- The Washington Times - Friday, March 30, 2001

The New York Times is considered by the world to be a paragon of intellectual thought and commentary. The truth is, its intellectual pretensions are only a facade for a newspaper filled with distortion, prejudice, and just plain fakery. The truth is, the New York Times prints news, but is never interested in reporting "all the news thats fit to print."
Rather the Times promotes its own agenda, and disguises it as news. If any product was in a supermarket with a false label of contents, the company that made the product, in order to avoid prosecution, would have to hire a battery of lawyers to answer questions before the FDA.
The Times fraudulently represents itself as an impartial reporter of events. In truth, it is really only a vehicle for propaganda of the Democratic Party. If it had to comply with truth in labeling laws, it would be called the Democratic Party Times. When the Middle East is involved, it should be called the PLO Times because suddenly, all the news thats fit to print doesnt include the Israeli side of the story.
Shouldnt the Times at least have the decency to advertise "half the news thats fit to print" or "all the news that fits our agenda we print"? Historically, notwithstanding the fact that "Times" spelled backwards is the word "semit," the Times has not been fair in its reporting of outrages perpetrated against Jews. Even contemporaneous reports of the Holocaust were brief and buried deep within the pages of the paper. More recently the Times only belatedly took minor note of the Crown Heights riots, although the local Jews were being stoned simply because they were Jewish, just a taxi cab ride away from their offices.
The way the New York Times reports what is happening in Israel right now is a perfect example. In reporting a story of the current Arab/Israeli conflict, the Times claims that it lived up to its motto and reported "all the news thats fit to print." However, it seems that the Arab side of the story was the only news "fit to print." The thing that is fit to print is the observation that the Times has no right to call itself an objective, unbiased newspaper.
Last week, the New York Times blasted Israel, depicting Israelis as monsters for depriving Arabs of their basic right to travel freely into Israel, thereby denying them the ability to work and make a living. If the paper were legitimately reporting all the news fit to print, why did they decide the Israeli side of the story was unfit to print? Is it because if they had included all the news thats fit to print, they would have had to include the fact that the Israelis have been killed on buses and in supermarkets, and that Israelis are even afraid to open their doors because they could be killed in their own buildings?
Its easy to be an idealist when someone elses life is involved. If a terrorist organization had bombed the New York Times, and their employees had lost their lives, would the Times consider it inhuman punishment if the only price the terrorists had to pay was to be stopped from coming back into the neighborhood?
Thats why the New York Times should be investigated for violations of truth-in-advertising laws as would any other organization that sells a mislabeled product to the public. They shouldnt be able to sell a product with a misleading title; instead, the FCC should be charging them with false advertising.
According to the Times, not only should Israel accept the murder of its citizens as the price to pay for peace, but Israel should also have the decency not to inconvenience the murderers. Punishment to criminals in Arab countries is draconian even a petty thief gets his hands hacked-off. Hasnt anybody at the Times ever heard that in all the Middle Eastern countries murderers usually pay with their lives? Do they know of any Arab country where the punishment for murder is for the murderers to be restricted to their own neighborhoods or made to stay out of another neighborhood?
The Times also claims that Israel victimizes many innocent Palestinians who are not murderers. But the question they should be asking is: Who is really responsible for victimizing these innocent Arabs? Is it Israel, or the Palestinian Authority? First, Yasser Arafat announced publicly that the terrorism would continue, then the killing began. Israelis die; the Palestinians celebrate. Mr. Arafat threatens Israel with more death and destruction; the New York Times blames Israel for victimizing the Palestinians.
As far as the New York Times is concerned, this sort of thing constitutes "all the news thats fit to print." However, the other side of the story, which unfortunately is not reported, is that it is the Arabs themselves, who are responsible for victimizing their own people by having created a mob of murderers whose purpose was to kill Israelis. This, in turn, forced Israel into the position of having to stop all Arabs from entering Israel. The Israeli authorities are not travel agents for the Arabs, and are not obligated to play Russian roulette with Israeli lives in order to protect the travel plans of the Palestinians.
The perspective of the New York Times, is that its not the killing of innocent Israelis that is criminal, but the audacity of the Israelis in posting a detour sign on the highway in an attempt to put a stop to additional killings by the Palestinians.
If there is a phony label of contents on a supermarket product, it is a crime, but to have fraudulent contents in a newspaper is legally acceptable. Why should corn flakes be more important than politics or lives? Will which cereal contains more raisins than oats affect human lives more than the question of the survival of the only democratic nation in the Middle East?

Jackie Mason is a comedian and Raoul felder is a lawyer.

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