Thursday, August 26, 2004

Today's (Jew hating, anti-Israel, leftist) New York Times carried two long and gushing stories about the Israeli medalist. They even put his picture on the front page, and, in the sports section, the story was above the fold. In other words, the Times judged this little windsurfing event to be the day's top sports story, putting it ahead of Rulan Gardner's retirement, and the volleyball team's gold medal.

I'm a little torn here. What bothers me more? The way this American paper fawns over an Israeli athlete? Or the way American Jews will ignore it, and continue to judge the Times their enemy?

Or, to reshape the question: What did I find more pleasing? The extensive attention the paper of record gave to a Jew's achievement? Or, the fact that the old, (and not very well-thought out) Jewish complaint against the Times was, in some small way, weakened?

Comments:

As you clearly indicate, these articles are by far, the exception to the rule. That's why you're making a big deal of it. I'm sure the Times is still the enemy. A fluff, non-political piece will pop-up every now and then. That is no proof of their allegence. Put ALL the pro-Jew/Israel articles on one end of the scale, and ALL the anti-Jew/Israel articles on the other end.

I can never forgive the Times for how they used my friend, Tuvia, as pure false propaganda for the "Palestinian cause."

http://www.honestreporting.com/articles/45884734/reports/The_Photo_that_Started_it_All.asp

They can rot in Hell.  

I'm well aquainted with the Tuvia story, and it was a terrible mistake. Recall, though, that it was a mistake the Times corrected on at least three different occasions. I remember an item in the corrections column, a very long editors note, and at least one follow-up story. I don't agree they were using Tuvia to make an anti-Israel point. I think it was a (terrible) mistake.

I don't think the Times is our enemy. I've seen too many stories like the two that appeared today. The Times may not be out friend - they will not ever cover Israel the way the Jewish Week or Haaretz does - they aren't supposed to - but, still, that doesn't make the paper our enemy. Consider this: if Ghana or Trinidad had won their first-ever gold, I don't think the story would have received a front page photo, or two articles. That means something to this New York Jew.  

Postscript:

Last week, the United Arab Emirates took their first-ever gold medal. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5733059/

The Times ignored it. So did NBC.  

No one cares about the United Arab Emirates.

Israel and Jews are always of interest, especially in New York. Interest isn't proof of support.  

The New York Times is not obligated to "support" Israel. I don't expect it. I am not sure I want it. That's not the role of a good newspaper.  

I'm not saying they should support Israel. What I'm saying, that despite the two stories of the gold medal, the NYT is more anti- than pro-, contrary to your initial statement.

The "Jewish complaint against the Times" is in no way affected by the press of the medal.  

I don't think the Times is pro-Israel, or anti-Israel.

Both words suggest that some sort of campaign has been formulated at the editorial level, or higher. Do you really think memos are circulating at the Times instructing reporters to slant their stories in one direction or another? Are meetings called to review the next round strategies for mischareterizing the Jewish state? Of course not.

Individual editors and individual reporters are biased -some of them lean against us, others lean towards us. And sometimes, mistakes are made. Human beings have biases. Human beings make errors. And the ppaper is comprised of human beings. But, as a whole, the paper itself has no set, nor discernable agenda.  

I'm so happy to see that there is someone else out there with a reasonable view of matters re: the Times.

Two years ago, when I was in journalism school and everyone I knew in the Jewish world was complaining about rampant anti-Israel bias in the media, I said something in class once about how "the media is so biased when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." I said this in a class of run-of-the-mill Americans from a Christian or secular background, people who read the newspaper every day. The response? "Yeah, I can't believe how anti-Palestinian the media is!"

I was in shock. Upon further inquiries and thought I realized that when we Jews watch the news, we see something totally different from what these "regular" Americans saw. When the media shows angry, protesting Palestinians throwing rocks, we think "God, why can't they show the Jewish standpoint for once, the terror victims? Why do they have to show how 'defenseless' the Palestinians are and how terrible it is to be occupied by Israel? Stupid, biased, media!"

But what my classmates saw was "Why do they always have to show the Palestinians as being violent, angry, terrorists? Why can't we see the Palestinians who want peace, or are just trying to live out their lives? They make the Palestinians look like they are ALL bad. Stupid, biased, media!"

Also . . . and I think this is VERY telling . . . there was a professor in the department who spent weeks in one of the Palestinian refugee camps, one with some of the worst conditions-- I don't remember which-- and had written a long feature exposing how terrible life was in this refugee camp. He brought it to the Times, who in the past had published some of his work, and their response was "Sorry, we can't publish this. It goes against our editorial policy."

Meaning, whatever their editorial policy was at that time (a couple of years ago), exposing how terrible the conditions are for Palestinians is AGAINST it.

That doesn't sound "anti-Israel" to me.

Finally, the photo of Tuvia is not a proof of anything. The photo, with the (disgustingly) erroneous caption, had come from the AP (or maybe another wire service? I don't remember now). I can tell you what probably happened. The paper was being laid out, it had to go to press soon, and a last-minute decision was made by the night editor that this dramatic photo that had just come in from the AP would be good for one of the first pages of the paper. Never having been to Israel, neither the night editor nor the layout editor recognized the clues that the caption was erroneous. As clients of the AP, they trusted the AP -- which is generally a reliable news source-- to provide accurate information.

You should blame the AP for messing up, not the Times for printing their error. As a daily paper, the Times has to "move fast," and mistakes happen. All the time, they happen, about all sorts of news. That's why they have the corrections section. Sure, the Times is one of the most trustworthy papers around -- which just goes to show that NO paper is infallible.

But that doesn't mean they have a bias against Israel.  

It was not the AP, it was some frenchy organization that uses arab stringers. But point taken.

As for the rest of your point, I remember a study I saw recently that says that Jews get much more time on the op-ed page. There was a time when it seemed that every day the op-ed page had a Jewish or Israeli giving his two cents.

I agree that the paper is not anti-Israel. However I do think the paper is Anti Likud, and anti-greater-Jerusalem. That's not the same as being anti Israel - plenty of Israelis are anti those things themselves, and it reflects the times overall editorial position of opposing nasties on the right wherever they lurk.

You want to read appoligisms for the fascists? That's what the Wall Street Journal is for. (Also I laugh out loud when people say the "media" is against Israel. Don't these stups read the Journal? The National Review? The Standard? The New Republic?

Even the stupid jackasses as Honest Reporting cant seem to get it straight. On the one hand the go on and on whine whine whine how the media hates Israel. Then they give awards to the journal and to conrad black and to TNR and to Rupe the stoop murdoch for being "honest"

Hello!?!? Aren't the Journal and Rupe and Black the "media?"

Morons can't think straight.  

In an above post..."He brought it to the Times, who in the past had published some of his work, and their response was "Sorry, we can't publish this. It goes against our editorial policy."

Meaning, whatever their editorial policy was at that time (a couple of years ago), exposing how terrible the conditions are for Palestinians is AGAINST it.

That doesn't sound "anti-Israel" to me."


That's a big assumption. Maybe the "editorial policy" was that they don't use freelancers for this section of the paper, only staff reporters. Maybe the "editorial policy" was no unsolicited/unassigned work about the conflict. Lots of possibilities here.  

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