Thursday, November 14, 2013

14-Nov-13: To really understand about terrorism's victims, can't beat the New York Times

A murderer's mother: The one photo that  the editors at the
NY Times chose to publish tells its readers what the editors
believe they need to know [Today's NY Times story]
The editors at the New York Times remind us again today of where to focus our attention and sympathies when the subject is the savagery that terrorists do.
Note: After reading this post, you might be interested to know about what happened afterwards. It's here: "19-Nov-13: After today's NY Times apology, a request of its Public Editor"...and also "22-Nov-13: More than most readers want to know about behind-the-scenes editorial decisions at NY Times"
An Israeli teenager, freshly recruited into the military to do his national service, is dozing on an intercity bus in the early morning hours when without warning a knife plunges into his upper chest and neck, leaving him critically injured. Despite the best available medical attention, he dies of his horrendous wounds a short while later.

At the world's newspaper of record, the story is composed with input from the reporter, the news editors and the people who make the decisions about whether to add a photograph, and if so, of what. The decision is made, the story is published, and the visual - and therefore emotional - focus in this tragedy of two worlds colliding is determined to be... the mother of the killer.

There's plenty more that's nauseatingly wrong with the way this act of terrorist murder - butchery, actually - is reported, starting with the opening para:
A Palestinian teenager fatally stabbed a 19-year-old Israeli soldier on a bus in northern Israel on Wednesday, according to the police, shocking Israelis who have grown unused to such killings in their cities and further clouding a peace process that was already severely strained by Israeli settlement plans in the West Bank.
Obviously there were less-ideologically-spun ways to say what happened. But these were the editorial decisions taken in Times Square:
  • Israelis are shocked, they write. And this would be because Israelis ought to have gotten used by now to savagery of this sort from the foreigners who get on our buses with little interference or review?
  • Two persons are involved in the event: one who is a soldier and the other who is a teenager. Does any normal person, faced with this choice of descriptors, identify with a teenager? Or with a soldier? Both happen to be teenagers, except for the one who is now dead: slashed and stabbed to death by a thug with a knife clutched in his fist while his unsuspecting victim was asleep.
  • By being murdered, the young Israeli is part of what the NYTimes editors term "clouding a peace process". And that murderer? Not so much.
  • Further down the page, the report purports to address why this Palestinian Arab kid became a murderer. It was because (and we of course are quoting) "he had two cousins serving terms in Israeli prisons, one of them a life term, apparently for killing two Israelis." Apparently? Those two cousins were convicted and sentenced for two separate acts of murder more than a decade ago, as we noted here this morning. (At the NY Times, they don't deny this. They simply advance their ideological crusade by resorting to a cynical "apparently".) The young knife-man from Jenin almost certainly never met them, doesn't know them. A far more plausible motivating factor is the steady ramping-up of murder-friendly incitement by the regime headed by Mahmoud Abbas who, in addition to being the president of the Palestinian Authority, is also head of Fatah. That happens to be the terrorist organization which sent the Jenin killer's two clansmen out to kill them some Israelis a decade ago. 
But the photograph! That part of this nasty piece of agenda-driven news-distortion stands on its own. The one emotional note in this New York Times story is devoted to zooming in on the mother; the mother of the killer. Her name is Silwa Gawadreh. Another of her children is already behind Israeli bars. The published details are thin. But from experience we know young Palestinian Arab men are rarely sent there for jaywalking.

At Haaretz, where they too have a photograph of the mother poring over childhood photos of the son, they say all of this is so confusing to the parents who have no idea, see no pattern, wonder what could possibly have happened.

Eden Attias, aged just 18 when his life ended
in an act of savage murder yesterday
Once again, for the record: the victim of yesterday's cold-blooded murder of a sleeping teenage boy is Eden Attias. Here, on the right, for the benefit of the New York Times' readers who will not find his portrait in the pages of their daily guide to the world, is how Eden looked before the jihadist hate-machine of the Palestinian Authority picked him out for liquidation.

We have written on this blog in the past about other decisions taken at the New York Times when its journalistic over-achievers were confronted with how to report on murder by terrorists. You might care to see what we wrote at "28-Jun-07: About sweet-faced young women" and "7-Jul-07: A Palestinian Terrorist". 

Finally, for everyone wondering how the managers and editors of the New York Times respond when people (we, for instance) call them to account for their terror-friendly editorial policies, we would very much like you to read what we wrote here: "30-Mar-13: To see the NY Times gloss over this travesty of justice is journalism of the most amoral sort". (Hint: they simply ignore the criticism, as they certainly will again today.)

1 comment:

NormanF said...

Then there's the Israeli government - which won't hand the murderer of Eden Atias a death sentence.

And the murderer can be confident he'll be released from prison in a couple of years time, give or take. Jewish blood in Israel really IS cheap!

Above all, Atias' family has no real comfort justice will ever be truly served in the wake of their son's death.