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July 15, 2014

NYT's Public Editor Weighs In On Complaints

Margaret Sullivan, public editor for New York Times, today addresses the "deluge" of complaints that her office has received concerning its coverage of Israel and the Palestinians ("A Deluge of Reader Complaints on Israel-Palestine Coverage"). Addressing some of the very points that CAMERA has highlighted, including a false claim in an editorial which required correction, she writes:

My office has received more than 1,000 emails from readers on this topic recently, with protests on both sides, and, in some cases, charges of bias coming from both sides. (The Times is far from alone among major news organizations in receiving strong complaints in this area. Here are treatments of the subject at The Guardian and at National Public Radio.)

Without delving into any larger issues, I will review here some of what I heard the most about from readers, with the intention of returning to this subject in a more substantial way.

1. An article and an editorial that included an error. An editorial picked up on a factual error in a news article, stating that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel had not responded immediately to the killing of a Palestinian teenager, and that “days of silence� had followed. The Times corrected the error, both on the news pages and the opinion pages. Many readers also objected to The Times’s interpretation of a poem quoted in the editorial, saying that its intended meaning was the opposite of that interpretation. . . .

3. Headlines. Readers objected to this headline: “Palestinian Death Toll Nears 100 as Hamas Promises More Attacks on Israel,� saying that its construction made it appear that Hamas was responsible for the Palestinian deaths. The headline was later changed to make its meaning clearer, as was another headline that originally appeared as “Missile at Beachside Gaza Cafe Finds Patrons Poised for World Cup.� Many readers complained, and I think reasonably, that the headline had the effect of trivializing the attack. Other readers objected to Times headlines that described Israel’s military attacks; these readers said that such attacks were responding to rockets launched by Hamas, and that headlines should clearly reflect that. Along with headlines, the display and choice of photographs is a constant source of complaint, on both sides.

CAMERA's critiques of New York Times coverage in recent days include an Op-Ed in The Times of Israel which addressed the editorial's falsehood about Netanyahu and its distorted interpretation of a Hebrew poem ("Faux Fairness at The New York Times") and numerous analyses on CAMERA's Web site: "New York Times Double Standard Strikes Again," "As Hamas Targets Israel, Erlanger and the NY Times Join In," "NY Times Corrects: Netanyahu Immediately Denounced Murder," "NYT Corrects: There Were Jerusalem Clashes," and "NY Times' Page-One Anti-Israel Bias."

The latter addressed this distorted page-one headline ("Israel presses air barrage and Hamas strikes back"), which completely inverted reality:

nyt front page Israel presses.jpg

CAMERA's campaign to combat The New York Times' anti-Israel bias continues through Operation Protective Edge. A comprehensive list of Times corrections prompted by CAMERA is available here.

Posted by TS at July 15, 2014 05:51 AM


Beyond obvious that Times has (as their own quitting ombudsman said) more of "agenda" stories than factual reporting these days. And it's also clear that currently that agenda includes a decidedly antiIsrael bias, which has led to innumerable slanted, distorted, and demonstrably dishonest stories about the Mideast.

Think we need to keep up the pressure on the Times to stop its horribly biased approach to Israel, and also call them out as publicly as possible on it--their writers are demonstrably bigoted and in stark violation of values that liberals ostensibly hold dear.

Posted by: Al Neuman at July 17, 2014 03:46 PM

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