‘NYT’ self-censors, axing headline blaming Israeli settlements

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The New York Times changed the headline but not the web address. (Screenshot via talknic)
The New York Times changed the headline but not the web address. (Screenshot via talknic)

Yesterday we reported that The New York Times was early on the story of John Kerry’s Senate testimony– in which he lay blame for the breakdown in the peace process chiefly on Israel, for missing a prisoner release deadline and then announcing new settlements.

The Times headline was direct:

“Israeli Settlement Plan Derails Peace Talks, Kerry Says.”

The Israelis have complained about Kerry’s remarks. And the State Department has tried to back off from Kerry’s analysis.

And someone has been calling the Times, too. Because, glory be to God, now that piece has a new headline:

“Mideast Frustration, the Sequel.”

Mark Landler’s piece had begun with a forthright statement that Kerry blamed Israel’s announcement of 700 settlements in Jerusalem as the cause for the breakdown of the talks.

Now his piece has lost its bite and become a meditation on Kerry and his predecessor James Baker. The first three paragraphs are :

For those who suspect that the Middle East peace process has become a diplomatic drama, playing on an endless loop, Secretary of State John Kerry’s testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday could serve as Exhibit A.

Explaining to the senators why his latest efforts to bring together the Israelis and the Palestinians had almost broken down last week, Mr. Kerry could have been channeling Secretary of State James A. Baker III when he explained a similar impasse to House members 24 years ago.

While Mr. Kerry said both sides bore responsibility for “unhelpful” actions, the precipitating event, he said, was Israel’s announcement of 700 new housing units for Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem. That came three days after a deadline passed for Israel to release Palestinian prisoners, and it undercut an emerging deal to extend the negotiations.

The piece also includes a quote from Aaron David Miller lamenting Kerry’s statement as no good for peace. That wasn’t there before. You can see the original story here.

This is self-censorship, and disturbing. A lot is at stake here. The talks are about to fail. Blame is the last thing the Israelis want. That would change the paradigm; Palestinians are always to blame.

Thanks to James North, to Bill McGowan (who’s on the IF Stone beat) and Representative Press, who covers the change as a “disgrace”:

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It has been a busy 24 hours at Hasbara Central.

Per usual, be sure to scan and analyze the Readers’ Picks among the comments. Much of the time the New York Times (like the Washington Post) appears to be a propaganda arm of the Israeli government and the Israel lobby — and a crude one at that. Among thoughtful readers… Read more »

It’s interesting to speculate as to WHO at the NY Times got the call (or email) and as to WHO, ultimately, made the decision to revise the original reporting.

It’s interesting to see headlines change. Was an electronic copy made of the original headline?

NYT: “Ohhhh, excuse me, I misspoke! Really!” Well, they are in good company. Christie misspoke when talking in the imperial presence — of the current Dearth Vader, also known as Shelly Adelson.

Good piece here. And, as always, excellent work from Representative Press. If anyone here is unfamiliar w/ the man being interviewed by RT at the end of the vid, I suggest googling four words: “Miko Peled Revolution Books.” The first hit will be an excellent, long talk given by Peled.… Read more »