Friday, January 28, 2011

Barry Rubin: Today in the New York Times: A New Low and A New Role Model

This post was written by Barry Rubin and is reposted here with permission.

By Barry Rubin

Here's one day of the New York Times on the Middle East. Be sure to read the surprise ending!

1. Al-Jazira is great! (Wow, just as it runs the Palestine Papers to transform totally our view of the region. Might this be a coincidence?)

The New York Times has run a largely adulatory article about al-Jazira without mentioning its Islamist politics (some accuse it of... is how they put it). On reading this article, I get the impression that the writer has never actually watched the station. For example, its debate shows regularly feature a moderate and a radical. The host attacks the moderate and supports the radical and literally every caller taken on the air is hardline. One friend of mine who was on one of them said that he expected it to be 99 percent hostile but it was 100 percent hostile. Nor do we hear about the great scoops of al-Jazira, like claiming the US had used a neutron bomb in Iraq.

So here is a story about a radical force in the region presenting it as a force for democracy.

2. An op-ed piece by Nicholas Noe, a noted (pun) supporter of Hizballah. Once again, here is a story about a radical force in the region presenting it as a force for democracy. How should U.S. policy deal with having a revolutionary Islamist group that has Syria and Iran as its patrons which now controls Lebanon? According to Noe: "pressuring Israel into a full withdrawal from the Golan."

3. A column on the Middle East by Roger Cohen, a man so ignorant that informed people laugh at his nonsense. Remember he began his career on this topic as an apologist for Iran and never misses a chance to attack Israel.[link]

4. Robert Mackey, another full-time basher of Israel, runs another piece attacking that country in which he distorts Hebrew--a language he doesn't know--to attack Israel [link].

And now for the surprise conclusion. Ladies and gentlemen, while there are honorable exceptions, the New York Times has now reached the level of...the Guardian.

Naturally, there are many who would classify this as extreme right-wing nuts paranoid about alleged bias that doesn't really exist. Well, if that's so why is there a ridiculous amount of evidence proving this assertion on a daily basis?
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). His latest book is Israel: An Introduction, to be published by Yale University Press later this year. You can read more of Barry Rubin's posts at Rubin Reports.

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