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Sunday, January 29, 2012

The only people who object to the New York Times' coverage of Israel are Orthodox Jews?

The Columbia Journalism Review has a lengthy 'analysis' of the New York Times' coverage of Israel, most of which is excuses and explanations as to why their coverage is so biased. Here are the salient points:

1. The only people who object to the Times' coverage of Israel are American Orthodox Jews.

2. The Times doesn't like the Likud, because Abba Eban told them that Begin and Co. were dangerous.

3. The Times almost hired Jeffrey Goldberg to replace Debra Sontag.

4. The Times left Debra Sontag hung out to dry when she varied from the 'party line' that the 'Palestinians' brought about the failure of the Barak - Clinton - Arafat Camp David Summit by never making a proposal.

5. The Times - and the media generally - can't report on the Jew hatred in the Arab world because people are tired of hearing about it all the time.

You can all read the whole thing and decide whether I missed anything (sorry for the break in posting - it took a long time to read this). As far as I am concerned, when I see summaries like this one, there is no plausible argument that the Times is not anti-Israel. But get a look at this piece of disingenuousness:
It is undeniable that the tone of the coverage of Israel in the Times has changed markedly. The paper’s narrative of Israel has remained largely in the journalistic “middle” throughout the decades. But that middle shifted because of many factors, including Israel’s changed status and a growing awareness of the situation of the Palestinians who were themselves just developing a national consciousness. “Mainstream” papers earn the label: they operate in the middle and, in doing so, help define the mainstream.

A survey of nearly three thousand articles in the Times about Israel over the decades from the 1960s to recent years shows it to be a narrative with, in the broadest sense, two phases.

In the first phase, the early decades, Israel was often depicted in the newspaper as a struggling nation trying to thrive while surrounded by implacably hostile Arab neighbors. This reflected a picture of Israel that was probably prevalent in America, one that could be called the Exodus view, after the novel by Leon Uris and film starring Paul Newman in which the post-Holocaust Jews of the nascent state were heroes and the Arabs were treacherous, dangerous characters.

In those early decades, the bulk of the news about and from Israel was distinctly favorable, sometimes even admiring. Israel was depicted as a nation created justifiably as a Jewish state in the aftermath of World War II in which Hitler had almost succeeded in wiping out Europe’s Jews. And many articles celebrated the impressive ways in which the society, a hybrid of European refugees and Jews native to the British mandate territory of Palestine, had created a modern, flourishing state. During this period, several Times executives developed friendly relationships with Israeli leaders.

But, beginning in the late 1960s, the narrative began to change to a second, more equivocal phase. The template of the small nation battling a Goliath no longer fit after Israel prevailed handily in the Six-Day War in 1967. And over time, the situation of the Palestinian refugees began to emerge.
In other words, if you count all the articles they wrote before 1967, they can be seen as even-handed. Absurd. The article at the top of this post is just one example of Times' anti-Israel bias - Israeli surveys indicated that it was blatantly false.

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1 Comments:

At 10:03 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

"The only people who object to the New York Times' coverage of Israel are Orthodox Jews?"

YES!!!!

WhenI was young, I thought the most pro-Israel group was Conservative Jews,but that demographic is gone. The new generation of non Ortho Jews are barely Jewish and if it were Spain in 1942, they'd surely get baptized before a blink of the eye.
Many have also followed the Sulzberger example of marrying into WASPdom.

 

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