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September 08, 2016

NYT's Peter Baker: Word Choices and Attitudes

NYT Jerusalem Bureau Chief Peter Baker

Following Peter Baker's debut as the New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief, CAMERA noted that his first article was disappointing to readers looking for informative and balanced pieces from the region.

His article in today's print edition of the Times is about Soviet documents that indicate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was once a KGB agent in Damascus, known as “Krotov,? meaning 'the mole". Informative and interesting, but Baker injects a note of unjournalistic snarkiness directed at Israel as he introduces the story:

The possibility [of Abbas' role as a KGB agent], trumpeted by the Israeli media on Wednesday night and just as quickly dismissed by Palestinian officials, emerged from a document in a British archive listing Soviet agents from 1983.[emphasis added]

When does reporting a story become "trumpeting"? And what does this word choice imply, if anything, about Baker's attitude toward his subject matter?

Posted by RH at September 8, 2016 12:01 PM


I looked for information about this reporter and did not find an educational background indicating any expertise on the Arab-Israeli conflict. The New York Times should be able to find an expert to report on such an important issue in the world.

Posted by: K Gilden at September 9, 2016 01:36 PM

Now, if Mr. Baker had referred to, say, the Palestinians as "trumpeting" their narrative, then I might find his reporting balanced and perhaps even objective.

But his writing reflects a one sided judgment and yes,it IS snide.

Posted by: lisa reik at September 9, 2016 02:15 PM

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