Op-ed: New York Times’s Failure To Rededicate Itself To Fairness

New York Times
CAMERA.org billboard posted across from New York Times building on Eighth Ave NYC 28 May 2018. CAMERA acronym is Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. May 28 2018. Editorial credit: Glynnis Jones / Shutterstock.com, licensed.

ONTARIO, CANADA – I have been arguing for some time that the New York Times has sunk into the Leftist-Islamist-Globalist alliance, a real threat to the Jewish people. Supposedly educated people have been reading it as factual in spite of overwhelming proof that it is just an arm of the Democratic Party, and the leftist progressive wing, at that.

This newspaper is read by a large number of Jews but it is so anti-Israel that it must share some of the blame that many Jewish liberals in America are less than supportive of Israel.

New York City and Tel Aviv are the two largest by population Jewish cities in the world. New York matters.

I read the opinion columnists carried in the Saturday international edition. And so I have read too much from Thomas Friedman, Roger Cohen, Maureen Dowd, Michelle Goldberg, Ross Duthat, Paul Krugman, Max Strasser and the reporters who no longer report the facts in a fair way, but make every news story into an anti-Trump,or anti-Israel, or anti-conservative-values rant..


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However, now a young, Jewish centrist reporter at the NYT named Bari Weiss – apparently hired to give the paper some much needed balance – outed the paper with a published resignation letter, At last we have a courageous journalist who puts her morality ahead of her job security. If you haven’t, please read her letter here.

Weiss and her mentor Brett Stephens (former editor of the Jerusalem Post and formerly of the Wall Street Journal) both went over to the New York Times to pursue anti-Trump writing, not as welcome at the Wall Street Journal as at the New York Times. Query whether a centrist can choose the increasingly far left New York Times with its rabid Trumpophobia and still be a centrist. Accordingly Weiss may have had an impossible task and the reaction, including name-calling, that she chronicles in her resignation letter, may have been inevitable.

The New York Times’ coverage of the 2016 American presidential election was so one-sided and so neglectful of Hillary Clinton’s defects,

  • Benghazi,
  • the Uranium One deal,
  • her Muslim Brotherhood tainted deputy Huma Abedin,
  • the alleged destruction of emails,
  • the goings on in the Clinton Foundation,
  • the goings on in the Haiti reconstruction,
  • the acceptance of money from the Saudis,
  • her ideological nonsense about being respectful and empathetic towards our enemies, etc., etc.)

that it felt that its reputation required some public relations.

The newspaper’s executive editor and publisher wrote a letter to readers in which they promised to “rededicate ourselves” to good journalism — while insisting the Times “reported on both candidates fairly during the presidential campaign.”

In the context of a “rededication” the “fairly” line bothered people like me because I was among the many who felt news stories in the newspaper run by Executive Editor Dean Baquet and Publisher Arthur “Pinch” Sulzberger Jr. were decidedly favorable to Hillary Clinton and biased against Donald Trump.

Of course, newspapers traditionally make their choice of President clear to their readers, but readers still expect the coverage to be fair, and the letter to readers basically admitted some lack of fairness.

As reported by the New York Post, Both Baquet and Sulzberger took heat for that line.

The Post pointed out that the sentence — “We believe we reported on both candidates fairly during the presidential campaign.” — was quickly scrubbed from the digital version of the “To Our Readers” letter on the Times’ website.

So was this an apology or not? Most media reported it as a non-apology. When Trump interpreted it as an apology, the Washington Post unsurprisingly criticized Trump for lying that it was an apology. To me, even a mild apology then was too much to bear for other Trumpophobes.

The Post wrote,“Sulzberger’s full letter makes clear that he was simply renewing a promise that he believes the Times fulfilled during the campaign.

“We believe we reported on both candidates fairly during the presidential campaign,” he wrote in the line that was later dropped from the online version. “You can rely on the New York Times to bring the same level of fairness, the same level of scrutiny, the same independence to our coverage of the new president and his team.”

When I read something that it is held to be controversial, and two parties each read it a different way, I tend to parse the words used elsewhere in the article to see if that sheds any light on the confusion.

And so, I ask what was intended by using the word “rededicate”? The letter stated: “we aim to rededicate (emphasis added) ourselves to the fundamental mission of Times journalism. That is to report America and the world honestly, without fear or favor, striving always to understand and reflect all political perspectives and life experiences in the stories that we bring to you.”

As pointed out by Vocabulary.com:

“When you rededicate, you commit yourself to some project or idea once again. After years of not studying Spanish, you could decide to rededicate yourself to becoming truly fluent before your trip to Barcelona.

“You can rededicate your life to doing good works — in other words, devote yourself to charity again after taking some time off.

