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December 09, 2015

Injured Soldier's Mother Slams New York Times Coverage

Debbie Laznik, the mother of brand new lone soldier Jake, who was injured in a Palestinian ramming attack on November 27, slams The New York Times' grossly distorted headline about the incident. CAMERA posted about the outrageously skewed headline (pictured below) for the Nov. 27 news brief and communicated directly editors, prompting significant improvement.

nyt Palestinians killed after hit and run.JPG

A Haaretz feature today by Allison Kaplan Summer about Jake, whose legs, chest and hand were injured, reports("'If I leave the country, the terrorists win,' says American victim of Palestinian attack"):

[Jake's mother] said she is still coming to terms with the fact that a Ramallah resident in his 30’s would aim his car at her child with deadly intent. The terrorist was the brother of the man who attempted to run over a group of Israelis at the same Kfar Adumim bus stop just five days earlier. The incident, she said, has been a challenge to her politics, which have always leaned left. “I’m very sensitive to the legitimate desires and grievances of Palestinians and I think they deserve their own country.”

She also said she’s always been a defender of the New York Times against those bashing it and accusing it of being anti-Israel, but had an angry personal moment when saw the headline about the incident and another attack that day was “Palestinians Killed After Hit and Run Attacks.” It was later changed following complaints, to “Palestinians Killed After Attacks on Troops.”

“I saw that first headline and I was shaking with anger. I felt violated." (Emphases added.)

At the time, CAMERA wrote about the headline:

Readers who glance only at headlines and don't bother with the accompanying item would reasonably conclude that Palestinians were the victims of the hit and-run attacks, as opposed to the perpetrators.

The original AP headline for an earlier version of the brief was much more accurate than The Times' headline. It at least referred to an attack on Israelis: "Palestinian killed after West Bank attack on Israeli troops." A later version of the AP story explicitly identified the Palestinians as the attackers: "2 Palestinians killed after attacking troops." (Source: Lexis-Nexis.)

In other words, Times editors discarded AP's relatively sound, if not 100 percent perfect, headlines, and actively replaced them with a headline which obfuscated Palestinian responsibility for violence.

In response to CAMERA's direct communication with The New York Times, editors commendably improved the headline, which now reads:

nyt headline Palestinians killed after attacks on troops.JPG

About the amended headline, CAMERA had noted:

The improved headline is not perfect. It does not state that the Palestinians who were killed were the perpetrators of the attacks on the troops, though readers may (or may not) infer that information. Also, it does not identify the targeted troops as Israeli. (As mentioned above, AP's original headline, in contrast, was "Palestinian killed after West Bank attack on Israeli troops.") Again, from the new Times headline, readers may understand that the troops were Israeli, or maybe they won't. And the headline still leads with the killing of the Palestinian (attackers), as opposed to the fact that Palestinians attacked Israelis. Nevertheless, compared to the original headline in which the killed Palestinians appeared to be the victims of the hit-and-run attacks, the change is welcome.

For additional New York Times corrections prompted by CAMERA (including yesterday's), please see here.

Posted by TS at December 9, 2015 03:04 AM

Comments

I applaud Jake's mother for speaking out.What happened to her son should never happen to anyone's child. Thankfully, he will survive. I am also the mother of a Lone Soldier - from the same neighborhood in Florida, and I am outraged at the press coverage on these terrorist attacks. The disregard for victims in Israel is an outrage. I am a subscriber of the NYT - and am on the verge of canceling my subscription!

Posted by: Karen at December 9, 2015 11:14 PM

Instead of whining about the New York Times, do the only thing that they care about-discontinue buying it. They have been biased against Israel for decades. Glad that you have recently woken up, but nothing new here.

Posted by: Robert Geller at December 10, 2015 11:02 AM

The Times' record with regard to Israel is now so infamous that one has to wonder what could bring about a permanent change to professional reporting.

Each Jerusalem-based reporter they assign is worse than the last in terms of basic fairness and professionalism.

And the current Rosenthal in charge is the worst of the bunch.

Despite CAMERA's noble efforts to set the record straight, there has to be a change in the Times' orientation. But who will demand it, since most Americans either do not read newspapers, or if they do, it's a brief glance at the sports page.

Posted by: Hypatia at December 10, 2015 12:03 PM

enough already time for israel to ban the reporters that are distorting the truth and lying . no more corrections will do. there are journalistic standards just like a doctor who performs malpractice over and over again would not be able to be a doctor anymore he couldnt just write an apology and be able to be a doctor anymore. journalists should be held to the same standards because in fact they have peoples lives and blood on their hands.

Posted by: allan at December 14, 2015 03:37 PM

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