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January 24, 2014 3:04 pm

EXCLUSIVE: New York Times Slammed for Bias on Billboard in Front of Times Square HQ (INTERVIEW)

avatar by Joshua Levitt

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CAMERA's billboard in front of New York Times headquarters. Photo: Screenshot / Twitter / @JCCWatch.

CAMERA's billboard in front of New York Times headquarters. Photo: Screenshot / Twitter / @JCCWatch.

The New York Times was confronted on its home turf on Friday by a giant billboard in plain view of its Times Square, New York City, headquarters that accuses the media group of slanting its news against Israel.

The billboard was put up by CAMERA, the  Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, and will be up for the next six months.

It reads: “Would a great newspaper slant the news against Israel? The New York Times does.”

In the ad, CAMERA accuses the newspaper of “Misrepresenting facts, omitting key information, skewing headlines and photos” and exhorts it to “Stop the bias.”

The billboard includes a link to a section on the CAMERA website that provides backup for the argument, as well as linking to a six-month study published as a monograph that makes the same case.

In an exclusive interview with The Algemeiner, CAMERA Senior Research Analyst Gilead Ini said he has yet to learn of a reaction from the newspaper about the billboard, which went up on Friday morning, but he said, “I assume they’re not happy.”

Ini is a co-author, with Ricki Hollander, of ‘Indicting Israel: New York Times Coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict,’ the CAMERA monograph about the newspaper’s reporting.

“The New York Times is famous for holding other powers accountable, and I know they feel a lot less comfortable with the spotlight on them; it’s safe to assume they’re not happy about this,” he said.

The rationale behind the giant billboard, CAMERA’s first, is “not something that comes out of the blue,” Ini said.

“We want them to pay attention, but this is not something that comes out of the blue, more of a continuum of a conversation. Over the years, we’ve met with their editors about our concerns, published a study zooming into fine detail about the nature of how they view news against Israel, published a monograph about our study, have run ads in the New York City area to get their attention; basically, we really do want them to hear our message every day.”

He said when they learned about the availability of the billboard space, in view of The New York Times‘s headquarters, CAMERA jumped at the opportunity because the newspaper’s management would be “forced to contend with it.”

While multiple attempts to reach The Times’s communication department were unsuccessful on Friday morning, several people who picked up the telephone within the organization confirmed that they saw the billboard. “I can’t see it from this side of the building, but I definitely did on my way in this morning,” one assistant told The Algemeiner. “Ya, it was pretty ugly,” said another.

CAMERA’s Ini said this was the Boston-based watchdog’s “first foray” into really confronting The Times in such a grand fashion and is a “step up” to raise awareness.

“This is a very influential newspaper read by millions and policy makers and people should know the facts about how they’re misleading readers,” Ini said.

As to the effectiveness of CAMERA’s approach, Ini says that it works.

“Sometimes we hear back directly when our work has immediate effect,” he said, adding that CAMERA has been successful at forcing the newspaper to issue retractions in the past and, on one story, three times.

“We contacted their editors about the misrepresenting of a UN resolution, and we pushed them, and they corrected it again, and again, and a third time, until the editor finally stood up and reprimanded the journalists, having them accept the fact they made a mistake.”

He said that question was about The Times’ reporting of the Camp David accords, under U.S. President Bill Clinton, and specifically the wording used to describe UN Security Resolution 242, with The Times reporters reading into details that didn’t exist in the actual text.

“The newspaper is violating its own code of ethics, and we believe this policy of confronting them and publicizing their mistakes works,” he said.

In CAMERA’s monograph about The Times’ coverage of Israel, Ini highlighted the reporting of Jodi Rudoren, the paper’s Jerusalem correspondent, who happens to be Jewish, among others.

“Problems continue with her work and the question of fairness may have gotten worse since she started. There’s a tendency to editorialize that puts harsh opinions into news articles where they don’t belong. Of course, the editorial pages can publish whatever opinions they want, but news coverage should be more impartial.”

He said that one example is the subtle use of loaded adjectives to describe Israeli leaders, describing them as “shrill, stubborn, strident, abrasive, or cynical.”

“These types of adjectives have no scope coming out of a reporter’s mouth,” he said. “They might be fine for the opinion pages, but that’s something we’re promised won’t happen in a news story by a paper that says they cover news impartially.”

Rudoren’s Judaism doesn’t mean her reporting is more balanced than others, he said.

