Sunday, July 18, 2010

NY Times Op-Eds: An Analysis

By Barry Rubin

I've talked several times about how biased the New York Times editorial and op-ed pages have been against Israel along with their failure to present mainstream Israeli views. The blogger Soccerdad has now documented this point by surveying Times columnists and op-eds during February, March, and April 2010. He has done so in a scholarly manner, summarizing and quoting from each item.

My count is that of 16 columns, 12 of them were hostile to Israel and pretty nonsensical in their claims and conclusions (9 of these written by Jews), four reasonably sympathetic to Israeli interests, and one of them neutral. Many of the hostile ones are written by regular Times contributors who thus have generally more access to the page. I guess that only a 3 to 1 ratio is better than what I would have expected, though the editorials push the imbalance further.

The problem with the hostile ones is that they are often so ignorant (a shout-out to Tom Friedman and Roger Cohen here, plus an anti-Israel Jewish academic too obscure to bother naming who has no clue as to any of these issues or qualifications to discuss them) or blatantly misleading. During these three months there were no Hamas or Fatah op-eds so I suspect that a survey of other months would show even more of a slant.

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