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April 6, 2016 11:06 am

New York Times Smears Orthodox Jews, Violates Own Policies

avatar by Ira Stoll

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Orthodox Jewish men in New York. Photo: WikiCommons.

Orthodox Jewish men in New York. Photo: WikiCommons.

“F.B.I. Questions Police Leaders Amid Inquiry Into Businessmen Linked to de Blasio” is the headline of a New York Times dispatch.

It takes the Times only two paragraphs before injecting the religion of the businessmen into the article — about what the paper describes, based on anonymous sources, as a federal corruption investigation involving the New York police. Here’s how the Times puts it:

Some of the questions centered on allegations of free meals and trips given to police officials by members of Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn. But the agents were more focused on two Orthodox businessmen with ties to Mayor Bill de Blasio, according to the three people, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation.

If these businessmen — Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg — were, say, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, atheists or lapsed Catholics, do you think the Times would mention it in the third paragraph of the news item about the investigation? Of course not. It’s hard to see how the information is relevant here. The Times story doesn’t mention the religion of the police officials, or of the FBI agents, or of Mayor de Blasio, or of the federal prosecutor doing the investigating. Only the Orthodox Jews have their religion dragged into it.

Likewise, does the Times mention in its science or business pages the religion of the scientist or businessman every time that a successful discovery or profitable deal is made by an Orthodox Jew? No. But when there is a whiff of corruption or a grand jury investigation, you can be sure the newspaper will find a way to mention Orthodox Judaism prominently in a negative context.

Here is the entry on religion from my 1999 copy of the New York Times stylebook: “The religion of a person in the news should be mentioned only when it is pertinent and its pertinence is clear to the reader.”

As recently as 1986, the Times issued an editor’s note clarifying that “The race, religion or ethnic background of a person in the news, under The Times‘s policies, may be specified only if it is pertinent to the news. And in such a case, the relevance must be demonstrated in the article.” In that 1986 case, the paper said, the religious reference “did not meet this test and should not have been cited.”

It will be interesting to see if the Times of today will adhere to the standard it set in 1986 and issue a public retraction, editor’s note or correction to this article about Messrs. Rechnitz and Reichberg, which so egregiously brings their religion into play where its relevance is not clear to readers. One hopes so, but rather doubts it. If the Times has changed its policy and is now going to be identifying Orthodox Jews as such even when it isn’t clearly pertinent, will it announce this new policy publicly? And will this new policy apply to all religions, or just to Orthodox Jews?

The New York Post managed to write an article about the same story without using the words “Orthodox” or “Jewish.” Maybe the Times editors and reporters can ask the Post for some pointers on avoiding bias against religious Jews.

The dispatch in question carries no fewer than four bylines — William Rashbaum, Al Baker, Michael Schwirtz and Michael Winerip — without identifying their religion. But it does make one wonder how many reporters it would take for the Times to follow its own stated policies. If a fifth reporter were added to the Times team of four on the story, would that have been enough to get it right?

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  • Thom McCann

    The American Council for Judaism was formed in 1942 solely to fight the creation of a Jewish state—while 20,000 Jews were being sent to the German gas chambers every day.

    One of its founding members was NY Times owner Arthur Hays Sulzberger.

    Now we can understand the Times pro-Palestinian stance today.

    Matt Seaton, staff editor for the Times opinion section said that the NY Times will not scrutinize Palestinian racism “until Palestinians have a sovereign state of their own.”(Algemeiner, Oct 30, 2014)

    Does that also apply to Hezbollah, ISIS, the Moslem Brotherhood, the Taliban, Al Queda, etc.?

    Arthur S. Brisbane in his final column as The New York Times public editor (ombudsman, a position solely created in the wake of the Times 2003’s Jayson Blair scandal) said:

    “Across the paper’s many departments, though, so many share a kind of political and cultural progressivism — for lack of a better term — that this worldview virtually bleeds through the fabric of The Times.”

    That includes the covert “gentlemen’s agreement” of anti-Semitism as well.

  • Phil Fink

    It is amazing that “the old gray lady” (notice the lower-case ‘) has lost its luster. The Times has been anti-Semitic for years. It’s “yellow journalism 101. If I had written a story for broadcast news I would have been thrown out on my behind, before the ink was dried on the typewriter paper. But The Times is a paper that young writers are taught to speak about in hushed tones…
    It’s disgusting. As for the ultra-Orthodox community being dragged through the mud… The Jewish people are taught that we to be held to a higher standard… and yes, e are should be aware that the outside world expects that of them. It doesn’t matter if the Jewish person is Charedi, Modern Orthodox, Conservative, Reform or secular. For a paper to publish their religion is wrong. A picture of a Charedi man tells you about his religion… nothing more need be said.

