Whatever bomb hit the planet with global inequality, it has hit journalism too. The ad above took up a full page in The New York Times yesterday, for a round-the-world trip sponsored by the newspaper on a private Boeing 757 next February and March: 26 days, 9 countries, 50 travelers, and the ticket price a mere $135,000.
Go behind the headlines on an exclusive, globe-spanning journey, created by the New York Times in collaboration with the world’s foremost luxury travel company, Abercrombie & Kent.
The trip is offensive to traditional journalistic values, which are democratic (afflict the comfortable, comfort the afflicted). From Abercrombie and Kent’s site:
Travel in a group of just 50 guests, joined by some of The Times’s most noteworthy journalists and local contributors, who offer firsthand perspectives on the people and places that shape our world. Join a dedicated flight crew aboard an exclusively chartered Boeing 757 with first-class, fully lie-flat seats, accompanied by A&K’s top-notch Tour Directors and local experts, for an around-the-world adventure like no other.
“Traveling with you in Israel” will be Jodi Rudoren, former bureau chief for the newspaper in Jerusalem. She now serves as editorial director of NYT global, the effort to expand the Times‘s reach overseas.
Rudoren as the guide is concerning because there is no mention of Palestine, and because of her track record as bureau chief. We repeatedly knocked Rudoren’s coverage from Israel from 2012-2015 as biased; she highlighted the Israeli Zionist narratives of redeeming the land for Jews; acted as a stenographer for the Israeli army when it whitewashed war crimes that shocked the world; and said that Palestinians were “ho-hum” when their children got killed. When we said she was a Zionist, and cited her background in the pro-Israel Jewish community in Boston and the fact that she had first gone to Israel as a teen with United Synagogue Youth, Rudoren responded, It depends what your definition of Zionist is. As if this is a mystery unknowable to a journalist.