“Historically, being a Jewish reporter doesn’t mean you’re more fair, or accurate or balanced, or even reasonable about Israel. When you look at the range of voices out there, being Jewish doesn’t play a predictable role in the fairness of a newspaper’s coverage,” Ini said.

“Whether this is intentional or overcompensation, we don’t know, but what we do know is that was the case with The Times during the Holocaust when there was an intentional move to distance the paper from Jewish issues so as not to be seen as a Jewish paper because its owners were Jewish.”

There is also “a popular misconception” that The Times is still owned by Jews — the Sulzberger family is no longer Jewish, but Episcopalian, Ini said.

The chairman of the newspaper’s parent company is Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr., who was born to an Episcopalian mother and Jewish father, and he was raised Episcopalian – “he was basically not born a Jew,” Ini confirms. “That’s another total misconception brought to you by people who think Jews own all the media – well, they do not own this one.”

CAMERA counts 65,000 members among its supporters, with a mission to hold “communications media to traditional journalism standards of accuracy, objectivity, context, comprehensiveness, balance, prompt correction of errors and absence of conflicts of interest.”

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  • Jeff

    I am very happy that an organization finally has the guts to stand up to the NY Times! I cancelled my subscription years ago primarily due to its blatant unfair coverage of Israel. And I will not be reinstating it until I see major changes with the newspaper.

  • Nick Jansen

    From this article and comments, I’ve decided on two things:
    1) Join Camera…TODAY
    2) Cancel my subscription to the NEW YORK SLIMES.

  • george green

    Bias is in the eye of the beholder.
    Unfortunately the NYT bias is there.
    Also the NYT expects so much more of israel than it does of any other country in the Mid east region.
    Why is that?

  • Prof Asher J Matathias

    It is good to observe that discerning readers are demonstrating that even the venerable NY Times errs, and deserves to be taken down a peg, periodically, when found the be wanting in its coverage of Israel, or any other subject. Fairness, balance, and innovative are adjectives more aligned with its storied history than the poor imitator, Fox News, practicing faux journalism. While criticism is warranted, at times, in the Times, we must maintain our links with this premier organ of information, and is foolhardy to express our occasional piqué by canceling subscriptions or denouncing the whole for the errors, as we see them, in particular coverage.

  • I cannot understand how an intelligent man such as Robert Friedman has such a poor understanding of the conflict between the Arabs and the Jews concerning the State of Israel.Does he not recognize the hatred of the Arabs to the Jews and their desire to wipe Israel off the map.Perhaps if he visited an Israeli town and had a rocket up his ass he would get the message.

  • Arthur Wulf

    The only two Jewish organizations you should contribute to are CAMERA and FLAME. The person who came up with this idea to post this sign should get a giant Hanukah bonus. This is the first really meaningful act to publicize the incompetence of the NY Times, and their hateful bias. The biggest anti-semites are Jews, who are ashamed of their religion and background.
    All 65,000 members should sent $25 to CAMERA, and have them post the same signs across the street from 60 miutes, and the Guardian and BBC. I am sending my $25 now, I challenge you to do the same thing.
    ASWENTER

  • Marty Zukoff

    Unfortunately, the NYT is the bible of faculties (mainly Humanities, Social Science & Middle East Studies)in universities throughout the country. These professors are swallowing the lies & the bias of the NYT and are passing them along to their students. The NYT is helping to produce our next generation of leaders who have been educated to hate Israel.

  • Mike

    It’s about time this is put out so all can see. Up until now I see their reports in Jewish newspapers. Those who read these papers already know the bias in the media but it needed to get out to the masses. By calling on the editors or writers and asking for apology or retraction – no one sees those. Who really reads the corrections? So those who read the lies put in the papers, NY Times included, never see the truth. I believe this has helped encourage the anti-semitism, the boycott movements – all done by idiots who never really research for the facts. They read the Times and other rags and think what they read is the truth.

    Kudos to Camera for finally putting this where all can see how much the NY Times lies.

  • Richard Allen

    CAMERA has done a wonderful service by putting the Bias in the NYTimes right in their face.

    The CAMERA organization deserves our support. We see the ADL, JCRC’s and the UJA -Federations abdicating their responsibilities in calling out the bias against Israel.

    I will not financially support these failing organizations. When one thinks that the NY UJA-Federation fights for groups that support the boycott of Israeli companies to march in the Israel Day Parade, we know our leadership has failed. The ADL returns pennies on the dollar in effectiveness. The 92St Y hosts the leaders of the Boycott Israel Movement. All are Failures in protecting our Jewish Survival.