    • Thom MCCann

      Here’s why the NYT is anti-Semitic:

      The new reference to the NY Times is “The Gay Old Lady.”

      The “gay mafia” at the NY Times lead the way. Other forms of liberal media do as well in gay propaganda.

      Richard Berke–is now the national editor of the gay mafia including Ben Brantley, Frank Bruni, Stuart Elliot, Adam Nagourney, and Eric Wilson–hold key positions at the paper. Black columnist Charles Blow has also recently admitted he is bisexual.

      It all started with an article in the NYT September 10, 1993
      Gay Journalists Leading a Revolution

      “For the first time, major news organizations, including ABC and NBC News, The Los Angeles Times, The Miami Herald, The Washington Post and The New York Times, used this convention to recruit homosexuals for their staffs.”

      “National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association saw its membership nearly double to about 750 from about 400 the precious year.”

      “Homosexual journalists who are not involved in reporting on gay issues say they sometimes act as information resources for other reporters and editors.”

      The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender propaganda goes on and on.

      Go to see who the LGBT speakers are at libraries where your children go.

      “Transgender Week” is celebrated in public schools.

      There is no end until they achieve their goal not of “marriage” but destruction of the family but sexual anarchy so everybody can, as the Nike shoe slogan states, “Just Do It.”

      Whatever “It” is.

  • Russell Mollot

    I think that what is MOST surprising is that the NYTimes identified the connections as “businessmen”. If they had been prostitutes, felons, Democratic Party insiders, surely their affiliation would never have been mentioned. So why pick on businessmen? The Times is out to make Capitalism look bad. Who even cares about their religion — it’s the old shibboleth about “Greed on Wall Street”.

  • Chris Rettenmoser

    The New York Times is PURE garbage…a waste of precious paper.

  • Ben

    If I ever decide to start bribing or defrauding people, I will definitely be sure to make myself appear like a Hasid first so if I ever get questioned or reported on websites like this will instinctively play the jew card in my defense. “If the shtreimel dont fit you must acquit.”

  • Mark

    No, the Times never mentioned that the molesting priests were catholic, or that the terrorist was Islamic, or if you go back to the 1970’s Irish Catholic or Irish Protestant. (Sarcasm alert).

    You remind me of the joke about the person that stuttered complaining that he did not get the job as a radio announcer because the people hiring were anti-semites.

    • Thom MCCann

      Michael Oren, Israel former ambassador to the U.S. called the Times editorial-page editor, Andrew Rosenthal, editorial page editor, about an op-ed by Abbas who startlingly claimed—despite the facts to the opposite—the Arabs had accepted the UN Partition Plan of 1947.

      “When I write for the Times” Oren said, “fact checkers examine every word I write. “Did anybody check that Abbas has his facts exactly backward?”

      “That’s your opinion,” Rosenthal replied.

      “I’m an historian, Andy, and there are opinions and there are facts. That the Arabs rejected partition and the Jews accepted it is an irrefutable fact.”

      Rosenthal smugly said,
      “In your view.”

      Oren then mockingly asked, “On June 6, 1944, did Allied forces land or did they not land on Normandy Beach?”

      Rosenthal replied, “Some might say so.”

      The biased, anti-Semites at the NY Times are no different from the die-hard Communists in their belief that their rancid ideological stench is socially acceptable.

  • jakob wasi

    No smear here. The ‘Times’ is simply reporting a hoary tale of buggery by some ultra Orthodox [from] of little and not so little boys under their charge. It is not a new story and has been many times told, to little effect.Also true is the pandering of politicians to the hedredi for votes, sincee they vote en bloc according to their head rabbis directives. Shanda, Shanda and Shanda, since the rot and the breaking of G-d’s laws will fester and break out again and again and blow up in the ultra piouses face. A punishment, they well deserve.

    • Thom McCann

      This rant against religious Jews sounds almost as if it came from the anti-Semitic magazine, “Der Strumer” published in Nazi Germany.

      You should be ashamed maligning any Jew.

      Obama never maligns Muslims—even radical Muslims—because it would reflect onhis Muslim faith (as he mentioned in his book”The Audacity of Hope”).

      An apology is needed.

    • Thom MCCann

      Decent Orthodox Jews await your apology, please.

  • Not surprising! What do you expect from a JV newspaper? The only use I have for the NY Times is to house train my new dog.

  • Leonard Eisenstein

    why should the Frum community be exempt from criticism? why should they be held to a different set of standards from everyone else? we all have to obey all laws, and accept consequences from bad behavior

    • Scott Aronin

      Nowhere did the Algemeiner say the alleged wrong-doers shouldn’t be investigated or punished. Same legal standard as anyone else. It just said that the Times had no reason to mention their religion.

