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August 25, 2015 6:39 am

Half the News That’s Fit to Print

avatar by Benyamin Korn

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The New York Times building in New York, NY. Photo: Wiki Commons, via Haxorjoe.

The New York Times building in New York, NY. Photo: Wiki Commons, via Haxorjoe.

When Benjamin Netanyahu’s opponents accused him of excessive personal spending earlier this year, it was headline news in The New York Times. Guess how much space the Times allotted to the recent news that the Israeli prime minister’s spending has reached a five-year low.

When Netanyahu was under fire for supposedly lavish spending by the staff of the prime minister’s official residence, the NYT‘s Jerusalem bureau chief, Jodi Rudoren, could barely contain her delight at the opportunity to tarnish Netanyahu’s image.

The fact that the “story” broke at the height of Israel’s election campaign probably filled Rudoren with hope that she might be able to contribute to the downfall of a prime minister whose policies she obviously despises, despite her claim to be an objective journalist.

Rudoren’s extensive February 17 dispatch on the subject was nearly 1,000 words long, ranging over 16 paragraphs. She detailed such outrages as the suspicion that the Netanyahus had spent too much money on ice cream. Rudoren even sarcastically noted the favorite ice cream flavors of the prime minister and his wife.

To maintain the pretense of journalistic balance, Rudoren gave Netanyahu’s Likud Party a chance to have a say — with a grand total of two and a half sentences to respond to the litany of accusations.

Rudoren then proceeded to present anti-Netanyahu quotes from a professor, a newspaper columnist, the leaders of three different left-wing political parties and a political consultant (whose views merited two entire paragraphs).

For some reason, the editors at the Times saw nothing unbalanced about Rudoren’s selection of people to quote. When it comes to Netanyahu, five against and one in favor apparently strikes the Times as a perfectly reasonable ratio. It is, after all, the news organization that hired Jodi Rudoren in the first place.

An Israeli group called the “Movement for Freedom of Information” recently petitioned the Prime Minister’s Office to release its expenditure reports. No doubt the petitioners thought — recalling the February accusations — that the new information would make Netanyahu look bad. (Otherwise, why would they bother to demand it?)

The prime minister complied with the petitioners’ request. The expense reports consisted mostly of such urgent information as how much his staff spent last year on silverware and plumbing repairs. Not exactly earth-shaking stuff.

Surprisingly, however, the expense reports did contain something significant, after all. It turns out that the amount spent in 2014 was 19 percent less than that of the previous year. Not only that, but the total for 2014 was the lowest amount spent for the prime minister’s residence in the last five years.

What? The prime minister whom Jodi Rudoren and The New York Times depicted as a spendthrift with a lavish lifestyle is, in fact, nothing of the sort? The image that Netanyahu’s enemies have promoted in the hope of damaging him has been shattered by the facts?

How have Rudoren and her colleagues treated the news that reveals her previous depiction of Netanyahu was a fraud? Let’s put it this way: When it comes to certain stories, only half the news is fit to print at The New York Times. That is, the half that smears a political leader whom the Times dislikes. The other half — the news that exonerates a victim of the Times‘s wrath — is nowhere to be found.

Mr. Korn, chairman of the Philadelphia Religious Zionists, is former executive editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent and the Miami Jewish Tribune.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • E benAbuya

    Atthe the Yellow Hag Rag (nee Gray Lady) All the News is Print to Fit

  • sabasarge

    All I know is that my fish refuse to be wrapped in that rag.
    Together with Israel’s version, Ha’aretz, they are good for lining bird cages, no more no less

  • H. Givon

    Anyone familiar with the writing of Jodi Rudoren about Israel knows that she has a biased agenda in the interest of which she is willing to consistently distort facts. She has destroyed her own credibility by attempting to create moral equivalence between Israel and those who want to destroy her. The NY Times which once had a fine reputation is culpable in permitting one of its staff to abandon the ethical standards of reporting. Or is Rudoren just expressing the anti-Israel slant of her employer?

    • Francis Figliola

      They go together like Bonny and Clyde!

  • Jonathan

    Many years ago, the slogan “All the news that is fit to print” was in fact changed to “All the news that fits”.
    If it don’t fit the views of the NYT, it don’t get printed!

  • How are the NYTimes’s circulation figures? I thought nobody read it anymore.

  • marlene

    I don’t read or listen to reports of Netanyahu’s spending, except here. He’s probably the only world leader who can be trusted.

  • ted weiss

    Israel and Left in most part will be the downfall of the jewish people and Israel . They are the real enemy .The arabs follow them

  • Mickey Oberman

    As allowances must be made for Muslim utterances of hatred of the Jews because Muslims are Muslims are stupid, irrational ignoramuses so allowances must be made for The New York Times for the very same reasons.
    The Times long ago surrendered any pretence of being an honest, reliable source of news.
    It has happily assumed the crown of an anti Semitic propaganda rag full of lies, half truths and gleefully invented misinformation.
    May it meet its comeuppance in the very near future with the great pain and suffering that it wishes for Jews.

  • Ephraim

    All the lies unfit to print, isn’t that the Times’ real motto?

  • E Pluribus Wombat

    There must be a way to expel their staff from Israel and bar them from reentry for life. If it were Iran and they arrest reporters as spies, Obama doesn’t even care. It’s the least Israel should do.

    • Dov

      You are right. Just as Israel can put people in prison without a court decision, only on a suspicion that they were involved in a bombing, I am sure they can also arrest reporters of the NY Times as spies.

      But alas, the NY Times writers are not Jewish while the men arrested without due process are not only Jewish, but orthodox. So Israel does have a double standard, so why the uproar?