Monday, April 09, 2012

Getting Ready For November, New York Times Smears Romney's Friendship With Netanyahu

Must not be much going on in the news, because The New York Times has seen fit to publish a story on how Romney and Netanyahu have A Friendship Dating to 1976 Resonates in 2012

But the point of the article is not the friendship itself, but to imply that Israel would have more influence:
The ties between Mr. Romney and Mr. Netanyahu stand out because there is little precedent for two politicians of their stature to have such a history together that predates their entry into government. And that history could well influence decision-making at a time when the United States may face crucial questions about whether to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities or support Israel in such an action. [emphasis added]
In Mitt-Bibi Controversy? Aren’t Allies Are Supposed to Be Friends?, Jonathan Tobin responds:

For generations, historians have lauded the friendship that existed between Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill as being a crucial element that made the wartime alliance between the United States and Great Britain a success. But apparently there are some people who aren’t as happy about the prospect of close relations between a would-be U.S. president and the head of the government of one of America’s closest allies. The New York Times devoted a portion of the cover of its Sunday edition and considerable space inside to a feature that detailed the ties between likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that go back to the 1970’s when both were young men working at the Boston Consulting Group. According to the Times, this has some people worried that too much “deference” on Romney’s part to Netanyahu would “influence decision making” and possibly “subcontract Middle East policy to Israel.”

This potential smear invokes two of the hoary canards of anti-Israel invective: the dual loyalty charge (usually lodged against American Jews) and the notion that a politician is pandering to the pro-Israel community for votes (in this case, evangelical Christians are the more likely candidates for influence than the more liberal Jews).
The New York Times has really come out on front on this one--in contrast to its week-long silence on a real story that has affected the entire nation, as JustOneMinute notes:

SPOILER ALERT: The Times Breaks Its Trayvon Martin Embargo!

We have been baffled by the week-long absence of original reporting from the NY Times on the Trayvon Martin case.  Today, however, they front page the sort of news that reminds us why they are, hmm, the paper they are:
Comedy Timing Is Bad as News and Film Collide


LOS ANGELES — In the normal course of things a Hollywood movie about space aliens wouldn’t be affected by newspaper headlines.

But things aren’t entirely normal these days.

In recent weeks executives at 20th Century Fox have been quietly scrambling to distance a summer comedy,“Neighborhood Watch,” starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill, from the shooting of Trayvon Martin. Mr. Martin, an unarmed black teenager, was killed on Feb. 26 by George Zimmerman, a community watch participant in Sanford, Fla., who has said he acted in self-defense and has not been charged with a crime.
The Hollywood Reporter broke this on March 27; ABC News and theDaily News had it on March 28.  It is front page news for the Times today because... no, I have no idea at all.

So while the story that has roiled the nation passes unnoticed by The New York Times, that paper instead devotes itself to finding a story with which it can tar both Netanyahu and Romney.

Indeed, we are reminded of why they are the paper they are.

As Tobin notes, if you are concerned about Romney's friendship with Netanyahu--with whom he has not been in regular contact since 1976--you may prefer Obama's professed close friendship with Turkey's Erdogan, the Islamist leader where the number of journalists imprisoned has nearly doubled over last year.

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