‘NYT’ quietly buries Ben Ehrenreich’s piece

on 13 Comments

As far as I can tell Ben Ehrenreich’s NYT Magazine cover story last Sunday (about popular resistance in the occupied village of Nabi Saleh) has vanished into the ether. It was studiously ignored, not least by the NYT, which wrote no editorial about it, and was then overshadowed by Obama’s trip.

This Sunday there is an interview with Mary Robinson in the magazine and several of the questions deal with the anti-semitism of Iran–the reporter informs us that Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map.  Maybe in a week or two there will be letters in the Magazine about Ehrenreich’s story, and then it will be as though it was never written.

On the editorial page today the NYT writes about the Turkey/Israel lovefest, and tells us that a UN commission found that the Gaza blockade was legal–nothing about the politics behind that or the lack of logic in the reasoning.  I remember Mondoweiss dissecting that issue and I participated and even I’ve forgotten most of the details.  If someone asked I wouldn’t be able to do more than stutter a little about why the NYT is being disingenuous.

I think it’s usually 2 steps forward and 3 steps back at the Times. They publish someone like Ehrenreich, just like they published Edward Said many years ago, but then they go on as though these pieces never existed and they move right back to the usual hasbara.  Ehrenreich’s piece was window-dressing.   
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13 Responses

  1. Donald
    March 23, 2013, 12:16 pm

    Though I should add that it was good that they published Ben’s piece. But it’s wrong to publish it and then ignore it.

  2. MK_Ultra
    March 23, 2013, 1:13 pm

    The NYT doing what the NYT does best: looking after the best interests of its Zionist masters. That story must have slept thru the cracks but the error was quickly corrected by the servants and dutiful protectors of lies and deceit. Long live freedom of speech, democracy and our fifth column!

    “The test of democracy is freedom of criticism.”~ David Ben-Gurion

    Here’s to irony.

  3. Avi_G.
    March 23, 2013, 2:07 pm

    Publishing the piece provides the NYT with the cloak of relevance it requires to remain legitimate, to appear to be up-to-speed on the reality on the ground, to remain relevant and in sync with alternative media sources online and off the mainstream. It gives it the cloak of having a competitive edge. Ultimately, however, it remains a propaganda outlet that serves Israeli interests.

    I just laugh sometimes when after publishing some truth, a mainstream publication goes on to ‘balance’ a letter to the editor with some propaganda piece by an Israeli representative or an Israeli firster, as though it didn’t publish such propaganda on a regular basis.

  4. Les
    March 23, 2013, 2:12 pm

    A truly “beyond the Pale” Jew whose opinions must be ignored at all costs.

  5. Krauss
    March 23, 2013, 2:16 pm

    “I think it’s usually 2 steps forward and 3 steps back at the Times.”

    It depends on what subject we’re talking about. They have, like most of the liberal establishment, become vehemently anti-union for example.

    But when it comes to Israel, it’s more like 2 steps forward, 1 step back. If you compare their coverage today with even five years ago, it is no comparison. To even publish his piece was very daring, as was Joseph Levine’s article on questioning the very nature of a specifically Jewish state, which is the kind of old-European blood-and-soil nationalism that we were supposed to be moving from.

    But I don’t think anyone can accuse the NYT of bravery. They are seeing the situation in Israel deteriorate and are going by the path of least resistance in their changing coverage, but it is changing.

    • W.Jones
      March 23, 2013, 9:20 pm

      A 2 to 1 or 3 to 2 ratio of steps seems too clear cut. It might be 12 steps forward 11.5 steps back or something like that. A study of the Times showed they focus on “balance”, by which they don’t mean balance in an objective sense, but subjectively- if you talk about one side’s hardship you have to give equal weight to the opposite one, even if one side in fact is undergoing much more severe hardships (naturally the side that is not in control). As a result, the Times upholds the Status Quo, despite that being a brutal, discriminatory one.

      It’s possible the Times has opened up to a more insightful view to some degree in line with the slight “improvement” of Americans’ views on average on the topic, but I am not sure how much.

    • Donald
      March 23, 2013, 11:30 pm

      “If you compare their coverage today with even five years ago, it is no comparison. To even publish his piece was very daring,”

      I did hastily throw in a comment at the top giving them credit for publishing the piece, but I sorta suspect it is as Avi said, a way of maintaining some degree of credibility. And they probably are better than they were five years ago–I’m kinder to Jodi Rudoren’s reporting than some others here have been, for instance.

      But the NYT has always published the occasional brave piece. They published Edward Said’s essay critical of the Oslo process if I remember correctly. And there was also this piece by Deborah Sontag–


      She flatly contradicted the standard narrative put out by Clinton and Thomas Friedman and virtually everyone in the mainstream at the time, which was that Barak and Clinton had put together this generous offer and Arafat just decided to reject it and start the terrorist intifada campaign (always neglecting the fact that nearly all the deaths in the opening months were Palestinians shot by Israelis.) Sontag wrote a genuinely balanced account rather than propaganda. But it was mostly ignored. It was just too convenient for American Zionists to pretend that the Second Intifada was entirely Arafat’s fault. It was as though the Sontag piece (along with other books and articles which told the truth) had never been written.

  6. philosophia
    March 23, 2013, 2:25 pm

    Agreed. Thank you, Donald, for this. I have been stymied by how this piece seems to have disappeared… I haven’t encountered any media follow-up. So disappointing.

  7. Hostage
    March 23, 2013, 10:00 pm

    On the editorial page today the NYT writes about the Turkey/Israel lovefest, and tells us that a UN commission found that the Gaza blockade was legal–nothing about the politics behind that or the lack of logic in the reasoning.

    On the other hand, the Jerusalem Post and the Turkish press are reporting that Erdogan says it’s premature to exchange ambassadors and that the criminal charges against the IDF top brass have not been dropped. http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Erdogan-confirms-intention-to-visit-Gaza-W-Bank-in-April-307492

    The UN HRC Commission tasked with investigating the raid actually found the attack was illegal. The Secretary General’s Palmer Inquiry panel was not a UN fact finding body.

  8. ckg
    March 23, 2013, 10:31 pm

    Thank you, Donald. But I have no problem viewing the excellent Ehrenreich piece from your link or by browsing the previous magazine edition directly from the NYT website. http://www.nytimes.com/indexes/2013/03/17/magazine/index.html Perhaps a temporary NYT glitch?

    • Donald
      March 24, 2013, 12:45 am

      Sometimes I can’t tell if someone is being sarcastic or being overly literal. The NYT story is still there and hasn’t vanished–but so far as I know it isn’t being referenced elsewhere, by the NYT editorialists or by other liberals in other venues.

      Possibly I should have explained myself a little better, but some of the other posters upthread have filled in what I left out.

  9. James Canning
    March 24, 2013, 2:44 pm

    Amazing. Once again we hear the false statement that Iran “wants to wipe Israel off the map”.

    Iran has suggested it will accept 2002 Saudi peace plan if the Palestinians accept it.

  10. hophmi
    March 24, 2013, 11:22 pm

    So let me get this straight – because the Times didn’t publish an editorial about Ben Ehrenreich’s piece, it’s “burying” the piece? This was a cover story in the NY Times magazine. And you still complain.

    Yep, definitely CAMERA’s twin over here.

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