The Right Opinion

How the New York Times Covers Evil

By Dennis Prager · Nov. 20, 2012

The way in which the New York Times reports good vs. evil is one of the most important stories of our time.

Take the war between Israel and Hamas that is taking place right now.

This war is as morally clear as wars get. Hamas is a terrorist organization dedicated to annihilating the Jewish state. It runs a theocratic totalitarian state in Gaza, with no individual liberty and no freedom of speech or press. In a nutshell, Hamas is a violent, fascist organization.

Israel, meanwhile, is one the world’s most humane states, not to mention a democracy that is so tolerant that Arab members of its parliament are free to express admiration for Hamas.

Over the past decade, Hamas had launched thousands of rockets into Israel with one aim: to kill and maim as many Israeli citizens as possible – Israelis at work, at play, asleep in their homes, in their cars. Finally, Israel responded by killing Ahmed al-Jabari, the chief organizer of Hamas violence, the Hamas “military commander” as he was known among Palestinians.

The next day, three more Israelis were killed by rockets.

Then Hamas targeted Tel Aviv, Israel’s most densely populated region, and Israel shelled Hamas rocket launching sites.

In other words, an evil entity made war on a peaceful, decent entity, and the latter responded.

How has the New York Times reported this?

On Friday, on its front page, the Times featured two three-column wide photos. The top one was of Gaza Muslim mourners alongside the dead body of al-Jabari. The photo below was of Israeli Jews mourning alongside the dead body of Mira Scharf, a 27-year-old mother of three.

What possible reason could there be for the New York Times to give identical space to these two pictures? One of the dead, after all, was a murderer, and the other was one of his victims.

The most plausible reason is that the Times wanted to depict through pictures a sort of moral equivalence: Look, sophisticated Times readers, virtually identical scenes of death and mourning on both sides of the conflict. How tragic.

If one had no idea what had triggered this war, one would read and see the Times coverage and conclude that two sides killing each other were both equally at fault.

This is the mainstream (i.e., liberal) media’s approach. The Los Angeles Times headline on the same day was: “Israel and Gaza veering down familiar, bitter path,”

Same presentation: two scorpions fighting in a bottle.

Examples are endless. Here is one more:

In 2002, there was widespread Nigerian Muslim opposition to the Miss World pageant scheduled to take place that year in Nigeria. Defending the pageant, a Nigerian female reporter wrote a column in which she said that not only were the contestants not “whores,” as alleged by the Muslim protestors, but they were such fine women that “Muhammad would probably have taken one of the contestants for a wife.”

That one sentence led to Muslim rioting, the beating and killing of Christians, the burning of churches and the razing of her newspaper’s offices.

How did the New York Times report the events?

“Fiery Zealotry Leaves Nigeria in Ashes Again.”

No group is identified as responsible. “Fiery zealotry,” not Muslim violence, was responsible.

The article then begins: “The beauty queens are gone now, chased from Nigeria by the chaos in Kaduna.”

Again, Muslim rioters weren’t responsible for chasing the beauty queens out of Nigeria; it was “chaos.”

The article concludes that what happened in Kaduna was another example of Africa’s “difficulty in reconciling people who worship separately.” In other words, Christians and Muslims were equally guilty.

As the flagship news source of the left, the New York Times reveals the great moral failing inherent to leftism – its combination of moral relativism and the division of the world between strong and weak, Western and non-Western, and rich and poor, rather than between good and evil.



richard ryan in Lamar,Missouri said:

The only good muslim is a dead muslim. Also, the only good liberal media, a silly comparison, is a dead liberal media. It would be a great day for liberty if someone would bomb the New York Slimes, and the LA Slimes.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 9:29 AM

Moshe in DF, TA said:

It is delusional and biased; you should read Gideon Levy a Jewish Israeli journalist from Haaretz Journal (the most popular journal in Israel)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA said:

The New York Times is only following the same method used by the old USSR. Keep telling the same lie over and over untll the population believes it to be true. Another part of the scenario is to always make the Palestinians look like poor, abused, and helpless people against the evil Israelies. It means nothing when Hamas sends rockets in to Israel but let Israell respond and automatically that makes them the aggressor. No fairness in the Times reporting that I can see.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Howard Last in Wyoming replied:

Old Sarge, there is one main difference between Pravda and the New York Slimes (oops Times). Pravda never denied they were communists.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Brian in Newport News replied:

Excellent point.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 8:01 AM

rab in jo,mo said:

It is truly disgusting how this story is being reported by the world media. I happened to catch a report on this on the BBC while transiting through London over the weekend. The main theme of the story seemed to be how unfair it was for the Israelis to shell Gaza and inflict so many "civilian" casualties. I have to wonder, if there are "civilian" casualties, who are the "non-civilians"? Could these "non-civilians" be the Hamas terrorists that are launching rockets into Israel? Is it now wrong to defend oneself against attack? What if these same rockets were launched against London or New York?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Tod the tool guy in brooklyn ny said:

I wonder what the Palestinians are sayin' up in Dearborn Michigan, these days? "There's no jobs in the Nu Amerikka, and nutthin' but trouble over there!?"

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 6:52 PM

MikeEcho in Orting, WA said:

This is touchy-feely vs thinking clearly. This is the same paper that cannot distinguish between what is or is not fit to print, and only see the facade not the real story. Their motto should be " We feel your pain."

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 7:27 PM