Monday, December 17, 2012


By Sig Demling

Guess what? 

When it comes to fair and correct coverage of Israel, The New York Times has erred yet again.

And if you don't believe me, check out its "Corrections" column in the Saturday (Dec. 15)  edition.

Like so many who previously have covered The Jewish State for the alleged "newspaper of record," the Times'  Jerusalem bureau chief, Jodi Rudoren, betrays an anti-Israel prejudice in her works. 

In this particular case, Rudoren goofed when reporting on E-1 plans and the effect it would have on the area the Arabs mistakenly call Palestine; which we know is a poorly-contrived Muslim depiction of Judea and Samaria.

As the Times' lady put it in an article which appeared in its December 2 edition, E-1 plans preclude a contiguous "Palestine." 

Caught in its blunder the NYT either had to back up its reporter's claim or face the facts and the facts amply demonstrate that E-1 plans do not preclude a contiguous "Palestine."

Thus, after examining the blunder the correction appeared a good thirteen days later and like virtually every Times'  correction it was buried -- as opposed to the original, erroneous story -- virtually out of sight for the regular reader.

What's more, the manner in which the correction appears minimizes its effectiveness. Cleverly, the paper notes that Rodoren "described imprecisely" the effect of the E-1 development. Note the word, imprecisely, which is about as subtle a way of saying that Jodi just plain blew it as any spin doctor could weave. 

Now if I was talking about an isolated error, it hardly would merit a column when there are so many other hot-button topics to press but this error of the press demands attention because it has become so chronic that a book actually has just been published on the subject. And we can thank the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) for that.

The 97-page book, essentially co-authored by Ricki Hollander and Gilead Ini, CAMERA'S Senior Research Analysts, is titled: INDICTING ISRAEL -- New York Times Coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. 

Covering the July 1-December 31, 2011 period, the study focuses on every facet of the newspaper's editorial tilt in favor of the Arabs.

"Only one side's (Arab's) concerns are promoted in The Times," the analysis correctly concludes, "while the opposing side (Israel) is marginalized. More exposure for a viewpoint gives it more influence.

"By force of repetition, then, the Palestinian narrative that indicts Israel for the conflict becomes more familiar to, and as a result, more accepted by readers of the New York Times."

Those of us who once revered The Times -- before we shed our naivete and knew better -- have found it to be disgracefully partisan and unprofessional in its coverage of the Jewish state. The book, INDICTING ISRAEL, fortifies its anti-Times theme over and over again with charts that include, "Passages Criticizing Israel -- Overall. 

Matching anti-Israel rants against criticism of Palestinians, a graph on Page 13 indicates twice as much criticism of the Middle East's only genuine democracy as compared with criticism of Palestinians.

CAMERA: "Of the 275 passages of criticism, 30 were leveled by the reporters themselves, who also faulted Israel in their own voices more than twice as often as they did the Palestinians. The Times double-standard becomes clear when focusing on specific topics such as peace talks and other subtopics. The double-standard becomes even starker when looking at the raw numbers."

When Palestinians reject co-existence The Times ignores the story. Not to mention the following classic examples of what can only be described as virulently anti-Israel coverage.

* NO TIMES COVERAGE of PLO diplomat Maen Rashid Areikat stating that "absolutely" no Jews could remain in a Palestinian state.

* NO TIMES COVERAGE of Fatah Central Committee Member Abbas Zaki stating that the Arabs should keep to themselves, their theme, "We want to wipe Israel out."

I could go on and on with chapters and verses. My suggestion: get CAMERA'S book, INDICTING ISRAEL.

Equally important, consider the sage advice provided by the group.

"If you're looking for biased coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict," CAMERA concludes, "keep reading The Times. Otherwise, go elsewhere!"

Jodi Rudoren is merely the latest Times reporter to prove that CAMERA has the once-newspaper-of-record right in its journalistic cross-hairs!

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