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July 12, 2021 3:08 pm
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New York Times Belatedly Finds Stabbing of Chabad Rabbi Fit to Cover, at Least Online

avatar by Ira Stoll

Opinion

A taxi passes by in front of The New York Times head office, Feb. 7, 2013. Photo: Reuters / Carlo Allegri / File.

Better late than never.

Two days after an Algemeiner column faulted the New York Times for failing to cover the July 1 stabbing of a rabbi in Boston, the Times waddled in with an online-only article bringing its readers up to date on the story.

The Times article, headlined, “Man Charged With Hate Crimes in Stabbing of Rabbi in Boston,” includes four paragraphs from the accused assailant’s defense lawyer, Stephen J. Weymouth, who told the Times the new hate crime charges were “based on some very weak evidence.”

The attack had drawn immediate coverage from outlets including the Associated Press, CNN, Fox News, and the Daily Mail, even as the New York Times skipped it. A rally against antisemitism, organized in response to the attack, attracted Boston’s acting mayor, the district attorney, and a member of Congress.

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The Algemeiner column had speculated that the Times might have been ignoring the story because “a fair-minded, thorough investigation into such attacks might eventually force the newspaper to examine unflinchingly the role that the Times’ own coverage has played in inciting the violence.” It also wondered whether the Times had lost interest in the antisemitism issue “now that antisemitism is not so readily blamed on Donald Trump.”

Whether or not such motives or explanations accounted for the Times’ initial lapse, they apparently weren’t quite strong enough to prevent the paper from covering the attack entirely, albeit belatedly. Here’s hoping the Times stays with the case of Khaled Awad, who has pleaded not guilty in the attack on Rabbi Shlomo Noginski outside a Jewish school building, as it works its way through the justice system.

Ira Stoll was managing editor of The Forward and North American editor of The Jerusalem Post. His media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here.

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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