    Thank You CAMERA, you can expect my continued membership and admiration.

  • Ron Bier

    I’ve read the Times for over 40 years. I no longer buy that filthy rag and I urge other people to do the same.

  • dan kaplan

    well camera, i guess i’ll have to bump up my 2013 contribution for 2014. how about the rest of you readers ?

  • Derek Brown

    Well done!!!Totally unconscionable the way the New York misrepresents almost every reference to any event or action by the State of Israel. It is beyond comprehension that their editors let the reporters publish articles which are inaccurate and defy historical facts with such impunity. I will never buy another one of their newspapers until they correct their clear policy of being anti Israel and their clouded anti-Semitism.

  • Rob

    This is just the beginning. The NY Times has evolved into a morally bankrupt, arrogant, and unworthy publication, with little journalistic value, desperate to curry the favor of the mindless masses and the politically correct and propagate the distorted left wing narrative. It is high time to get serious about exposing and debunking this mendacious, worthless rag.

  • Jurema Swartz

    Congratulations to Camera. Job well done. Keep the good work forcing the NYT editors and reporters face their own cowardice and bias against Israel and blind eye for the islamic Supremacist ideology that is spreading all over the world and need to be stopped like Nazism finally was.

  • Eric Shkolnik

    I was born in USSR – have a bit of experience with propaganda. The NY Times is the vanguard of Communists and Islamic deceit. I love this billboard!!!

  • Andrew Kane

    Well done! Any chance Camera can shine their light on the BBC?

  • isaac brajtman

    So why is NY Times so biased and telling half truth or blatant lies. / What is their agenda?

    • john

      NYT was probably threatened by that no-count president obummer

  • R

    But jus’ think…the NY Times is still a great wrapper for fish and other garbage. It’s so round, so firm, so fully packed. So free and easy with the truth.

    • BonniePrinceCharlie

      You don’t even have to put garbage in it. It comes to you full of garbage already!!!

  • Lynn Friedman

    Bravo Camera! Put it in their face!!I wouldn’t mind a poster in front of Bob Simon’s(60 minutes)office. We cannot negotiate with people who hate us. Hate is an emotion not logic. Lets remember to financially support Camera. More posters!

  • Fleur

    Hip hip hooray! I hope this is the “beginning of the end” of the battle of the media against Israel. Let’s hope that the organisations defending Israel also start to take the initiative and take the battle to those who lie and defame the Great Jewish State the leading light in a world of darkness!

    • gonjtonic

      Please do not say HEP HEP HURRAY…This saying was born during the crusades and it means: “Herusalem Es Perdida (Jerusalem is lost) and it was shouted to the Jews during the battle for Jerusalem…..

  • Neil Horlock

    Hopefully we won’t see Mr. Cuomo step in and have the advertisement removed! I love it when people step up and speak out about the bias of our media.

  • Judah Soledad

    I too applaud CAMERA’s audacious and brilliant move to stick it to those who perpetuate untruths, false narratives and blatantly anti-Israel propaganda. Kudos, congratulations, both thumbs up.

    I do want to add, however, Mr. Ini’s own subtle and slanted commentary saying that Mr. Ochs Sulzberger Jr., “was basically not born a Jew.” I find that rather uncalled for and offensive. First because to deal judiciously with the topic “Who is a Jew,” you would need another article of about 5,000 words. Jewish identification is based on birthright, ancestral issues as well as cultural and religious ones. And the canard that a person is only “half Jewish” if the mother isn’t Jewish is fallacious according to our biblical record. (Again, this is a very involved topic and those who hold the Talmudic dispositions on an equal or higher plane than the “Writings” themselves will argue that I am an idiot, which is their right.)

    I, like Mr. Wolfe (btw, nice diatribe!) am proud of my Jewish heritage, proud to have been at the Skokie demonstration-to-be (waiting to welcome Mr. Collins and his demonic allies) in 1978 and just as proud to say I and many other Jews love our Jewish Messiah. Am I less of a Jew because we disagree on a theological view? How absurd.

    As Jews, let’s embrace differences, even those we don’t understand. Pray for them, educate them (which the banner does MOST effectively) but let’s not disparage them. Only One judges righteously and there but for the grace of G-d go I. Keep up the good work CAMERA.

  • Sarah Biser

    Finally, media that accurately prints the news that fit to print. Thank you. A job well done.

