Jun 21 2010

NYT, WaPo Misremember Gaza War

Blaming Hamas rockets bolsters Israeli PR

Blaming Hamas rockets bolsters Israeli PRIn the aftermath of Israel’s May 31 raid on the Gaza humanitarian aid flotilla that killed nine activists, the Washington Post and New York Times have propagated an inaccurate historical context that serves to bolster Israeli claims. The conventional rendition is that Israel invaded Gaza at the end of 2008 in order to stop a near-constant stream of rockets fired by Hamas. This history signals to readers that Israel was merely reacting to intolerable and persistent acts of violence. But that is wildly misleading. For much of the second half of that year, a truce […]

Jun 07 2010

Pundits in Denial on Gaza Plight

'No humanitarian crisis,' some media figures claim

‘No humanitarian crisis,’ some media figures claimThe May 31 Israeli attack on the Free Gaza humanitarian flotilla has returned some media attention to the humanitarian crisis faced by 1.5 million Palestinians living under Israeli blockade in the Gaza Strip. But some media figures have sought to deny the existence of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza at all. The Gaza Strip remains an ongoing humanitarian catastrophe on numerous levels. Israel has banned imports like cement that are necessary to rebuild Gazan infrastructure–including homes, hospitals and roads destroyed in Israel’s 2008-09 invasion (U.N. Development Program, 5/23/10). Water and sewage systems in Gaza […]

Jun 04 2010

James Zogby on Gaza, Scott Horton on Guantànamo


Download MP3 On May 31st the Israeli military attacked a flotilla of boats full of civilians attempting to deliver humanitarian supplies to the Gaza strip, and to call attention to the impact of Israel’s blockade. At least 9 and as many as 16 activists were killed—we don’t know in part due to Israel’s tight control over the flow of information. We’ll talk with James Zogby of the Arab American Institute about Gaza. Also on CounterSpin today: A new U.S. report says that most of the detainees held on Guantánamo since Obama took office, should be released. That’s after nearly three […]

Jun 01 2010

Reporting Israeli Assault Through Israel’s Eyes

Attack on humanitarian flotilla prompts little media skepticism

Attack on humanitarian flotilla prompts little media skepticismOn May 31, the Israeli military attacked a flotilla of boats full of civilians attempting to deliver humanitarian supplies to the Gaza Strip. Reports indicate that at least nine and as many as 16 of the activists on board were killed, though details remain sketchy due to Israel’s censorious limitations on media coverage. Much of the U.S. media coverage has been remarkably unskeptical of Israel’s account of events and their context, and has paid little regard to international law. The New York Times (6/1/10) glossed over the facts of the devastating Israeli siege […]

Apr 01 2010

Covering a Son’s War at the NYT

Editor rejects call for Jerusalem chief’s reassignment

Editor rejects call for Jerusalem chief’s reassignmentCan a journalist neutrally cover a conflict that his child is fighting in? That’s the question posed by the news that the son of New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner joined the Israeli Defense Forces. The Times’ policies acknowledge that family members’ activities might require a journalist to “to withdraw from certain coverage”; their example is a business reporter or editor with “a brother or a daughter in a high-profile job on Wall Street.” If a child’s livelihood might color one’s reporting, wouldn’t that child’s life itself do so even more? When […]

Mar 26 2010

Trudy Lieberman on health care, Phyllis Bennis on Israel-U.S. relations


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The long debate over health care reform might be, at least in some respects, over. Will conservatives still warn of creeping socialism and the end of American freedom? Sure. And many policy analysts are unimpressed with the new law– though those critiques are much harder to find in the corporate press than the views of Tea Party extremists. We’ll talk to Trudy Lieberman from Columbia Journalism Review about what we learned– and didn’t learn– over the past year. Also on Counterspin today: One of the most serious conflicts between the US and Israel in […]

Feb 12 2010

NYT Responds on Family Tie to Israeli Military

Hoyt urges Bronner's reassignment; Keller denounces 'savage partisans'

Hoyt urges Bronner’s reassignment; Keller denounces ‘savage partisans’New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt (2/6/10) responded to messages from FAIR activists (Action Alert, 1/27/10; FAIR Blog, 1/27/10) by affirming that a reporter covering a conflict in which his child is an armed participant ought to be reassigned. But Times executive editor Bill Keller (2/6/10) rejected Hoyt’s reasoning, saying that Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner would remain at his post despite revelations that his son had joined the Israeli Defense Forces. Calling Bronner a “superb reporter” with “an excellent track record,” Hoyt said the news about his son’s enlistment (Electronic Intifada, […]

Jan 27 2010

Does NYT’s Top Israel Reporter Have a Son in the IDF?

Foreign editor treats potential conflict as none of our business

Foreign editor treats potential conflict as none of our businessThe New York Times refuses to confirm or deny a report that its Jerusalem bureau chief, Ethan Bronner, has a child who is an enlisted member of the Israeli Defense Force–even though such a relationship would pose a serious conflict of interest. The Electronic Intifada website (1/25/10), following a tip, asked Bronner whether it was true that he had a son in the IDF. EI got a reply from Times foreign editor Susan Chira: Ethan Bronner referred your query to me, the foreign editor. Here is my comment: Mr. Bronner’s son […]