Tuesday, December 27, 2005

More Middle East Double Standard at the Times

Today we have an excellent example of two methods by which the New York Times skews its coverage of the Israel-Palestinian dispute: Road Map Schizophrenia, and Oslo Agreement Amnesia. Both are essential elements of Times policy, the aim of which is to demonize Israel and minimize Palestinian obligations and violations of its treaty obligations.

Toward the end of an article on Sharon's health, the Times's Greg Myre mentions plans "for 228 new housing units in the large Gush Etzion settlement bloc in the West Bank a few miles south of Jerusalem." He immediately notes that "the stalled Middle East peace plan calls for a freeze on building settlements, but Israel continues to build houses and apartments in existing settlements."

Contrast this kneejerk mention of the Road Map with the Times's stubborn refusal to mention this "stalled peace plan" when it comes to Palestinian obligations to crack down on terrorist groups -- a deliberate pattern of coverage that I have noted several times, such as here and here.

Myre goes on to mention Israeli opposition to Hamas fielding candidates for office, ignoring that Hamas is prohibited from participating by Article III of the Oslo accords.

I'm sending a copy of this item to the Empty Suit, New York Times spokesman (a/k/a "public editor") Barney Calame. Since he came on board nearly seven months ago, this train wreck of a newspaper ombudsman hasn't said so much as one word about the Times's Middle Eastern coverage. Instead he has preferred to shill for management and focus on trivia and "process."

Come on, Barney! I can't wait for you to devote a padded column to describing the Times "process" of covering the Middle East -- along with your usual conclusions that all is well and that any problems are being addressed.

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