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This Week In New York Times Headlines

My first draft of this post was surprisingly complimentary to the New York Times, trying to give credit where credit was due. But much as the Times changes its headlines over the course of a day, I’ve now had to revise this post. Yesterday morning, the New York Times’s headline actually attributed yesterday’s terror attack in Tel Aviv to a Palestinian and not, like other media, to a sentient bus.

NYT headline

If you had seen that headline and thought that it was unbelievable that the Times would publish it, well, you would have been right. Someone on the editorial side apparently could not live with a headline that actually attributed agency to this man, and we now have the passive

NYT headline

The article itself doesn’t appear to have changed much and seems fine. The first sentence quite properly explained exactly what had happened (“A Palestinian man stabbed and wounded up to a dozen Israelis on Wednesday as he rampaged through a bus in central Tel Aviv during the morning rush, the police said”). The article further included a statement about the motive for the attack:

The police said that during an interrogation, Mr. Matrouk said he was motivated by the recent fighting in Gaza, tensions over a contested holy site in Jerusalem, and radical Islamic broadcasts that spoke of “reaching paradise.”

“He said he decided to achieve that by carrying out an attack,” a police spokesman said.

Rudoren bigger
Jerusalem Bureau Chief Jodi Rudoren

(emphasis mine). Finally, the article was accompanied by a picture of one of the victims. How earth-shattering, I wrote yesterday, it must have felt for the staff at the Times’s Jerusalem Bureau to be actually reporting the news for a change, rather than pumping out Hamas propaganda. I sincerely hoped that this was an indication that the Times had actually taken some of the criticism it has received recently to heart. But with the change in the headline, now it looks more like an indication that Jodi Rudoren just had a rough night and arrived to work late yesterday morning — but just in time to go back and fix the headline.

If only that were the end of this post. Sadly, it’s not. Monday’s coverage in the Times of the Miss Israel/Miss Lebanon dispute was absurd and bizarre, basically adopting the view expressed by some critics that taking a photograph together constitutes an act of aggression by Miss Israel, with the headline “Miss Israel’s Selfie Puts Another Miss in a Bind.”

miss israel miss lebanon
Miss Israel and Miss Lebanon

Most rational people instinctively understand that an important aspect of international contests, whether they are beauty contests, sports contests, or any other tournament, is transcending differences and bringing people from around the word together — even people from countries that are hostile to each other. Most rational people would also understand that this was the spirit in which the picture was intended. But such nuances are clearly lost on the Times’s Anne Barnard.

As is often the case, however, the bias at the New York Times is evidenced not only in what they print, but also in what they omit. Most English language Israeli news sources covered some aspect of the testimony being presented by Israeli citizens to the Schabas commission. I’ve been unable, however, to locate any report on this testimony in the New York Times.

The Times of Israel reported on Eshkol Council chief Haim Jelin’s heartrending testimony before the commission:

Daniel Tragerman little boy killed by Hamas mortar south Israel
Daniel Tragerman, age 4

Jelin broke down crying while describing the death of Daniel Tragerman, a 4-year-old boy killed by a mortar shell on August 22. “Every day between 100 and 120 mortar shells explode in our communities, with almost no IDF response, and on Friday Daniel Tragerman, a child 4.5 years of age, who understands that when he hears the Color Red siren he needs to reach shelter… but he doesn’t make it. This is his photograph: a child 4.5 years old. What is he to blame for? He’s to blame for not making it in 15 seconds to the safe room.”

I can’t find a word of it in the New York Times. Nor was I able to find any mention of the testimony of Tragerman’s mother, Gila Tragerman. Even at the time of his death, Daniel Tragerman merited no more than a passing mention at the Times. The paper’s silence speaks volumes.

About the author

Picture of Mirabelle

Mirabelle

A Zionist in exile, Mirabelle has, in past lives, been a lawyer, a skier, and a chef. Outside of Israel, her favorite place in the world is Sun Valley, Idaho.
Picture of Mirabelle

Mirabelle

A Zionist in exile, Mirabelle has, in past lives, been a lawyer, a skier, and a chef. Outside of Israel, her favorite place in the world is Sun Valley, Idaho.
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