Reader Post: How To Read The NY Times

I wasn’t able to go see Jodi Rudoren during her recent appearance at the JCC in Manhattan, so I was pleased to see a tweet from Camera about that very event.

palestinian knifeTo my surprise it said, in regards to the past shooting of a man at the Damascus gate, that Ms. Rudoren had expected her readers to know that the Palestinian denials of his having a knife were false.  This was particularly exciting as even Ayman Mohyeldin of MSNBC had tried, on air, to deny that the Arab man had anything in his hands (despite the clear evidence from his own video of the incident playing in the background).

With this in mind I returned to the article.  I have to admit that I was still not sure how to understand it in light of this tweet.  Ms. Rudoren reports “a crowd of angry men and boys gathered behind the police barricades, eager to tell what they had seen: A Palestinian teenager, wearing fatigues, who fled from his father after a fight” only to be shot by Israelis. She quotes an Arab eyewitness who insisted, “He was not carrying a knife, I saw everything. If they show a knife, they planted it.”  Nowhere is there any statement from an Israeli witness to the event contradicting the Arab witnesses, the article does not use words that might indicate disbelief in the statements being offered (such as “the witness claimed…”), nor is there any mention of the MSNBC video showing the knife-like object in the hand of the running “teenager” (and Mr. Mohyeldin’s embarrassing attempt at dishonesty).  How am I supposed to know that these Arab witnesses are lying?

Ms. Rudoren also reported statements from prominent PLO official Hanan Ashrawi, noting that she “twice raised the possibility that the (Israeli) police had planted knives.”  When asked if she had evidence of this, Ms. Ashrawi responded, “I don’t have any evidence as to what’s happening because we have no access to the scene of any event.”  Now maybe it is just me, but I was still not quite getting any indication from the article that Ms. Ashrawi is lying.

Even when Ms. Rudoren did make a statement about the Israeli Police producing evidence, it seemed underwhelming.  As she reported of the shooting, “The Israeli police soon published a photo of a pocketknife, the kind Boy Scouts use, next to the slain teenager.”  Aside from the fact that the Arab was actually 20, it sounds as if his supposed weapon of choice is not that dangerous, and is even kind of wholesome.  (FYI this has been changed, and it is worth looking up the article just to read the correction which is a real piece of twisted reasoning in and of itself.)

Suddenly it hit me.  Just as the NY Times provides special content to those who read Times on-line, and especially to those who pay extra for the Premier or Insider services, the only way to really read the Times is to pay for its reporters to come to speak directly with you. That way, for a fee, they will be willing to tell you the truth.  So, from now on, whenever you are unsure of the truth of what you are reading, remember this new, unadvertised, Double-Secret premium option, and consider getting together a group of your friends and collecting enough money to pay the reporters to come to your area to answer your questions directly. Because that seems to be the only way to get the truth out of the NY Times.


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