    • Yitschok Berez

      No is saying the frum community should be exempt from criticism — the point of the article is that the criminal behavior has NOTHING to do with the individual’s jewishness or what kind of religious practice they have. It is a completely superfluous and suspicious inclusion.

  • Chaimbaruch Kaufman

    There are two issues here. Improper journalism and the sin of being mechalel Shem Shamayim publicly, which is far worse. But you go after Esav hating Yaakov. NEWS FLASH – Esav Hates Yaakov & Fire – Hot! If these corrupt Jews that tarnish all of us, not to mention SHEM SHEMAYIM, and all you can do is point fingers at the newspaper that reported the fact, then you miss the point. Mazal tov!

  • Simone Miller

    I deeply mourn the death of one of the great world newspapers. Their anti-Semitic stand has clouded the ability to ensure that the news is unbiased and opinion is stated as such. Shame on the NY Times.

  • L

    Let’s be perfectly honest here: if they were Muslim, it would probably be mentioned too. It’s not a Jewish thing; it’s a religious minority thing. Doesn’t mean it isn’t bad and wrong, but don’t make it into something different than it actually is. Discord divides us, and unity is needed more now than ever.

    • Thom MCCann

      How often does the NY Times—like the Shiite Muslim in the White House—mention Muslim terrorists?


      They roll out the red carpet for the Muslim “underdogs” but bare their fangs for the religious Orthodox or Haredi Jews.

      The stench is not “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” but “Everything rotten at the anti-Semitic New York Times.”

      May their building collapse on this evil enterprise.

  • Silas

    “If my theory of relativity is proven successful, Germany will claim me as a German and France will declare me a citizen of the world. Should my theory prove untrue, France will say that I am a German, and Germany will declare that I am a Jew.”

    ― Albert Einstein

  • robert davis

    The times (this title does not deserve capital letters) is involved in every kind of antisemitism, anti Israel incitement or even anti Judaism. Every word that disgusting rag utters is racism against Israel and jews. I do not understand how some people can still buy that trash whose place is the rubbish bin. I do not buy this verbal defection for years and will never buy it again nor give it any ads for publication.

  • Michael Garfinkel

    Well at this late date, it is a given that the Times dislikes Jews – and the Jewish writers of this piece have a special contempt for the orthodox.

    This should also come as no surprise.

    • Thom McCann

      They have religious Muslims, Catholics, gays, bisexuals, and the dregs of society writing on a regular basis or as columnists.

      They will never hire an Orthodox writer or journalist to present the Orthodox take on a subject—especially a religious one.

      Would the Times send a fashion writer to a world-wide nuclear proliferation meeting in Geneva?
      The Times did that when it sent a writer to the Orthodox “Siyum” where 90,000 Jews had gathered in the New Jersey stadium and had completed the seven-year cycle of learning the 2411 pages of Talmud.

      The writer interviewed a few people but wrote nothing at all about what the numerous speakers had to say (in English) on the subject of Torah learning.

      Reading the article was meaningless in understanding this major, religious, Jewish event.

      Why not assign a knowledgeable Orthodox writer who knows Orthodox Judaism to report on Orthodox Judaism?

      There are plenty out there.

  • and who did the NYT support for Mayor or Police Chief in NYC? and why doesnt THAT appear right next to Blasio’s name e.g. –Mayor Blasio — whom we warned you not to vote for– OR who we support(ed) so sneakily in the last elections– OR …. but really who any more expects anything but elitist liberal slander from the NYT…. and when that intellectual disintegrity slops over to antijews, as seems to be the PC good manners these days, why the continual surprise?

  • Ephraim

    In 1986 the Times was a newspaper.
    Unfortunately, today it is the US arm of the B(ritish) B(igoted) C(onspiracy) antisemitic media. All the news that’s fit to repress, and the journalistic integrity of The Globe.

    • Thom McCann

      The American Council for Judaism was formed in 1942 solely to fight the creation of a Jewish state—while 20,000 Jews were being sent to the German gas chambers every day.

      One of its founding members was NY Times owner Arthur Hays Sulzberger.

      Now we can understand the Times anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, stance today.

  • Al Talena

    So is it Jew baiting or just straight forward anti-Semitism?

  • Robin Ely MD

    After over 2000 years, is it still a surprise that the world holds Jews to a higher, much higher standard than any other group? Why are Jews doing good things not mentioned? Because it is expected that Jews should and will do good things. Why is the Jewishness of bad or presumably bad actors mentioned? Because it is more appalling,more galling, more disappointing when it happens. It is minimally naive and ultimately futile to react to this ubiquitous phenomenon.
    There are countless examples of Jews who have been found guilty of sundry bad behaviors who are given more stringent punishment. It’s a fact of Jewish life and a reminder that both God and the many nations on this Earth expect the Jews to be the standard bearers for moral, ethical, and intellectual pursuits. When we either fall short or appear to fall short, there is that “Jewish ” moniker that ineluctably shows up.

