Op-Ed: Addendum (Reporting at the New York Times)


 Arthur Solomon

On May 23, I authored an OP-ED on this website titled, “Etcetera Reporting At The New York Times: A 10 Day Analysis Of Its Slanted Coverage Of The Israeli-Palestinian War From May 13 To May 23.” The title of the column is an abridged chronicle of the biased coverage in the Times news and opinion sections of the conflict, with examples to back up my accusations.

On May 22, I wrote, “The Surprise: Ever since the outbreak of hostilities, I have been counting the days before the Times ran an editorial on the situation, expecting it to be pro-Palestinian and, as usual, a condemnation of Israel. When it finally materialized, the editorial was titled, “New Ideas for Israel and the Palestinians.” The headline of the editorial is self-explanatory. But the surprise came in the second and third paragraphs. “Israelis should not have to live in fear of rockets raining down…” read a line in the second paragraph. The following graph contained a sentence that was the strongest about Israeli’s right to defend itself that I saw in a Times editorial in years.  It read, “Israeli has a right — even a responsibility – to put a stop to the rocket attacks at its source.”

I thought that the editorial forecast a more balanced coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian situation. I was wrong. On the following day, the Times resorted to its anti-Israel news coverage and published a huge story about the sufferings of Palestinians. It began on page one, accompanied by four portraits of Palestinians, and continued on two inside pages, accompanied by five more photos. The article was titled “The Misery of Life under Occupation.” Nowhere in the Times that day was there even one paragraph of how Israeli’s felt when one of their family was killed.

But it wasn’t until May 28 that I decided to again write about the situation. Some readers might agree with my May 23 article; others will disagree. But I hope that those Times readers on the side-lines will now have to at least consider my belief that the Times coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is even worse than Fox News coverage of Donald Trump’s Big Lie. At least readers of the crawl at Fox News can get a straightforward news report. Not so readers who depend on the Times for balanced reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian situation.

I titled my new Op-Ed “Addendum” because it describes both the on-going Times reporting of the situation and my belief that the Times is not an honest broker in its coverage.

My evidence: Under the headline, “They Were Only Children,” was the text, “At least 69 children were killed in the Israel-Hamas war this month. This is who they were,” accompanied by 64 photos of Palestinians.

The story continued on pages 10 and 11 with 67 more pictures of children, along with an article headlined, “Buried With Their Dreams and Nightmares.” In addition, there were three larger non-children pro-Palestinian photos.

And not surprisingly, the Times quote of the day on page 3, by a Palestinian child psychologist, said, “When I think about the children who died, I also think about the ones who survive, those who were pulled out of the rubble and lost a limb, or those who will go to school and see their friend is missing.”

As in the great preponderance of Times reporting on Israeli-Palestinian matters over the years, missing from the coverage was the suffering of Israelis who live under the constant threat of attacks from the Palestinians.

There are paid “news services” that provide client-approved articles to newspapers. Our business is paid by clients to obtain favorable coverage for clients.

Fox News opinion hosts acts like a PR arm of the GOP and the former twice-impeached president.  And as of May 28, the New York Times has officially become the PR firm for the Palestinians. And seemingly it’s being done pro bono by the Times.

The Unspoken PR Tenet: Bad News Is Good News for Our Business By Arthur SolomonAbout the Author: Arthur Solomon, a former journalist, was a senior VP/senior counselor at Burson-Marsteller, and was responsible for restructuring, managing and playing key roles in some of the most significant national and international sports and non-sports programs. He also traveled internationally as a media adviser to high-ranking government officials. He now is a frequent contributor to public relations publications, consults on public relations projects and is on the Seoul Peace Prize nominating committee. He can be reached at arthursolomon4pr (at) juno.com or artsolomon4pr@optimum.net.