  • Emanuel

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I cannot say thank you enough. These are criminals protecting criminals and governments protecting criminals and I hope CAMERA buys 10 more billboards just like this one and causes so much damage to the NYT that they are forced to file suit or sell the company. I hope CAMERA lawyers are ready but there are enough instances of intentional recklessness and indifference to the truth repeatedly over years on the organizational level. I hope the NYT realizes the costs to defend such an action will bankrupt them. If CAMERA needs money to fight this they only need to ask and I hope the community will support them until this is over. I am ready to do my part.

  • Fritz Kohlhaas

    WOW! Terrific idea! Let the NYT choke on their own poison!

  • CAMERA is to be Congratulated – Big Time!!

    The Jewish “Defense Organizations” are useless.

    The NYT does not report… it FABRICATES “facts” and then others build on the fakery.

    I hope the NYT staff chokes on the ad!

  • Harold Parritz

    Well done!

  • Dr. Kurt Hengl

    Astonishing what CAMERA could achieve with this big poster – the idea looks now so logical and easy, should be copied in Europe too. You only need a big space in front of the HQs of the “independent” fourth power of society.

  • Herb Grossman

    CAMERA should also mention, at least on occasion, Thomas Friedman, who perfected the technique of castigating his fellow Jews and the Jewish state, almost always unfairly, to bestow on himself the undeserved aura of objectivity. He was almost a pioneer in demonstrating how a Jewish journalist could utilize antisemitism for personal and professional advancement and blazed the trail for other similar-minded Jewish NY Times journalists like Erlanger, Bronner, Kershner, Greenberg, Rudoren, Haberman, etc, who have, in turn, stabbed their fellow Jews in the back with unfair reporting for professional advancement.

    • Marcus

      If you doubt this is true, search for a report in the Times of Canadian prime minister Harper’s visit to Israel and speech to the Knesset. Criticism of Israel is always reported. But support is apparently not newsworthy. By the way, did the times report Australian fm bishop’s remarks about the settlements?

      • Beatrix

        Julie Bishop, Australia’s FM was the first person I heard question the illegality of Israeli settlements. My question: The Arab Palestinians were to receive the West Bank and Gaza Strip but went to war instead in 1948 losing to Jordan and Egypt. Israel won the West Bank and Gaza from Jordan and Egypt in 1967. Since the Arab Palestinians didn’t own the land, would Israel’s settlements be illegal?

        • Emanuel

          Very good and complicated question. The ICC has no jurisdiction over the Palestinians because they have refused statehood over a dozen times when it has been offered. No deal was ever more generous than what Kerry just offered and their response was to threaten to bomb tel aviv and send Abbas to Russia to sign a contract to export natural gas and cut the peace talks short. There is nothing illegal about Israeli settlements under international law, if there were, don’t you think something would have been done by now?

          • Beatrix

            I agree with you, but every time you read about settlements, they’re described as illegal. How do we change that narrative? I’m not a lawyer but I would appreciate legal backing. Now the left controls the narrative and that’s because the Arab Palestinians use Arafat’s language from the 1960 when racism, apartheid, and ethnic cleansing were legitimate concerns. But this has nothing to do with today’s issue which concerns two people fighting over a piece of land the size of New Jersey.

    • Emanuel

      Self-loathing Antisemitic Jews are the most harmful bastards on earth and deserve no mercy. Islamists are sensible in comparison to these turds because these “Journalists” and “Activists” know what they are doing is spreading lies and hate and they do it anyway clothed in credibility and undeserved respect.

      • BuckDePublick

        AGREED!

    • Thomas Friedman appears in our New York Times page:

      http://www.camera.org/nytimes/

  • S Koncepolski

    Bravo bravo to Camera for putting up this billboard! Keep up the good work! Where can one donate to camera!

  • Kosher Cooterman

    CAMERA had the guts to do what legacy Jewish organizations would not. The legacy agencies can’t take time away from their fundraising to do something bold or take action beyond issuing a statement expressing ‘disappointment’.

  • I invite comments on my comment about the NY Times refusal to discuss the fact that Islam is an ideology based on ancient fiction.

    • It’s not p.c. – and it IS dangerous to challenge Islam.
      From the intolerance, to the barbarism, to the brainwashed adherents believing in Islam’s “supremacy” Islam is violent and filled with Jew hatred (as its first target).

