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When 'The New York Times' embeds its reporters with the IDF

Embedded journalism is a controversial issue. Many claim that it replaces oversight and criticism with propaganda. I tend to agree. This admiring tone was evident in the pieces published by embedded Israeli reporters this week during the IDF’s crackdown on Hamas in the West Bank. It must have also been part of the reason why Haaretz chose not to run such a report.

The New York Times’ Jodi Rudoren had no such concerns. Just like reporters from Israel Hayom and Yedioth Ahronoth, Rudoren was embedded within an army unit conducting searches for the missing teens.

Halhul, West Bank, 16.6.2014

The report she filed is not a news item—it’s a PR piece. Despite the fact that the recent military operation has been criticized for targeting Hamas’ political arm, Rudoren has chosen (or perhaps sent by the IDF Spokesperson) to join the searches, not the arrests. This is not where the news is happening. When Rudoren mentions the more controversial aspects of the IDF operation, she takes a jab at the “human rights chorus.” And when she describe the trackers she accompanies, the story lacks all context – historical, political or social. Bedouin volunteer rates in the IDF are dropping, which has to do with the increasing alienation Bedouin feel, especially surrounding the issue of the unrecognized villages. You won’t find any of this in the piece; the Times‘ interest in the Bedouin is limited to their role in the IDF at a time of military escalation.

Don’t let Netanyahu’s hostility to the Times confuse you. Like other correspondents before her, Rudoren writes pieces like a mainstream Israeli—even when her work can be construed as critical of the Israeli government, it is always done on Israeli terms. The Palestinian context—the issue of prisoners, for example – is absent to nonexistent. The entire interest in the Palestinians is minimal. I am not sure that a Times journalist would have filed such a report from an embedded mission with the U.S. military. Not after Iraq. With Israel it is different.

Related:
What happens when the IDF embeds Israeli reporters
‘The New York Times’ investigates a Palestinian hobby

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    COMMENTS

    1. Bar

      Rudoren’s articles are far from friendly to Israel. Thanks to her reporting, Thomas Friedman, Roger Cohen and the Times editorial page’s regular attacks on Israel I cancelled my subscription a while ago. Thank god the WSJ has Bret Stephens.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Danny

      The NYT is a dying media outlet. Their economic model is failing, and this may be one of the reasons they are compelled to field garbage reporters like Rudoren – so that the Bars and the Gingers of the world will keep their subscriptions a little longer.

      I won’t be surprised if the NYT is eventually bought up for scrap like Huffpost.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Khaled Khalid

      Can you imagine a German news paper being critical of Nazis yet, for the sake of balance and objectivity and journalistic fairness, also be critical of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto?

      You’d never buy into the story for a New York Minute. Why? Because of the Power Differential.

      And THAT is why no one outside Jewish Culture believes these pseudo sophisticated Pro-Israel “Journalists” when it comes to the Palestine Israel conflict.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        Incomparable. Jews were suffering because they were Jews, while Arabs are suffering because their religion prohibits them from coexisting peacefully with Jews.

        Reply to Comment
        • Raymond Deane

          This is truly ignorant. “Arabs” (you can’t even bring yourself to use the word “Palestinians” – you should reflect on this inability) are suffering because they have been dispossessed and are living under belligerent occupation (this is the term under international law). It has nothing to do with religion, except insofar as the Israeli state adduces Biblical authority for its right to exist.

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >“Arabs” (you can’t even bring yourself to use the word “Palestinians” – you should reflect on this inability)

            “Palestinians” is a fake, made-up ethnicity, existing only in propaganda realm.
            “We, the Palestinian Arab people…”
            http://www.un.int/wcm/content/site/palestine/pid/12363

            >are suffering because they have been dispossessed

            Palestinian Arabs were dispossessed because their religion prohibits them from peaceful coexistence with Jews.

            >and are living under belligerent occupation (this is the term under international law).

            Bullshit. Only a state can be “belligerently occupied”. Palestinian Arabs never had a state of their own, therefore, they can not be belligerently occupied.

            >It has nothing to do with religion,

            It has EVERYTHING to do with religion. Islam prohibits Muslims from peaceful coexistence with non-Muslims.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Ahhh yes, the old “it’s not critical enough of Israel therefore it can’t be real journalism”. I used to have a lot of respect for +972, but the zeal to obtain any degree of criticism against Israel, however poorly founded, is sickening.

            Reply to Comment
    4. Dazed and Confused

      Do you guys really want journalists to look into the actions and policies of the “Palestinians”?

      Any criticism you have about the human rights record of your Jewish enemy applies a trillion-fold to the Ummah.

      The “Palestinian” people killed over a half-million Iraqis. Every week, Social Justice activists slaughter a thousand or more Syrians. Just last month, the global Left kidnapped 300 innocent Kuffar girls in Nigeria.

      So keep at it criticizing your Jewish enemy. But it wouldn’t be smart to ask the NYTimes to actually pay attention to your Quranic behavior.

      Jaffa = al-Khalil

      Reply to Comment
    5. ‎עיניים לראותEYES2C

      NYT is the largest Zionist paper in the world. Most of its readers are NY Jews, and they have great influence on the editorial line. That is why I don’t read it for news, but mostly to see how NYT anipulates its readers. But, yes, there are a few exception…

      Reply to Comment