Knight called war with Iraq "imbecilic" and wrote that President Bush has made no "coherent argument" for an invasion.
I read it at the time, and it gave me pause. I didn't think so much "this doesn't belong here" as I thought, "clumsy way to begin a piece." Plus, it seemed childish–and NO, I'm not saying being anti-war is childish, nor am I saying being vocal about it is childish. I'm only saying that casually dismissing war plans against Iraq as imbecilic in the first two lines of a piece is childish.
Anyway, today I read in the LA Weekly that the L.A. Times, after getting complaints, issued an (imho) hasty and reactive retraction: "It was, in our view, a gratuitous political statement and, as such, a distraction from the legitimate substance of the review. It should not have been published." Phew!
The Weekly's John Power responds (you have to scroll down), offering a thought-provoking critique of what's wrong with mainstream arts coverage.