Tuesday, March 26th | 19 Adar II 5779

March 22, 2018 1:14 pm

Not Fit To Print? New York Times Ignores Palestinian Insult of US Diplomat

avatar by Ira Stoll

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US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. Photo: Shiryn Solny.

The Palestinian president publicly called the American ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, a “son of a dog” — and The New York Times ignored it.

Readers relying on the print New York Times for their news would have found no mention of the insult, which the Times ignored, suppressed, censored, or subjected to a kind of news blackout.

Even for the online, web-only Times, where there are no space constraints or extra costs of paper, ink, or delivery, the newspaper didn’t cover the story with any staff reporters or even “special to the Times” exclusive freelancers. Instead it relied on wire service accounts — one from The Associated Press and another from Reuters.

Speaking of dogs, there may be a canine explanation for the lack of coverage. Maybe the editors see it as what in the newspaper business is known as a “dog bites man” story — something that happens so often that it isn’t particularly newsworthy, as opposed to a “man bites dog” story, which is rare enough that it merits attention.

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Even so, it’s hard to avoid seeing a double standard. If an Israeli prime minister had publicly described an American diplomat as a “son of a dog,” you can be sure that the Times would have been all over it with headlines, staff-written news articles, and op-ed columns.

Sometimes the evidence of New York Times bias comes not in the news they choose to cover, but in the news they choose to leave out of the paper. Its slogan is “All the News That’s Fit to Print,” but for some reason this news they found unfit to print.

It’s not the first time this year that the Times has sanitized incendiary comments by Mahmoud Abbas. Times coverage of a January speech by Abbas was faulted by Noah Pollak, writing in the Washington Free Beacon, for having “left out all the good stuff — the rank anti-Semitism, the crazed conspiracy theorizing, the threats of violence, the glorification of terrorists.” And also, he might have added, the dog insults.

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

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