Monday, July 24, 2006

The New York Times is Biased!!!

But which way?

Against Israel:
CAMERA has repeatedly demonstrated the deeply entrenched editorial bias against Israel at the New York Times. Whether Israel employs military tactics to protect itself from terrorist attacks, or the peace process is stalled, or it is simply not progressing as quickly as the editorialists would like, even while Israeli civilians are being blown up by Palestinian terrorists, New York Times editorial writers stick to their consistent message—blame Israel and whitewash Palestinian responsibility. (Source)

Towards Israel:
A little over a week ago, some members of our organization, If Americans Knew, met with New York Times Public Editor Daniel Okrent to discuss the findings of a detailed study we had completed of two years worth of Times news stories on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Okrent was going to be writing a column discussing the paper'’s coverage of Israel/Palestine, and we felt our study would be an important resource.

...

Our statistical analysis of their coverage, however, showed that there was startling disparity in how deaths were reported, depending on the ethnicity of the victim.

For example, we found that in 2004, at a time when 8 Israeli children and 176 Palestinian children were killed -– a ratio of 1 to 22 -– Times headlines and lead paragraphs reported on Israeli children's deaths at a rate almost seven times greater than Palestinian children's deaths.

...

Overall, we found that in every single category Times coverage reported Israeli deaths at rates three or more times greater than Palestinian deaths. (Source)


I just picked one example from each side because of the immense quantity of complaining from both sides. To one side, the Times is completely anti-Israel, overly sympathetic to the Palestinians, and leans towards anti-semitism. To the other, the Times is a Zionist propaganda machine devoted to maintaining the illusion that Israel's no more at fault than the Palestinians. And then there are the real hate groups like Storm Front (who I won't link to) with their babblings about the "Jew York Times."

Here's the deal, folks. If you're all the way on one side of a debate, a close-to-the-middle story is going to seem biased against you. The farther from center you are, the more biased it will look.

So please stop writing about how this word or the placement of that picture reveals a deep-seated bias on the part of the Times. Most probably, you're only showing your own bias.

12 Comments:

Blogger Ezzie said...

Completely disagree. While obviously the more to either side someone is, the more they will find anything to the center as "biased", a simple scan of the Times on a daily basis would lead an unknowing observer to believe that Israel is the agressor and the Palestinians the victims.

7/24/2006 2:16 PM  
Blogger asher said...

I always wondered why the NY Times could never use the word "terrorist" when it talks about the PLO, Hezbollah or those other fun loving radiacal groups.
They go out of their way to use term like "militants", "gunmen" and "insurgents" I guess the term "terrorist" would make folks who blow up cafes, pizza parlors and shopping malls sound a bit too violent for the taste of the NY Times.

It was nice of you to take a single example of what you deem to be the Times even handedness. Why not simply log onto timeswatch.com which shows their bias on a daily basis.

I'm so glad the Times is going to have to lay off so many blue collar workers now that their circulation rate has plummeted.

7/24/2006 5:08 PM  
Blogger Jewish Atheist said...

Partisans, it turns out, don't just arrive at different conclusions; they see entirely different worlds . In one especially telling experiment, researchers showed 144 observers six television news segments about Israel's 1982 war with Lebanon.

Pro-Arab viewers heard 42 references that painted Israel in a positive light and 26 references that painted Israel unfavorably.

Pro-Israeli viewers, who watched the very same clips, spotted 16 references that painted Israel positively and 57 references that painted Israel negatively.

Both groups were certain they were right and that the other side didn't know what it was talking about.

The tendency to see bias in the news -- now the raison d'etre of much of the blogosphere -- is such a reliable indicator of partisan thinking that researchers coined a term, "hostile media effect," to describe the sincere belief among partisans that news reports are painting them in the worst possible light.

Were pro-Israeli and pro-Arab viewers who were especially knowledgeable about the conflict immune from such distortions? Amazingly, it turned out to be exactly the opposite, Stanford psychologist Lee D. Ross said. The best-informed partisans were the most likely to see bias against their side.

Ross thinks this is because partisans often feel the news lacks context. Instead of just showing a missile killing civilians, in other words, partisans on both sides want the news to explain the history of events that prompted -- and could have justified -- the missile. The more knowledgeable people are, the more context they find missing.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/23/AR2006072300512_pf.html

Ezzie:

While obviously the more to either side someone is, the more they will find anything to the center as "biased", a simple scan of the Times on a daily basis would lead an unknowing observer to believe that Israel is the agressor and the Palestinians the victims.

Please find a source which does not itself has a strong pro-Israel bias which agrees with this statement.

7/24/2006 10:11 PM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

JA, you beat me to the post -- I had just linked to the WP article when I surfed over here. I'll just quote the very next line:

'Even more curious, the hostile media effect seems to apply only to news sources that strive for balance. News reports from obviously biased sources usually draw fewer charges of bias.'

Nobody seems to be worrying about the New York Post's bias. But then again, no frum person would subscribe to the Post any more than he would subscribe to Playboy.

7/24/2006 11:08 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

Please find a source which does not itself has a strong pro-Israel bias which agrees with this statement.

No matter what I'd say, you'd argue that by virtue of their attacking the Times, they have a pro-Israel bias. It's a pointless discussion. You are smart enough to read it on your own and decide for yourself. I think the comments section by your own blog had a few comments that proved the point very well.

7/25/2006 2:51 PM  
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