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October 28, 2015

Jodi Rudoren Turns Palestinian Attacker Into "Boy Scout"

Nov. 11 update: CAMERA has prompted a New York Times correction. See details here.

There are many things wrong with this New York Times passage:

nytimes rudoren boy scout knife.jpg

Jodi Rudoren outrageously decided not to inform readers that, in fact, there is video footage, captured by an MSNBC cameraman, of the man holding his knife in the air while running toward Israelis. Instead, working within the boundaries of conspiracy theory, she mentions only that Israeli police, after the fact, shared a photo of a knife next to the boy. We discuss that journalistic whitewash here.

But the reporter goes even further. Note the highlighted portion of the text above. The way the newspaper frames it, even if the photo wasn't a nefarious setup by the Israeli police, the "slain teenager" — and it's worth mentioning that The New York Times refers to 19-year-old "men" overwhelming more often than 19-year-old "teenagers" (see update below) — was merely holding a "Boy Scout" knife.

No, it was very much not a Boy Scout knife. This, to the right, is the image of the knife released by Israeli police.

butterfly knife basel sidr.jpg

That's a butterfly (or balisong) knife, not the Swiss-army type knife generally associated with Boy Scouts.

On the contrary, butterfly knives are associated either with martial arts …

… thugs in 80s movies …

… or knife-play by "Boy Scouts" like this:

What line of thinking would inspire a reporter to insert into the story language about this being a "pocketknife, the kind Boy Scouts use"?

It is how The New York Times transforms a fact — a Palestinian man caught on video wielding a knife while charging at Israelis — into a story of a Palestinian boy scout, a teen who may or may not have had a knife slain by Israel which may or may not have planted evidence near his body.

Update: According to Ma'an, a Palestinian media outlet, and PCHR, a Palestinian monitoring group, the man was 20 years old, not 19, and thus not a "teenager."

Posted by GI at October 28, 2015 11:22 AM


Jodi Rudoren, in writing for the NYTimes, shockingly described a Palestinian man carrying a horribly dangerous knife while charging at Israelis, as a teenager carrying a Boy Scout knife.
This is a serious distortion of the facts, favoring the attacking man over the Israeli police.

Posted by: Thomas Kaplan at November 6, 2015 03:26 PM

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