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, 1/25/10) raised "tough questions": The Times sent […]
Hoyt urges Bronner's reassignment; Keller denounces 'savage partisans'
Foreign editor treats potential conflict as none of our business
The 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 is a young adult who makes his own decisions. […]
Paper failed to question Pentagon propaganda on Gitmo prisoners
Citing a FAIR Action Alert (5/27/09), New York Times ombud Clark Hoyt agreed with media activists who asked him to challenge the Times' unskeptical coverage of a leaked Pentagon report on former Guantánamo prisoners. In his column "What Happened to Skepticism?" (6/6/09), Hoyt called the Times' May 21 front-page story on the report "seriously flawed." He wrote that the article provided "ammunition" for Dick Cheney's campaign against Obama's plan to close the offshore prison camp, and compared the piece to the Times' uncritical coverage of leaked intelligence on WMDs in the lead-up to the Iraq War. Hoyt also noted that […]
Misleading report on Guantánamo and terrorism
While former Vice President Dick Cheney has been front and center in the media debate over the current White House's national security policies, he's not the only one trying to challenge the White House's message. The New York Times published a front-page article (5/21/09) that bolstered the notion that former Guantánamo prisoners "return" to terrorist activity. The remarkably credulous Times story, under the headline "1 in 7 Freed Detainees Rejoins Fight, Report Finds," was based on a Pentagon report leaked to the paper before its release yesterday evening. The article emphasized the notion that former prisoners "returned to terrorism or […]
Look back at Iraq features nine hawkish 'experts'
The New York Times offered a look back at the Iraq War in its March 16 "Week In Review" section that leaned heavily towards pro-war voices. The Times explained to readers: "To mark this week's fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, the Op-Ed page asked nine experts on military and foreign affairs to reflect on their attitudes in the spring of 2003 and to comment on the one aspect of the war that most surprised them or that they wished they had considered in the prewar debate." The "experts" who were asked to weigh in all more or less […]
Letter to NY Times' public editor Clark Hoyt
On February 12, FAIR sent a letter to the New York Times' public editor Clark Hoyt regarding a recent editors' note that suggested that the newspaper has double standards for reporters who publicly express opinions. The letter is below. We encourage others who have concerns to also contact Hoyt at: firstname.lastname@example.org. *** Dear Clark Hoyt, The New York Times recently published an unusual editor's note about the February 4 front-page article, “Time Runs Out for an Afghan Held by the U.S.” The note concerned Andy Worthington, one of the two journalists identified in the article's byline: Mr. Worthington has written […]
No one 'envies' Bush GDP record
The New York Times (1/28/08) claimed in a front-page story that George W. Bush's economic growth record "would be the envy of most presidents." This claim has no basis in fact and should be corrected by the newspaper. The assertion was part of a "White House Memo" by Sheryl Gay Stolberg. Opening with the question, "Will George W. Bush be remembered as the president who lost the economy while trying to win a war?," she continued: Mr. Bush has spent years presiding over an economic climate of growth that would be the envy of most presidents. Yet much to the […]
NYT on Hezbollah and Israeli attacks on civilians
When Human Rights Watch recently released two investigations of the 2006 Israel/Lebanon war, the New York Times found the group's documentation of unlawful attacks against Israel to be far more newsworthy than unlawful attacks committed by Israel. It's rare that a media outlet's news standards can be tested so directly. The human rights group released separate reports on violations by both Hezbollah and Israel, charging each side with indiscriminate attacks on civilians. When the first report was released, the Times placed an 800-word story (8/31/07) under the headline "Rights Group Accuses Hezbollah of Indiscriminate Attacks on Civilians in Israel War," […]