NYT and Professor Netanyahu

At his United Nations address yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held up a cartoonish drawing of a bomb, an odd way to illustrate the supposed existential threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program.

People quickly posted parody versions of the bomb. But not everyone joined in the fun. Take a look at the New York Times (9/28/12), where Rick Gladstone and David Sanger wrote this:

With an almost professorial air, Mr. Netanyahu held up a diagram of a bomb with a fuse to show the Israeli view of Iran’s progress in achieving the ability to make a nuclear weapon. He drew a red line through the point at which Iran would have amassed enough medium-enriched uranium to make a bomb–which he said would be in the spring or summer of 2013.

Umm, what kind of professor would do that?

Even stranger is the Times going on to point out that, according to the latest International Atomic Energy Agency reporting, Iran’s uranium stockpile that could even be used for a weapon is getting smaller:

His calculus turned on a stockpile of medium-enriched uranium –uranium enriched to the level of 20 percent–that Iran has produced, ostensibly to fuel a research reactor, provided to the country by the United States in the days of the shah. Right now, Iran does not possess enough of that fuel to make a single weapon. In fact, its stockpile of it has declined in recent months, as it has converted some for the research reactor.

Has the meaning of “professorial” changed?

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.