How the Big Papers Remember Ariel Sharon

Ariel Sharon (cc photo: Jim Wallace/Smithsonian Institution)

Reading the pieces in the Sunday editions of the New York Times and the Washington Post about the death of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, one gets the sense that reporters were aware of some of Sharon's bloodiest history–but mostly kept that out of their accounts of his life.


Anonymous Israeli Official Tells Post: You Can't Trust Persians

Bazaar in Shiraz, Iran (cc photo: Johannes Zielcke)

Today the Washington Post (10/1/13) has a piece about how Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not pleased with the thaw in US/Iran relations. That's not surprising. But I was a little surprised that reporters David Nakamura and William Booth allowed this: Israeli leaders fear that the international community, and the United States in particular, is in danger of being duped by the Iranians. One official compared the Americans to tourists wandering into a Middle East bazaar. "The Persians have been using these tactics for thousands of years, before America came to be," said a senior Israeli official, who spoke […]


Alert: Does Post Correspondent Have a Conflict?

Ruth Eglash

FAIR's latest alert documents the conflict of interest concerning the new Jerusalem correspondent at the Washington Post. If you're writing to the paper and want to share your letter, please do so in the comments section below.  


New York Times Israel Correction Needs a Correction


A New York Times correction calls the Israeli settlement of Gilo a "development in Jerusalem." That could use a correction.


Richard Engel and U.S. Aid to Egypt


Since Engel's point was that things must stay as they are, it's not likely that the NBC reporter's words will cause much controversy–certainly things would be different if he'd have given an equally impassioned rationale for cutting off aid to Egypt's military government.


David Brooks Applies His Mental Equipment to the Egypt Coup

David Brooks

"Islamists…lack the mental equipment to govern," New York Times columnist David Brooks writes today (7/5/13). "Incompetence is built into the intellectual DNA of radical Islam." Now, Brooks has been known to cite eugenicist  Steve Sailer on "white fertility rates" (12/7/04; Extra!, 4/05).  But let's give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that rather than making a racist argument, he's simply appearing to be racist as a metaphor (as when he wrote recently that interracial marriage was producing a "nation of mutts"–6/27/13). So he's saying, then, that Islamists govern as if they were biologically inferior. And his evidence for […]


Hey, Remember That IRS Tea Party Scandal?


Not too long ago there was a massive scandal clogging up the front pages of the papers and the cable news airwaves: The IRS was either denying or delaying tax-exempt status to right-leaning "Tea Party" groups. But now things are starting to look a little different.


FAIR TV: The IRS & Obama's Scandal Trifecta, Matthews Praises Reagan, Newseum Scandal


What should we make of the so-called "trifecta" of scandals hitting the Obama White House? And what questions should we ask about the IRS/Tea Party story? Also this week: Chris Matthews wants Obama to take charge–just like the union-busting Ronald Reagan. And the Newseum decides two Palestinian journalists shouldn't be considered part of their tribute to journalists who died reporting the news.  


Dead Journalists and the Newseum Scandal


A memorial for journalists who died while reporting the news wouldn't seem to be the kind of thing that would attract controversy, but that's exactly what's happened with an exhibit at the Newseum.


What's the Standard on Reporting Israeli Airstrikes?


The claims made about Israeli airstrikes against Syria could be true, or not. What is certain is that the assessments of the airstrikes are being shared anonymously by governments involved in carrying them out, a scenario that cries out for more skepticism.


Misreporting Israel/Gaza Cease-Fire

Wreckage from Israeli bombing of Gaza, November 2012 (cc photo: Norsk Folkehjelp)

An Israeli airstrike on Gaza yesterday is being reported as a breach of the cease-fire agreement that was reached after violence last November between the Israeli military and Hamas forces. But the new accounts are misleading: They give the impression that Israel hasn't regularly violated the agreement already.


How to Read Stories About Israel in the NY Times (Hint: Very Carefully)

FireShot Screen Capture #401 - 'Israel’s Iron Dome System Is at Center of Debate - NYTimes_com' - www_nytimes_com_2013_03_21_world_middleeast_israels-iron-dome-system-is-at-center-of-debate_h

Some days the Newspaper of Record says a lot–not always in ways you might expect. Today (3/21/13) a story by Mark Landler and Rick Gladstone about allegations of chemical weapons in Syria includes something you see often–anonymous government sources. That can often be a bad thing; but today it's pretty useful: Two senior Israeli officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak, said that Israel was sure that chemicals were used, but did not have details about what type of weapons were used, where they came from, when they were deployed, or by whom. […]


Two Peoples, Two Pictures

Photos of Palestinians and Israelis reacting to Obama visit from USA Today

There was a pair of pictures on the front page of USA Today today, meant to illustrate a story about President Barack Obama's visit to Israel and the Occupied Territories. It actually illustrated the very different ways Israelis and Palestinians are depicted in U.S. media.