  • Ettie Kryksman

    I would expect no less from the The New York Times. The fact that these were Orthodox Jews made the story more newsworthy according to the “standards” of The New York Times, which never misses an opportunity to highlight perceived improprieties among Jews and among Israelis in the Jewish State of Israel. Remember that this is the very same newspaper that didn’t see the need to highlight atrocities committed AGAINST Jews during the Holocaust, and buried important news stories about the crimes being committed, refusing to make these front page, headline stories.

  • Yosef Ben Chayim

    I am not sure what you are talking about, if the so-called accused were priests, of course the Times would write “2 Catholic priests” etc. These guys are supposedly, Chasidic Jews, therefore they state Orthodox Jews. Thanks YBC

  • stevenl

    NYT the greatest mediatic antisemite in the world.

  • fred

    The Anti Semitic New York Post at work. In the 3rd Reich they would have been glorified as a Arian projecting paper.Hatred against Jews is the heart & soul of this rag.
    Is it alright to shower hatred, manufactured lies upon Jews but not upon Muslims who are considered by the paper the paragons of virtue in the current world ?????

  • Dov

    I had enough. I canceled my subscription to the NYT and call on everyone else to do likewise. It has become the rag newspaper of the city. Shame on the editors of what used to be a great paper.

  • J. Shere

    Why are you doing this?

    Do you hate the Jewish People?

    I have learned that your paper does show bias.

    Shame on you if this is your policy. I will never pick up your paper if I continue to hear bias and antiseptic news from your paper.

  • That is because “Orthodox Jews” as such go deliberately and specifically out of their ways – most obviously in appearance to d-i-f-f-e-r-e-n-t-i-a-t-e themselves. Goes with the territory.

    • Thom McCann

      Jews job in the world is to separate themselves from the gentile world and set a higher example of behavior by practicing their authentic traditions of thousands of years.

      Not doing so turns the gentile world against them.

      Unfortunately as we see in history.

  • brenrod

    some one should ask the reporters why they did it and the editor why he let it through… send a reporter to ask the times.

  • tiki

    Of course we are held to a higher standard. That is between us and G-d. It is shame on all of us that the issue is with any Jew. We are all in this together.

    It would do well for the NY Times to feature the book, World Perfect, by Ken Sprio, for balance.

    Balance is a foreign concept to the NY Times. They do not tell the truth, they distort the truth. I can still remember how they had the wrong title to a picture of a Jewish person–that he was attacking Arabs when in reality they were attacking him!!!!!

  • anon

    If anything good is done by a person of color you can bet there’ll be a picture or that they’ll mention it.

  • Francis Figliola

    One reason I killed my subscription to the NYTimes and instead subscribe to the WSJ, thanks to the partisan machinations the NYTimes carries on with, the slant, the bias, let’s face it, the advocacy!

    • Thom McCann

      The inmates have taken over the asylum.

      Have you read some of the NY Times editorials recently?

      Don’t be surprised at the content of the NY Times in the past decade.

      “A gay man–Richard Berke–is now the national editor and a so-called “gay mafia”—which includes Ben Brantley, Frank Bruni, Stuart Elliot, Adam Nagourney, and Eric Wilson—hold key positions at the paper.”

      (August 15th, 2010 http://www.mediaite.com/print/how-the-times-have-changed-for-gays-and-the-grey-lady/)

      Columnist Charles Blow recently admitted to being bi-sexual.

      Editors run at least one (sometimes more) articles about sexual deviant daily.

  • Lia

    The NYT has, for years now, not been a real newspaper, but part of a morass of bad reporting.

  • Rabbi Schmule

    Yes, its always a worry when the Truth comes out.

    What next? The NYT’s quoting Rabbi Ovadia Yosef on what he and the books of Talmud and Shulkan Aruk REALLY think of non jews. Imagine.

    You seem a little slow sometimes on what is brewing.

    I love your honesty though. I think you are the best resource ever on all subjects “jewy”.

  • anna

    what do you expect of Hitler’s PR paper.
    they have not changed.

  • Joel Kolk

    Nothing new here. I recall its hatchet job re an allegation of sexual molestation in the subway. Canceled out many years ago and wish they would stop welcoming me back.

  • Rob Myers

    Mention of the religion IS pertinent. It’s all part of the Grand Jewish Conspiracy to take over the world. Sarcasm assumed….