A friend of mine considers the New York Times (NYT) an exceptional newspaper. I find it boring, supercilious and pretentious.
It utterly disgraced itself back in 1997 following the ludicrous over-reaction in Britain to the scatter-brain Princess Diana’s death. While now justifiably a source of huge embarrassment to Brits, the indisputable fact that the hyperbolic contrived carry-on which occurred was of such a scale as to be a major news-item.
But not according to the then NYT editor. Asked why he gave it a mere 6 inches single column he reminded the interviewer of the paper’s motto, “All the news that’s fit to print” and then rightly condemned the over-the-top public reaction as infantile and disproportionate to Diana’s relevance. Accordingly he was not prepared to report it, presumably on the perverted rationale that it shouldn’t be happening and thus should be ignored.
Of course it should not have occurred. It was emotive band-wagon silliness but the fact is it did. I should not need to outline how farcical that response was for a news organisation boasting of being a journalism standard setter. To assert one doesn’t approve of something happening on a massive scale and therefore will not report it, aint quality standard-setting journalism, other than to a snobbish twisted mentality.
Now the paper’s blundered again. Unbelievably it’s announced it will no longer allow its cartoonists to draw political cartoons, which let’s face it, are cartoonists most common theme.
And why? Because of complaints in the world’s biggest Jewish city that a cartoon of a blind Trump being led by a guide-dog caricature of Benjamin Netanyahu was anti-Semitic.
Anti-Semitic my bum. Rather the cartoon struck me as an accurate description of Trump’s pro-Israel Middle East policy.
As to Trump’s motives for this policy, I suspect it’s solely driven by American Jewish and Southern Baptist votes and cash. In other words, a commercial decision.
I could also imagine that the order, industry and success of Israel as a nation, when compared with the general rabble of the Middle East Arab world, would appeal to Trump. But regardless of the motives or merits of the current American policy stance, the indisputable fact is that the cartoon accurately portrayed the reality of it.
So here we have a situation in which in a little over a year’s time, a Presidential election, probably commanding an all-time high, gripping and unprecedented global interest, will occur and the NYT’s cartoonists are ordered to ignore it. That’s pathetic, more so when one considers the 200 year history of political cartooning as a highly effective tool of enlightenment.
The New York Times is a joke in terms of quality journalism.