The theme of faulting Israel was amplified on the editorial and op-ed pages to one of Israel as a malignant force in the region. Despite the newspaper’s purported commitment to expose a diversity of opinions, three quarters of all opinion pieces on the conflict were devoted to denouncing Israel’s leaders or policies, while none were devoted to condemning Palestinians. Even Israel’s tolerance toward gays was condemned as a ploy to support human rights abuses against Palestinians.
Consider the following: When a group of Israeli teenagers were arrested in August 2012 for beating an Arab youth unconscious, The New York Times ran two separate front-page, above-fold articles about it. Both articles focused on the negative features of Israeli society that the incident was said to reveal.
Contrast that with the Times’ coverage, 17 months earlier, of an assault by Palestinian teenagers on an Israeli family. The victims, including three young children, were brutally slaughtered in a bloody attack that included slitting the throat of a 3-month old as she lay asleep in her crib. The New York Times chose not to cover that gruesome event on the front page, nor to comment on what the incident reveals about Palestinian society and the pernicious effects of incitement to kill Israelis by the Palestinian leadership.
The above incidents occurred outside CAMERA’s study period but provide a cogent example of how the Times adjusts its focus to reflect a concept of newsworthiness that is shaped by its institutionalized worldview.
It follows a long history of similar distortions, dating back to the1930′s when The New York Times downplayed the Nazi persecution, and later, genocide of European Jews in order to avoid being seen as a “Jewish” newspaper.
While the guard and motives at the Times may have changed, the framing of news events has not. According to the former ombudsman, Arthur Brisbane, the current worldview at The New York Times is one of “political and cultural progressivism” that causes some topics to be treated “more like causes than news subjects.”
CAMERA’s study provides objective documentation that demonstrates exactly how The New York Times’ abandoned journalistic standards to turn coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict into the supposedly “progressive” cause of indicting Israel.
You can purchase “Indicting Israel: New York Times Coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict” here.