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March 16, 2020

NY Times Shows How Framing Slants Coverage

A couple of days ago, we highlighted how David Halbfinger, the New York Times bureau chief in Jerusalem, cast Israel's prime minister as a scold for, well, trying to protect vulnerable populations from a pandemic.

If that's how Halbfinger responds to helpful messages from the Israeli government, we noted, it should come as no surprise that, on the same day, the journalist also suggested Israel denies its Arab population democracy, simply because many Jewish lawmakers are skeptical of partnering with the Joint List. The Joint List is a mostly Arab political alliance that includes a communist party, an Islamist party, and lawmakers who reject the continued existence of the Jewish state and have praised terrorists.

Today, Halbfinger followed up with a piece noting that the Joint List itself refuses to join the Israel government. The contrast between his framing of Jewish lawmakers who don't want Joint List to be part of the government and Arab lawmakers who don't want to be part of the government is telling.

In exhibit one, from the New York Times's March 12 story, Halbfinger frames Jewish Knesset members who don't think the Arab List party should be part of the government as racists who see Arabs as "enemies." The political gulf is proof of bad behavior by Israeli Jews.


In exhibit two, from today's story, the shoe is on the other foot. We have Joint List Knesset members who don't want to join Jewish lawmakers in a government. The distaste goes both ways. But this time, Halbfinger doesn't wave the point around as proof that the mostly Arab MKs see Jews as "the enemy." Readers aren't told that the lawmakers reject the legitimacy of Jewish votes. Instead, the story is again framed in terms of what readers will see as bad behavior by Israeli Jews:


Posted by gi at March 16, 2020 10:58 AM


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