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August 23, 2010

NY Times News Analysis, For Whatever It's Worth

One wonders if Robert F. Worth of the New York Times even read his own newspaper before he wrote this analysis, which appears today in the International Herald Tribune. He writes:

Earlier this month, Israeli soldiers were pruning a tree on their country's northern border when a firefight broke out with Lebanese soldiers across the fence, leaving one Israeli and four Lebanese dead.

The skirmish seems to have been accidental.

1) The "firefight broke out"? That is a pretty lame and euphemistic way of describing Lebanese firing on Israeli troops trimming a tree on their side of the border in a pre-coordinated move with the United Nations. In a news analysis in the supposed paper of record, you would hope for a tad more precision.

2) The skirmish seems to have been accidental? Really? Based on what? Not the United Nations, which "largely vindicat[ed] Israel's account of how the fighting started," in the words of the New York Times.

In another worrisome indication about Worth's analytical skills, he writes that for some Lebanese, having the Lebanese army back on the border with Israel "was a possible first step toward disarming Hezbollah."

A step toward disarming Hezbollah? In fact, the opposite has happened. But don't hold your breath for our worthy analyst to share the facts with you. Nevermind that since UN Resolution 1701 was passed after the 2006 Lebanon war, placing the Lebanese army in the south of the country, Hezbollah's missile supply has skyrocketed to 40,000, far beyond the quantity it had in 2006.

A day in the life of New York Times news analyses. For whatever it's worth.

Posted by TS at August 23, 2010 06:10 AM

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