« San Francisco Chronicle Headline: Palestinians Attackers Are the Victim | Main | Iran Increases Cyberattacks Against the United States; Where's the Coverage? »

November 29, 2015

Another Palestinian Attack, Another NY Times Whitewash

Dec. 1 Update Appended to Bottom of Post: Editors Improve Headline

For the second time in one week, a New York Times headline casts Palestinian attackers as victims. On Friday, two Palestinians who rammed vehicles into groups of Israeli soldiers in two separate incidents, injuring eight, were killed by troops on the scene. The grossly distorted The New York Times headline for the Associated Press news brief on these attacks was: "West Bank: Palestinians Killed After Hit-and-Run Attacks."

nyt Palestinians killed after hit and run.JPG

Readers who glance only at headlines and don't bother with the accompanying item would reasonably conclude that Palestinians were the victims of the hit and-run attacks, as opposed to the perpetrators.

The original AP headline for an earlier version of the brief was much more accurate than The Times' headline. It at least referred to an attack on Israelis: "Palestinian killed after West Bank attack on Israeli troops." A later version of the AP story explicitly identified the Palestinians as the attackers: "2 Palestinians killed after attacking troops." (Source: Lexis-Nexis.)

In other words, Times editors discarded AP's relatively sound, if not 100 percent perfect, headlines, and actively replaced them with a headline which obfuscated Palestinian responsibility for violence.

In related news, New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren has announced that after finishing four years in the position, she will be returning to New York to serve as deputy at the paper's foreign desk.

The Times of Israel article on Rudoren's departure reports:

As with The New York Times in general, Rudoren has faced some criticism from pro-Israel activists for her coverage of the region. Pro-Israel media watchdog CAMERA includes dozens of entries on Rudoren’s alleged anti-Israel bias on its website.

About Rudoren's arrival at the foreign desk, Times foreign editor Joe Kahn tweeted last week:

Tweet Joe Kahn Rudoren.JPG

With Rudoren at the foreign desk, can we expect to see more or less Times headlines falsely depicting Palestinian assailants as victims? Time will tell.

(Note: As bureau chief, Rudoren was not responsible for headlines. As a deputy at the foreign desk, she presumably would have some responsibility for headlines.)

Dec. 1 Update: Editors Improve Headline

Following communication from CAMERA's Israel office, along with the publication of this post, editors have improved the headline. As of this writing, the amended headline is "West Bank: Palestinians Killed After Attacks on Troops."

nyt headline Palestinians killed after attacks on troops.JPG

The improved headline is not perfect. It does not state that the Palestinians who were killed were the perpetrators of the attacks on the troops, though readers may (or may not) infer that information. Also, it does not identify the targeted troops as Israeli. (As mentioned above, AP's original headline, in contrast, was "Palestinian killed after West Bank attack on Israeli troops.") Again, from the new Times headline, readers may understand that the troops were Israeli, or maybe they won't. And the headline still leads with the killing of the Palestinian (attackers), as opposed to the fact that Palestinians attacked Israelis. Nevertheless, compared to the original headline in which the killed Palestinians appeared to be the victims of the hit-and-run attacks, the change is welcome.

Posted by TS at November 29, 2015 04:59 AM


Guidelines for posting

This is a moderated blog. We will not post comments that include racism, bigotry, threats, or factually inaccurate material.

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)