web analytics
December 21, 2014 / 29 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Home » InDepth » Monitor »

Bad Old Times


Media-Monitor-logo

            Several readers took issue with the Monitor’s statement last week that coverage of Israel by The New York Times, while still problematic on occasion, has improved markedly since Deborah Sontag left the paper’s Jerusalem bureau nearly a decade ago.
How quickly we forget. Let’s take a quick stroll down memory lane with just a few highlights from the Sontag hall of fame.
In an early 2000 piece on a Tel Aviv rally in support of Israel’s retaining the Golan Heights, Sontag elected to go with the lowest crowd count available – 100,000 – forgoing even a qualifier such as “at least” or “more than,” employing instead the relatively weak “about.” Nor did she feel obligated to note the higher estimates given by sources ordinarily disinclined to boost the cause of the protestors. (Reuters, not exactly known for harboring a bias toward Israel or the Israeli right, reported “an estimated 200,000.”)
Whatever the actual number of protestors, it was all the more impressive because of the inclement conditions that kept away many Israelis who might otherwise have attended – a point obscured by Sontag. Whereas Haaretzreported”cold and rainy weather” and Newsday, utilizing combined wire service accounts, described a “pouring rain,” Sontag mentioned a “cold wet night,” vague terminology suggesting perhaps a damp chill in the air.
The composition of the crowd was an important element in Sontag’s account, no doubt based on the calculation that to portray the demonstrators as out of the mainstream would be to significantly diminish the validity of their concerns. Sure enough, throughout her piece she painted a narrow and unmistakably condescending picture, at one point describing rally participants as “yeshiva students, Golan residents and retired Russian immigrants” and writing at another point that “the square was filled with yeshiva students and West Bank residents.”
Compare that to the more nuanced report filed by the Washington Post’s Lee Hockstader, who wrote of “an enormous demonstration” organized by “mostly secular Israelis – politically leftist, overwhelmingly of European origin.”
A year later, this is how Sontag opened her front-page piece on an Arab bus driver who the day before had rammed his vehicle into a bus stop, killing eight Israelis:
“After years of shuttling Gazan laborers into Israel without incident, a Palestinian bus driver who passed a strict Israeli security clearance just two weeks ago veered wildly off course today with deadly consequences.”
Note how Sontag took pains to paint the driver in the most benign of lights. Before she could even bring herself to mention the number of dead and injured, she told us of the driver’s exemplary past performance and his clean bill of health from Israeli security.
And the manner in which Sontag conveyed the cause of the deadly incident – the driver “veered wildly off course” – made it appear as if the poor soul might simply have lost control of the steering wheel. The late Yasir Arafat, whose initial reaction to the incident was to shrug it off as just another “road accident,” couldn’t have put it better.
Contrast Sontag’s approach to that of The Boston Globe’s Vivienne Walt, who wrote, “A Palestinian driver slammed a bus into a crowd of young Israeli soldiers outside Tel Aviv yesterday, killing eight people. It was the deadliest attack on Israelis since 1997.”
   Sontag’s tendentious reporting was on full display in her March 27, 2001 article on the murder of 10-month-old Shalhevet Pass. “Palestinian gunmen,” Sontag wrote in her lead paragraph, “shot and killed a baby girl today outside the family home in the divided city of Hebron, Israeli officials said.”
   A casual reader could well have come away with the assumption that it was an Arab baby who had been shot for some unexplained reason. In fact, not once in the entire piece did Sontag identify the tiny victim as Jewish or Israeli.
   Of course, no effort by Sontag would be complete without a stab at moral equivalency, as was the case with her follow-up article on Shalhevet Pass’s funeral, which began with a reference to a woman holding a framed picture of the infant in a Purim costume – “in the style,” wrote Sontag, “of the Palestinian mothers who grieve for their martyred sons.”

   If anyone can point to anything written over the past decade by an Israel-based Times reporter (other than Sontag) that even approaches such wretchedly biased reporting, the Monitor will gladly acknowledge it.

 

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Bad Old Times”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Israel Lebanon Peace Project Flag
UN Demands Israel Pay Lebanon $850 Million
Latest Indepth Stories
UN Flags

If the UN Grants national recognition to Palestine, why stop there? Tibet, Chechnya, Basque…

The annual  Chabad menorah lighting in Sydney has been called off this year because of the murders in the Lindt cafe.

The decision to not publicly light the Menorah in Sydney, epitomizes the eternal dilemma of Judaism and Jews in the Diaspora.

Greiff-112814-Men

Am Yisrael is one family, filled with excruciating pain&sorrow for losing the 4 kedoshim of Har Nof

Two dreidels from the author’s extensive collection.

What is its message of the dreidel?” The complexity and hidden nature of history and miracles.

Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.

The 7 branches of the menorah represent the 7 pillars of secular wisdom, knowledge, and science.

Obama obtained NO verifiable commitments from Cuba it would desist from acts prejudicial to the US

No one would deny that the program subjected detainees to less than pleasant treatment, but the salient point is, for what purpose?

For the past six years President Obama has consistently deplored all Palestinian efforts to end-run negotiations in search of a UN-imposed agreement on Israel.

It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.

For Am Yisrael, the sun’s movements are subservient to the purpose of our existence.

Israelis now know Arab terrorism isn’t caused by Israeli occupation but by ending Israeli occupation

Anti-Semitism is a social toxin that destroys the things that people most cherish and enjoy.

Amb. Cooper highlighted the impact of the Chanukah/Maccabee spirit on America’s Founding Fathers

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Comptroller DiNapoli celebrates Sukkot with Crown Heights Jewish community leaders at the sukkah of Rabbi Chanina Sperlin of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council.

The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

Front-Page-102414

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

When you grow up in a home where your parents went through what my parents went through, you realize that life has to be meaningful. You have to be there for other people.

“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

These are not necessarily the best all-around biographies or studies of the individual presidents listed (though some rank right up there), but the strongest in terms of exploring presidential attitudes and policies toward Israel.

The Clintonan “engagement” liberals remember with such fondness did nothing but embolden Arafat and Hamas and Hizbullah as they witnessed Israel’s only real ally elevate process ahead of policy.

What really makes one wonder about the affinity felt by certain Jews for Grant was the welcome mat he put out for some of the country’s most pernicious anti-Semites.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/bad-old-times/2011/01/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: