The News Unfit to Print in The New York Times
The case of Jordan Burnette and his repeated attacks on synagogues in New York’s Bronx borough comes at a period when hate crimes against Jews in New York are at alarmingly high levels.
Over a period of several nights in late April, the 29-year-old Burnette went on a vandalism spree, smashing windows,
The case garnered widespread media coverage, in Jewish, local, regional, national and even international media outlets. The Riverdale Press, Gothamist, New York Daily News, Newsday, and the The New York Post covered the story, as did the Associated Press, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News
One major media outlet, however, stood out as an exception, even though it is New York-based.
The New York Times, which touts itself as the “paper of record,” apparently did not consider coverage of the antisemitic hate crimes fit for its pages, not even in its local New York section. Nor did it report on a newly-released report by the Anti-Defamation League showing that
It’s not as if The New York Times desists from reporting on hate crimes. During the same period that it ignored hate crimes targeting the Jewish community, it ran at least a dozen articles referencing hate crimes against other minorities.
So why didn’t editors find the story about antisemitic hate crime newsworthy? Perhaps they did not find the vandalism of synagogues worth mentioning because the perpetrator was not a white supremacist — rendering his crimes therefore less compelling, or at least not supporting their concept of antisemitism as emanating from Nazis, the far-right, and white supremacists. Or perhaps the newspaper was just reverting to its pattern of reporting during the Holocaust, when it deliberately downplayed news about the persecution of Jews by the Nazis (as Northeastern University journalism professor Laurel Leff documented in her book, Buried by the Times).
What is clear is that even as antisemitism rises, you can’t count on learning about it from the Times.
Ricki Hollander is a senior analyst at CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.