Accordingly, did the New York Times take some time off its dedication to responsible journalism, which then, after the election, required it to rededicate itself to its journalistic mission? We Jews know something about rededication.

The holiday of Hanukkah is the festival of rededication of the holy Temple after its destruction by the Romans and the miracle that a day’s worth of oil for the temple light lasted for eight days. So in contemplating how the rededication of the Temple is now celebrated as Hanukkah,we know the meaning of “rededication.”

Given that the New York Times failed miserably to cover adequately the Shoah, with the murder of the six million, one has to ask whether it ever was dedicated to publishing truth?

Since the New York Times has so many Jewish employees, it is surprising to me that the use of the term “rededication” didn’t resonate more with some of their journalists and columnists. It is surprising that the Jewish holiday of Hanukah did not remind the columnists of the Times that their publisher had pledged his own rededication. So let me help.

Rabbi David Wolpe, writing in 2010 in Huffington Post, notes that Judaism doesn’t have a holiday dedicating the Temple, only rededicating it. He writes:

“The great rabbinic authority Joseph Caro asks, if Hanukkah is about a miracle, and the oil which was only supposed to last one day lasted eight, then why don’t we celebrate Hanukkah for seven days? After all, the first day of the oil burning was no miracle!

“But of course the greatest miracle was the resolution to rededicate (emphasis added). After persecution and all the trials of life in those days, when the Temple was defiled and the people forbidden to practice Judaism, Jews still clung fast to their faith. On that first day beleaguered Jews still wanted to light the Menorah. God’s miracle came later. The miracle of the Jewish people, of faith, came first.

He said: “The drive to rededicate that which has fallen into disuse is profoundly important … Rededication — that is the miracle. The world is rife with worthy causes we have taken up with enthusiasm and then abandoned. Rededicate yourself to repairing God’s anguished world. If we manage that, the oil will burn for countless nights to come.”

And so, we must ask the anti-Israel and pro-Obama and Clinton newspaper in a city that has twice as many Jews as in Jerusalem, to in fact rededicate itself to its abandoned pretense of fairness.

It gets worse all the time, when it come to reporting on Trump and reporting on the State of Israel and the Arab explicit mission to drive the Jews out of the Middle East. It gets worse when the “Palestinians” incite their young people to terrorism and martyrdom – and to do in Judea and Samaria (the ‘West Bank’) what they did when Israel gave them Gaza – launch rockets from civilian areas toward the civilian areas of Israel.

Looking back at the year 2017, this newspaper presented us some very problematic pieces. Feminist Jill Filipovic argues that Hillary lost, not due to her numerous defects as a candidate, but, as a woman, she was mistreated in interviews by sexual harassers like Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer and Mark Halperin. While most of us on the right viewed these men as left liberal Trumpophobes, Filipovic states that the allegations of sexual harassment against them somehow show the opposite – that their “appalling ways call into question not just their objectivity but also their ability to cover the story with seriousness.”

She states: “It’s hard to look at these men’s coverage of Mrs. Clinton and not see glimmers of that impulse to keep women in a subordinate place. When men turn some women into sexual objects, the women who are inside that box are one-dimensional, while those outside of it become disposable; the ones who refuse to be disposed of, who continue to insist on being seen and heard, are iinconvenient at best, deceitful shrews at worst. That’s how some treated Mrs. Clinton.”

I suppose the writer does not know that there were few pro-Trump television media outside of Fox News and that Hillary had already served (dishonorably, in my opinion) as Secretary of State, with all the power that was given to a female, and that she led the conspiracy to discredit all the women who alleged sexual advances by Bill, including the awful relationship with a young White House intern. To “pile on” these immoral left-liberal commentators (when their immorality becomes public knowledge) blame all men for an election defeat that was a lot closer than it should have been considering Uranium One, the emails, Huma Abedin and all the rest.

The publication of that article showed it is business as usual at the Times.

Then Thomas L. Friedman, in a bizarre column entitled “Trump and the Art of the Giveaway” looks at Trump’s Israel policy and China policy and states:

“In nearly 30 years of covering United States foreign policy, I’ve never seen a president give up so much to so many for so little, starting with China and Israel. In both the Middle Kingdom and in the Land of Israel, Christmas came early this year. The Chinese and the Jews are both whispering to their kids “There really is a Santa Claus…And his name is Donald Trump.”

First of all, practicing Jews don’t celebrate Christmas or believe in Santa Claus; how much can we trust a commentator who doesn’t realize that? Secondly, in the case of Israel, Friedman remains locked in what I call the “Two State fantasy”. This is the fantasy of those who dislike Jews so much that they ignore what happened when Israel gave Arabs Gaza as a test case for their ability to live peacefully side by side the Jews. Instead the Arabs used Israel’s quest for peace for advantage in their perpetual war against the idea of a Jewish state in historical Israel. They have incited their youth to be suicide bombers and rewarded terrorists’ families with pensions, and by rejecting peace plans from Israel’s Barak and Ohlmert that would have given them 96% of what they were demanding, and by using the Oslo Process against peace rather than for it, that told the story.

