New York Times on the local arts beat

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There’s a new Spoleto blogger on the scene, at least for the moment: New York Times arts reporter James R. Oestreich, posting yesterday evening at 9pm on the Times’ new Arts Beat blog. In the past year, the Times has rolled out a seemingly endless series of blogs administered by staff writers and reporters. One of the first (and still the best, in this writer’s opinion) may have been media reporter David Carr’s Carpetbagger blog during Oscar season, which the former Washington City Paper editor (bump) has, in two years, turned into the archetype for Oscar blogs, which proliferated in its snarkily effusive wake like a garden of sweet radishes. (Other top Times blogs include Virginia Heffernan’s online video-themed Screens, and James Tierney’s science-focused TierneyLab, but none have the mix of wit, elan, and winking insincerity that make The Carpetbagger so wonderful.)

Arts Beat is only a couple of months old, so the archives go back little beyond April’s Coachella Festival. Recently, the blog’s been freebasing on TV’s upfronts, picking apart the networks’ spring lineups with the zeal of an oracle at her bones. Oestreich’s post last night puts the lie to my earlier musings about the Times and other big media abandoning us this year. He writes about this morning’s tribute concert to the late Gian Carlo and twiddles over the possibility of the two festivals reuniting. Hopefully he’ll be here through the weekend, enjoying the festival’s second wind with the rest of us.

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