Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Irrepressible Steve Erlanger

Erlanger's 'heroine' Corrie burning American flag

Two stories today by Steven Erlanger, the New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief, prove that the man is irrepressible. No matter what the situation, he is so biased against Israel that just can't help but slip in inaccuracies and gratuitous remarks displaying his animosity.

In an early version of his piece on Ariel Sharon's illness, which moved over the Times news service to newspapers throughout the country, all is fine -- just straight reporting -- until we come to this gem:

But Kadima was centered on Sharon, who had fought in or masterminded every Israeli war and who, despite a hawkish history, came to accept the inevitability of an independent Palestinian state of limited sovereignty.
Whoa now! "Limited sovereignty"? This was too much for even the Times foreign desk, which excised this inaccurate slap at Sharon from a later version of the story.

But you know our Stevie -- he is so biased that he just can't restrain himself. His accompanying story on the chaos in Gaza is fine -- just straight reporting -- until we come to this:

On Tuesday night, gunmen also nearly kidnapped the parents of an American peace advocate regarded as a heroine by many Palestinians. The woman, Rachel Corrie, was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer while trying to stop house demolitions in Rafah in March 2003.

Rachel Corrie was not a "peace activist." She was a field operative for the pro-terrorist International Solidarity Movement, and put herself in harm's way while Israeli troops were uncovering a weapons tunnel near the Egyptian border.

Ironically, Gaza, now an open conduit for weapons and terrorists, is now in dire need of the Israeli operations such as the ones Corrie was trying to disrupt.

The truth about Corrie is hardly news, and her extremist activities -- as evidenced by the widely publicized photo of her burning an American flag (above) -- are hardly a secret. Only a few extremist websites of the Counterpunch variety continue to extol her virtues. Those sites and, of course, the Counterpunch daily edition.

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 more than seven months ago, this parody of a newspaper ombudsman hasn't said 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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