Any fair individual, especially those “rededicating” themselves against unfair coverage drawing moral equivalency between the Jews and the radical Islamists who, since 1967, under the leadership of an Egyptian named Yassr Arafat, would understand that Trump putting pressure on the Arabs for their intransigence through the recognition of Jerusalem, is actually promoting peace. It was the Obamas, and the unfair United Nations and anti-Semitic Europeans, in lockstep with Islamists, who failed to make the terrorists pay any price at all for their terrorism, when it was Jewish lives at stake.

Friedman thinks he is smarter than Trump because Trump should have followed all prior American presidents by withholding recognition of the eternal Jewish capital until he could use it “as a lever to advance the prospect of an Israeli-Palestinian deal.” Friedman ignores all recent history by dissing Trump on the basis that he should force Israel to give more land and sovereignty to Palestinians when it completely backfired on the Jews, given the nightmarish results of the Oslo Process and the gifting of Gaza. Friedman thinks that Israel’s unilateral concessions – unmatched by even a hint that the Palestinians are prepared to recognize Israel’s very existence as a Jewish state within Islamism’s Dar al-Islam – is somehow a “Peace Process.”

Friedman might benefit from a study of Hanukkah, and some reading of Jewish texts warning against fraudulent purveyors of the existence of peace, such as:

“Because, even because they have led My people astray, saying: Peace, and there is no peace; and when it buildeth up a slight wall, behold, they daub it with whited plaster”. (Ezekiel 13:10)

Or “They have healed also the hurt of My people lightly, Saying: ‘Peace, peace’, when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:14).

So The Times, even as “rededicated” trots out radical feminism, anti-Israelism and pop psychology, showing that the “elites” in the “swamp” are the same, old, same old. The only thing missing is leftist socialist anti-capitalism, and in the week before Hanukkah, 2017,we also find in The Times, Michelle Goldberg’s “No Wonder Millenials Hate Capitalism”, Goldberg writes sentences like this: “given the increasingly oligarchic nature of our economy, it’s not surprising that for many young people, capitalism looks like the god that failed.”

Ms. Goldberg must not have been aware of all the small businesspeople who are millenials and are forming new high tech businesses at a high rate, made higher by a President who sees tax reduction as a competitive advantage in global commerce. Instead she writes: “The Trump era is radicalizing because it makes the rotten morality behind our inequalities so manifest.” That belief must be what caused rioters to destroy so many small businesses, including those owned by blacks.

Actually, I would suggest that the most hurtful strike against the millenials is not Trump’s tax policies, but rather Obama’s increase of the national debt during his administration to about $9 trillion, or an increase of 86%. It is the younger Americans who will be faced with inheriting that debt and paying it back, will be angry at the power-brokers during the Obama years, and not so much at Trump.

In 2018,and 2019 we see the opinion writers carrying on the same pejorative coverage of the American President. Michelle Goldberg writes a bizarre put-down of such moral Trump associates as Vice-President Pence, Lindsay Graham, Mike Pompeo and Sarah Huckabee Saunders, when she states, “Trump is unique as a magnet for grifters, climbers and self-promoters, in part because decent people won’t associate with him”.

Thomas Friedman continues his vendetta against Trump, by dissing an immigration policy which is in fact not that different from Obama’s by alleging that “Republicans have completely caved to Trump’s craven exploitation of immigration as a wedge issue”.

Then David Brooks still can’t overcome the message of Trump’s victory, that is, the average American resents the corrupt and self-serving nature of the American “establishment” and wants to “drain the swamp”. Brooks obsesses on Trump’s “every outrage” and “narcissistic provocations” in his plea that America make up with “The Chastened Establishment”. He somehow thinks that the American people, having been misled by this establishment for so long, should reject Trump – who Brooks huffs is a “perpetual outsider” with “no governing or policy experience”. Brooks acknowledges that the Trumpists say “the establishments have forfeited all credibility”, but rather than rededicating himself to understanding American’s thirst for liberty and justice after the Obama and Clinton years, he still thinks that “there are enough chastened members of establishments, who have governing experience, who acknowledge past mistakes, who take the time to reconnect with the country and apply their experience in new ways”. He just doesn’t get it:

And just like the Clinton-Obama-Biden folks will never “reconnect” with the patriotic American heartland, but instead turn to the statue-toppling cancel culturists for support, so too the New York Times appears to have learned nothing from its supposed “rededication” to fair journalism.

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