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March 22, 2016 7:33 am

On the Question of Trump’s ‘Antisemitism,’ the New York Times Contradicts Itself

avatar by Ira Stoll

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Donald Trump delivering his address at the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington. Photo: Youtube/Screenshot.

Donald Trump delivering his address at the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington. Photo: Youtube/Screenshot.

Two articles in the New York Times, published on successive days, have served up diametrically opposed accounts of whether people think Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, is antisemitic.

Monday’s article, by my former New York Sun and Forward colleague Jonathan Mahler, reported, “Virtually no one thinks Mr. Trump is anti-Semitic.”

Tuesday’s article, which carried the joint bylines of Mark Landler and Maggie Haberman, reported that Trump mentioned in his remarks at the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee that his daughter Ivanka “is about to have a beautiful Jewish baby.”

The Tuesday Times article goes on: “The remarks reflected Mr. Trump’s genuine frustration at being labeled anti-Semitic by some critics.”

Who are these “critics”? The Times doesn’t say. But it is a jarring juxtaposition. One day, the newspaper tells us that “virtually no one thinks Mr. Trump is anti-Semitic.” The next day, the paper turns around and announces, to the contrary, that enough “critics” have labeled Mr. Trump “anti-Semitic” to have genuinely frustrated the candidate himself.

How the Times was able to determine that Trump’s frustration was genuine is another interesting question, one upon which, alas, the newspaper doesn’t share any answers with readers.

Perhaps the use of the word “virtually” allows both of these Times articles to be accurate simultaneously in some hyperlegal, technical sense. A reader could also come away with the impression, though, that there’s either some kind of internal dispute within the Times on the topic, or that the second-day crew unearthed “some critics” that Mr. Mahler’s first-day dispatch overlooked. It would be a fine area for some additional reporting by the Times. Perhaps the paper will see fit to issue a correction to one of the two articles.

More of Ira Stoll’s media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here.

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  • Dr. William Lloyd Cole

    Perhaps a few of us (Humans) who honestly try TO BE, SIMPLY
    HUMAN, recall the Best seller
    Everything I needed to know, I learned in Kinder Garden?
    Now if we comprehended these back to back stories; read them again please? Donald Trump…maybe anti GumChewing
    AntiJewish? Read these again, while you laugh you to has off.
    TO LIFE, the only reality
    Finally uncovered the person who wrote in the New Testament; It is easier for a camel to pass through a needles eye, then it is for a rich man to get into heaven.

  • Sue Deutsch

    There are several issues here. One is, of course, whether Donald Trump is actually an anti-Semite. It is pretty clear that he isn’t. Another issue is whether he is NOT anti-Semitic means he would make a good President. Naturally we would hope that none of the presidential candidates are anti-Semites. It is an important criterion for our support. But it is not enough to make a possible candidate a good choice for President of the United States.

  • RiverKing

    Or just ignore the NYT as we have been doing for years out here in flyover country.

    BTW, the Reply button doesn’t work on a Windows phone. My remark was intended to be a reply to Emanuel but I had to cancel the browser session and restart it to enter this comment.

  • Lia

    Part of the Obama-fostered intellectual disconnect, philosophical dichotomy, political correctness. Any American who cannot argue that two opposites can be true at the same time is not worth the name.

  • Mike P.

    The New York Times is enough of a propaganda rag under the Sulzbergers, you know, the self-hating Jewish family that buried the Holocaust while it was happening, back in a one-inch article deep in the middle of the paper, where nobody would read it.

    The Sulzbergers have been sullying Israel ever since.

  • kern

    “Virtually no one thinks Mr. Trump is anti-Semitic.”

    “The remarks reflected Mr. Trump’s genuine frustration at being labeled anti-Semitic by some critics.”

    Never thought that I would be defending the New York Times. However, the two quotes cited by Ira Stoll are are neither mutually exclusive nor likely inaccurate.

    Firstly, the media distorted Trump’s remarks about wanting to be able to help Israel and the Palestinian Arabs to secure peace in order to paint Trump as being tepid in his support for Israel. I assume that when the New York Times realized that virtually no one who is pro Israel would buy their distortions about this long time and solid supporter of Israel, the Times admitted the obvious truth (Quote 1). Apparently, Trump or a spokesman related to a Times reporter that he was frustrated by the ginned up implications by the press (and surely repeated by some of his political rivals) that implied that he was antisemitic (Quote 2) which I will again note virtually no one believed.

    Maybe, Stoll can explain to us why, in such fraught with danger times, he is wasting his time and ours on such meaningless nonsense.

  • stevenl

    The NYT being a problem and being antisemitic has no credibility.

  • Steven Casman

    It’s very simple – the New York Times will “report” (or rather and more accurately imply, whether truthful or not) just about *anything* in its attempts to leave its readers with a generally negative impression of Mr.Trump, even when it is not factually or otherwise objectively deserved.

  • Ephraim

    There is still an active writer from the New York Sun? Wow! You find something new every day!

  • Bryna Weiss

    I was ashamed of the huge applause given by a Jewish audience to the low-life Donald Trump. He is exactly the kind of demagogue that all Americans, and especially Jews, should repudiate.
    Israel doesn’t need phony ‘supporters’ like Trump, who will turn on a dime against Israel when it suits his needs.

    • Stan Nadel

      Trum is the P.T. Barnum of this year’s election–counting on the notion that “there’s a sucker born every minute.”

  • Allan Richte

    The first edition of Algemeiner I ever received featured Algemeiner honoring Mr. Trump. Of recent the democrats have taken to calling anyone who is not a democrat a bigot.

  • Emanuel

    This is another expression of doublethink, it was started by Obama and it breeds nihilism, apathy and anarchism; accept two opposing views and go on with your life, it make’s no sense just accept it. Maybe America needs to wake up to Carlos Slim and the reality that the NYT is a foreign owned propaganda rag.

    • Roz Shorenstein

      Excellent comment