Israeli PM Netanyahu Denounces New York Times as ‘Fake News’
The prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, has denounced the New York Times for what he — in a YouTube video — called “fake news.”
The Algemeiner faulted the Times coverage in a May 2 article headlined, “New York Times Touts Hamas ‘Moderation,’ Ignores ‘Truly Disgusting’ Video in Which Group Taunts Bereaved Israeli Parents.”
Netanyahu’s video, published May 7, features the prime minister asking, “Ever wonder what ‘fake news’ is?”
Netanyahu took the Times to task for its headline touting purported “moderation” by the Hamas terrorist group.
“This is a complete distortion of the truth,” the prime minister says in the video.
“Is moving from calling for genocide of all Jews everywhere to calling just for the annihilation of Israel, is that progress, or moderation?” Netanyahu asks rhetorically. Then he answers his own question: “Only if you have no standards whatsoever.”
“It’s bad enough that Hamas lies to the world, we don’t also have to lie to ourselves,” he says.
The Times, which hyped the so-called Hamas moderation at the top of its front page, buried the news of the Netanyahu video in a single sentence in the 16th paragraph of an article complaining about a reorganization of Israel’s public broadcasting. The article itself appeared inside the newspaper, not on the front page.
The Times article included no hyperlink to the Netanyahu video that would allow readers to view it for themselves. The Times did, however, include a link to an article in the left-leaning Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz that defended the New York Times and accused Netanyahu of “[d]amaging a pillar of democracy — a free press that doesn’t hesitate to hold the powerful accountable.”
The Times coverage of Netanyahu’s accusation of journalistic distortion is itself a fine example of what the prime minister is complaining about. The Times may link to self-congratulation about holding “the powerful accountable.” But when someone like Netanyahu tries to hold the Times itself accountable, the Times gets into a defensive and dismissive crouch. It just proves Netanyahu’s point.
Watch Netanyahu’s video below:
More of Ira Stoll’s media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here.