NY Times Treads Softly With Indian Museum Director


The New York Times described Kevin Gover, the new director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, as "a tall man with a regal bearing." What the Times didn't mention was that Gover had been found in contempt of court for destroying documents in a landmark suit filed by American Indians.

The Times did refer to the most recent expense account shenanigans at the Smithsonian. Gover's predecessor at the museum, W. Richard West Jr., "spent more than $250,000 on travel and hotels during his final four years in office and paid $48,500 to a New York artist to paint his museum portrait." Gover said he "felt bad for Rick."

No mention in the Times, however, that Gover and others in the Interior Department were found in contempt by a federal judge for destroying 162 boxes of evidence in a case brought by tribal members who contended the federal government had mismanaged Indian lands. "This isn't my first rodeo," Gover told the Times. Indeed.