Thursday, July 05, 2007

5-Jul-07: A Balance of Views?

Many loyal New York Times readers were as incensed as we were by Neil Gelzinger's July 27th review of HBO's film "Hot House".

We publicized our reaction to the piece and to its prominent, glamorous photo of a convicted terrorist featured in the film. The woman, Ahlam Tamimi, happens to be our daughter's murderer.

Quite a few of those readers told us that they had complained to the paper. Some also posted our comments on their own blogs and urged others to write their own letters to the editors of the NYT expressing their disgust. Needless to say, we sent one too.

So it would be a fair estimate that a significant number of letters regarding this item reached the letters editors at the New York Times.

Yet here we are, more than a week later, and not a single response has appeared on the NY Times website.

How does this jibe with New York Times' posturing as an impartial source of news? In a 2004 essay describing the operation of the Letters Page, its editor, Thomas Feyer, wrote: "In selecting letters, I try to present a fair sampling of reader opinion, as well as a balance of views, pro and con."

Feyer might have added this proviso: Letters that label terrorists as evil will be discarded.

UPDATE (6-Jul-07): The Letters department of the New York Times have been in touch. They say a letter from Frimet Roth is under consideration for publication.

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