New Yorkers’ favorite L.A.-based New Times critic to hate, Luke Y. Thompson, is back in the Village Voice’s pages this week with a lame review of Take the Lead. (“It’s no surprise to anyone who’s seen his Robert Rodriguez films that Banderas works well with kids. But it may surprise those who saw Evita that he can make a music-and-dance movie that doesn’t suck.”) Even more disturbing than Luke’s return, however, is that the Voice’s crack D.C. correspondent James Ridgeway looks like he’s gone for good.
On Friday, Gawker scooped the story and this week’s pages bare the rumors out. For the second week in row, Ridgeway’s essential “Mondo Washington” column — which went after Bush, Cheney and other national injustices — is nowhere to be seen in the April 4 content. It’s amazing: in just a month-and-a-half, the New Times corporation has slowly but surely succeeded in almost completely de-politicizing and de-nationalizing the Voice — except for veteran lefty Nat Hentoff. Let’s see how long he lasts.