Saturday, April 29, 2006


"Anonymous" is an "Expert"

Since no culture blog would be complete without a little envy-driven carping about New York Times arts coverage, let's get right to Carol Vogel's generally excellent piece on the overheated art market.

Evidently, art-market reporting is exempt from the rules on anonymous sourcing that, like them or not, now apply to other Times scribes in the wake of the Blair flare-up and the Miller muddle. The Times's published guidelines state:

We should not use blind attribution---‘sources said,’ for example.

Vogel doesn't use "sources said"; she uses "experts said." Since in auction parlance, "experts" means auction-house department heads, it's plausible that the leakers of the astonishing amounts of money that were "confidentially" guaranteed to consignors may be the very people whom she quotes by name elsewhere in the article. We can only speculate.

And while we're talking about market coverage, cheers to Peers (Alexandra, that is) for her trenchant Apr. 27 piece on the "Leisure & Arts" page of the Wall Street Journal---shorter on detail, longer on incisive commentary. (I'd give you the link, but the WSJ doesn't allow postings on free weblogs from its subscribers-only website. What happens when I want to post my own pieces?!?)

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