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December 28, 2014

Degeneration of a New York Times Headline, Part II

The original New York Times headline last week about Palestinian violence on the Gaza Strip border with Israel was straightforward, precise and accurate: "Palestinian sniper attack on Israeli patrol at Gaza border sets off clash."

nyt headline sniper attack original.jpg

Which is why we immediately took a screen shot, fully expecting it to change in short order. Indeed, by the next day, the updated headline carefully exonerated Palestinians from responsibility for the sniper attack and for setting off the clash.

nyt headline sniper said.jpg

Who was that sniper? Palestinian or Israeli? Casual readers who glance just at headlines would have no idea. An editor made the deliberate choice to no longer have the sniper identified as Palestinian.

This is the second time in recent weeks in which we have seen a New York Times headline become less informative with the passage of time.

Last month, after a Palestinian fatally stabbed an Israeli soldier at a Tel Aviv train station, The Times initially ran a headline which clearly identified the perpetrator as Palestinian: "Palestinian Stabs Israeli Soldier at Tel Aviv Train Station."

By the end of the day, after a second lethal Palestinian stabbing attack, the headline devolved into:

nyt Palestinian suspected.JPG

As we noted at the time:

The first, clearer headline is active ("Palestinian stabs"), while the passive language in the newest headline ("Palestinians are suspected") downplays Palestinian culpability. The first headline states as fact that a Palestinian was responsible for the stabbing. According to the latest version , Palestinians are only "suspected."

In the current headline, Israelis "die," they are not "killed," language which again downplays Palestinian responsibility for violence.

At The New York Times, editors consider it their job to eliminate clear, direct headlines about Palestinian violence.

Posted by TS at December 28, 2014 02:45 AM

Comments

Orwellian revisionism at the Times.
First facts, then what they want readers to hear.
Who runs this paper, the Palestinian Propaganda Minister?

Posted by: dave at January 2, 2015 01:23 PM

Really, now, we all know it's The New York Slimes. Always has been. Take a look at their head-in-the-sand ostrich-like approach to the Holocaust. It was ever thus, and will continue to be as long as the Ochs-Sulzberger clan rules the roost. But hope springs eternal, and we are heartened by the fact that they have been bleeding financially in recent years. Why, they even sold their stake in Fenway Park recently. Perhaps they'd like to sell what's left of their empire to Sheldon Adelson. We can always dream...

Posted by: Barry Goldberg at January 2, 2015 03:08 PM

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