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Roger L. Simon

The NYT throws Dennis Ross under the bus

May 21st, 2011 - 9:15 am

How would The New York Times react if Hamas lived in New Jersey and randomly sprayed the Upper West Side with rockets, sending their reporters’ kids scurrying into Montessori school shelters when the alarms went off?

Hard to say. The normal human reaction would be fury, but with these hypocritical, pseudo-peaceniks maybe they’d just withdraw to the Hamptons to negotiate, meanwhile looking internally for someone to blame for their enemy’s “temporarily” unreasonable behavior.

Today’s villain is longtime Middle East peace negotiator Dennis Ross (“Obama’s Peace Tack Contrasts With Key Aide, Friend of Israel”) who has been fingered as the culprit in the withdrawal of “wise” George Mitchell from the perpetual Arab-Israeli peace talks. Mitchell, according to the Times (sources vague, of course), wanted the administration to come forth with a more directive recommendation to the combatants instead of the muddled botch ultimately proffered in Obama’s speech.

Oh, well… All’s well that never ends well.

Back to the Times. Here’s a lovely example of their allegedly unbiased reporting:

By almost all accounts, Dennis B. Ross — Middle East envoy to three presidents, well-known architect of incremental and painstaking diplomacy in the Middle East that eschews game-changing plays — is Israel’s friend in the Obama White House and one of the most influential behind-the-scenes figures in town.

His strategy sometimes contrasts sharply with that of a president who has bold instincts and a willingness to elevate the plight of the Palestinians to a status equal to that of the Israelis.

“By almost all accounts”…. “bold instincts”… Iowahawk, take note. The New York Times now defies parody. They also include a photo of Ross and Netanyahu smiling together, in case you missed the point.

But if you are really dense, the Times sums it all up in the final three graphs (not for them, giving their opponents “the last word” a la O’Reilly):

“Mitchell wanted something broader and more forward-leaning, and Dennis seems to be taking a more traditional stance,” said David J. Rothkopf, a former Clinton administration official who has written about the National Security Council.

But, Mr. Rothkopf said, Mr. Obama must now take into account the emerging realities in the Arab world, including a new populism brought by the democratic movement that may make even governments that were not hostile to Israel, like Egypt and Jordan, more insistent on pushing the case of the Palestinians.

“Experience can be helpful, but it can also be an impediment to viewing things in a new way,” he said.

Poor Dennis Ross. Not only is he under the bus, he is now squashed.

But why now, one might ask? The disreputable Times has become a conduit for all sorts of reactionary-liberal views inside virtually all government agencies. What this should tells us is that Dennis Ross may have been better than we thought. The Times, in the end, has its uses.

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