      So “believing” in Islam’s promise of Paradise if killed, or the booty if one lives, Muslims wounded, are the worst patients. Doctors attending them, that have tended US wounded say the differences in reports of pain level are astounding.

    • Emanuel

      Here is my comment: We need you! If Islam is a hoax and you have the proof everyone deserves the information. There are many, many major tv and film producers, directors and media outlets who would be proud to work with you. Take your pick of New York, Los Angeles or Miami and please share this story to a much wider audience. What you have to offer has the potential save countless lives and end immeasurable suffering. Reach out to every major Jewish media personality, start with Spielberg and work down the list until you find a partner who shares your vision. Thank you!

  • My real name is Burton H. Wolfe. I do not hide behind invented names. I am Jewish. I am the author of a book which was used (and still may be used) as the definitive source for study in high schools across the U.S. of the Hitler/Nazi phenomenon, HITLER AND THE NAZIS (Putnam). As one of the most knowledgeable persons on the planet as to the combined subjects of Nazism and Islamism, I am here to tell you that the major crime of the New York Times is failing and refusing to reveal the Nazi-Islamist connection of the last century and failing and refusing to discuss the fact that “Allah” (the sine qua non for Islam) is nothing more than the invention of an unknown Seventh Century scribe, that “the Prophet Mohammed” is nothing more than the invention of Eighth Century scribes, that Islam is a total fraud on humanity, and all of the Allahu-akbaring and violence being committed all over the world by Arab Muslim genocidal maniacs is the result of alleged belief in ancient fiction. If the New York Times were forced to face those indisputable facts, where would its writers and editors be in their genuflecting to the followers, adherents, and worldwide leaders of what amounts to a violent, genocidal, lunatic ideology based on ancient fiction? I will be discussing much more of this in my online column “The Wolfe’s Lair,” and meanwhile I congratulate the brave people of CAMERA for what they are doing, and I would be only too happy to partner with them if they would like me to do so.

    • Steve Butman

      Right on!!!

    • SA Zeigler

      I shall be visiting your website. Very little has ever been mentioned about the “Handschar”, “Skanderbeg”, and “Kama” volunteer divisions, nor the activities of Mohammad Amin al-Husayni,Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in the formation of these units.

    • Al

      Well said. Sounds like it’s time for a poster of your own.

    • David Most

      AMEN!

      Sadly we have a President who fondly reminisces about his life’s experiences as a Muslim. I have never heard him or the NYTimes ever suggest that radical Islam is behind any of the conflicts and violence occurring in the world today.

      The AP style manual gave us the word “militant” to avoid offending any of our so-called Muslim freinds by calling terrorism what it really is: obedience to Koranic imperatives.!

  • Rosewood11

    The New York Times BIASED!!!!?!!!! Who’d have thought it!!!!

    • Alan Gutman

      I am a subscriber to Camera and they are wonderful. However, for an idiot to say President Obama is a Muslim is so typical of the insanity of some of those on the right. george bush is more connected to Muslims than any Prez ever. His family and the Bin Ladens have been close for 40 years. bush escorted the Bin Laden family out of the US on 9/11. bush invaded Iraq which had NOTHING to do with attacking us and turned it into an Al Qaeda fortress when Al Qaeda didn’t exist prior to this. bush made IRAN the big winner because now, 90% of Americans are against involvement in the Middle East because of bush the idiot. Who killed Osama Bid Laden? Who killed more terrorists in 8 months than bush did in 8 years? Who got us out of the quagmire in Iraq? Yes, president Obama, a true Christian.

      • Alan Gutman, whit one L and one T, are you a Muslim or a communist or both because you have the same ideas as Obama.

  • Arthur Abelowitz

    The year was 1968, the location was Columbia University. The scene: Student takeover, student protesters being abused by police.
    The Times: Reporter taking pictures of police abuse had camera seized and was ruffed up by the police.
    The story never appeared in the Times.
    Why? Times publisher was on the BOD of Columbia.

    No they haven’t changed their stripes.

  • Robert Feldman

    BRAVO TO A BRAVE AND PATRIOTIC HERO GROUP…CAMERA.

  • M.A. Kinamohn

    I am one of the 65,000 supporters and the Times is a rag!

  • Jerome Verlin

    Effectively countering mainstream media anti-Israel bias involves [1] documenting instance after instance from the same source, which CAMERA did here, and [2] our own media taking note of it, which Algemeiner did here. Thanks, thanks.

Algemeiner.com