Let’s say you are a typical New York Times reader. You have a job, a family, and a busy life. You trust the Times to give you an accurate daily overview of the world. You don’t, for instance, feel that you have to check alternate news sources to make sure that the paper is honestly reporting whether Hurricane Joaquin is a threat or not.
So you open your Times this morning, to “Anger Rises to West Bank After Deaths.” The article is devoted to Eitam and Naama Henkin, the Jewish settlers who were killed in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, apparently by Palestinian gunmen. You learn at some length what the president of Israel said at their funeral, what the prime minister of Israel said, and what one of the couple’s neighbors said. The article is accompanied by a photograph of a mourner at the graveside of the couple. The article links to an earlier Times article that describes “photographs of the parents and their bloodied car on Twitter” — a link that takes you to the Israeli army spokesman’s extremely graphic pictures of the murder scene (deep inside Palestinian territory). You finish the article with a feeling of sadness and resignation, “Why can’t those Palestinians stop their endless terrorism?” you may ask yourself.
Nine days earlier, Israeli soldiers killed the Palestinian teenager Hadil al-Hashlamoun at a checkpoint in Palestine. Your newspaper has had nothing at all to say about her since its first, somewhat confusing report. The Times made no effort to talk to her neighbors or her family, (even though this site had no trouble interviewing them). There are striking photographs of the Israeli soldier in uniform pointing his automatic weapon at her just before he killed her, but you have never seen those photos in your daily newspaper.
The circumstances of Hadil al-Hashlamoun’s death are suspicious to say the least, but none of the three Times reporters in the area have looked into it. In today’s article, she is not even mentioned.
If the typical Times reader got to read articles about Hadil-al-Hashlamoun, and to see the stark photographs of her killing, how long before public opinion started to change even faster than it already has?
No one expects the Times to turn into a pro-Palestinian propaganda organ. No one is suggesting that the Times ignore events like the killing of the Henkins. But the newspaper should live up to its own stated values of balance and objectivity, and stop suppressing the news about Hadil Al-Hashlamoun.