The New York Times announced today that Jerusalem Bureau Chief Peter Baker is being recalled to Washington DC to cover the Trump White House less than four months after he arrived in Jerusalem. Baker had covered the Obama White House for The Times and earlier than that the George W. Bush and Clinton administrations for The Washington Post.
In a Facebook post Baker and wife Susan Glasser of Politico ascribed his about-face to the “Trump effect”:
Hey guys, the Trump Effect has spread. The NYT has asked Peter to come back to Washington to cover the Trump White House and Susan is going to work from DC as Politico’s chief international affairs columnist while also consulting with them about editorial innovation initiatives. (We also are still working on our book, the biography of James Baker.) It’s been a terrific if much too short adventure for all of us in Jerusalem — and we’re lucky to have made many new friends in these last few months. Our schedule isn’t set but we’re expecting to get back to Washington next month. Looking forward to seeing everyone soon. All best, Peter, Susan and [son] Theo
Baker had barely unpacked his bags in Jerusalem, having taken up the position on August 23, according to his own announcement on Facebook.
When Baker’s appointment to Jerusalem was first all-but-announced in November 2015, James North said it was “evidence that the Jerusalem bureau is now what the Moscow bureau used to be in the hierarchy of establishment journalism: the necessary posting to distinguish yourself as top-rung talent.” This is no longer the case. Jerusalem is suddenly a backwater in the age of Trump and Putin, the action’s in Washington. Netanyahu is old news.