Wednesday, October 29, 2014

29-Oct-14: Could an opinion editor at the NYTimes have blown their cover?

NYT resource portal [Image Source]
Matt Seaton was a comment editor at The Guardian for seven years before leaving (in a kind of job swap) to do a similar job at the New York Times. In that role, he proudly announced an op ed today with (in our opinion) a bitter and twisted view of the lives lived in Israel by Arabs.
This caught Tamar Sternthal's attention. She's with CAMERA ("the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America... a media-monitoring, research and membership organization") which follows the excesses at the New York Times - especially what we would term the agenda-driven hostility it exhibits towards Israel - closely:

A fatuous response from NYTimes' Seaton:

Next, Tamar's riposte

Seaton drops the bomb

Uh, did we hear that right?

As far as we know, Seaton has stayed silent. We politely enquired
and got no answer.

So we directed our question to the people who put the NYTimes together

It's not so common for the facade to be dropped as Seaton of the NYTimes did today. You would think that management at the great metropolitan newspaper would want to clear up any possible misunderstandings. Their objectivity in the reporting of Middle East events is right at the top of the list that keeps many of its readers subscribing. But no, no clarifying statements have issued forth from them so far,

And if - as we think Seaton's slip confirms - they are not being objective at all, does anyone imagine the NY Times is the only mainstream news source that is okay with holding the Palestinian Arabs - for whatever idiotic, artificial or imagined reason - to a lower standard [here, for instance] when it comes to matters of racist hatred, malice and prejudice?

We can hardly wait to find out.

1 comment:

The Contentious Centrist said...

The NYT, I suspect, is operating according to a set of editorial guidelines that are based on an misinterpretation of the following two principles:

1. The role of the public intellectual (e.g. NYT editors) is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.

2. The superior virtue of the oppressed.

If they take it as a given that the Palestinians are the afflicted, the oppressed, then everything else flows from there. They will do everything in their power as purveyors of news and opinions to persuade their
readers that Israelis, the "comfortable" in their view, needs to be afflicted, badgered, maligned even, in the service of comforting poor Palestinians.

Now there is a problem. If the afflicted are, as per definition, superior in virtue, then this needs to be somehow conveyed. But what do you do when the Palestinians are really obviously and declaratively NOT virtuous? There is only one way to continue the charade of this false asymmetry: you have to file reports and opinion pieces that cast Israel in the worst possible light and you keep quiet about Palestinian perfidy, violence, irrationality, deceptiveness, etc. Because to do otherwise is to provide comfort to Israel, the "comfortable" state whose citizens are practically persecuted by the regional Arabs wherever they are, Jebreal's article being part of this general mood of anti-Jewish animus.

All this comes from having excess pity for the "underdog". It's the principle that guided Robespierre, according to Hannah Arendt: Because of our pity and to better serve humanity, we must be pity-less.

So the NYT has no pity for beleaguered Israelis, only exclusive pity towards Palestinians. This is a perversion of everything that has to do with justice, objectivity, ethics, and peace. Because justice is like light, falling where it falls. When you deliberately deny light to a group of people you are only augmenting the misery of all.

You'd think the NYT editors would be aware of such basic journalistic ethics.