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5.01.2005

NYT Hat Trick

I know I keep posting about the New York Times, but for completion I'll share this on-the-money letter sent in about the quality of the paper's coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian "problem" and its possible bias in either direction. (Asside: I was amused to see some people think the paper is actually anti-Israel on the matter.)

The Palestinian-Israeli (or Israeli-Palestinian, I don't care which) issue is an intractable conflict that doesn't affect the lives of most Americans. But it inflames passions as if it's the most important problem on earth.

The Times is a victim of its own success. It has built itself into the closest thing we have to a definitive picture of reality. Every other news source of any stature takes its lead from The Times. Thus when there should have been a lull in coverage after the cold war, The Times's constant bleating about the Middle East kept the conflict hotter than it should have been.

Is this conflict of central importance to The Times because of New York's Jewish population? In Cincinnati, Procter & Gamble is always big news. Everywhere else, people just buy their Tide and Pringles and go on about their business.

JOSH THOMAS
Kentland, Ind., April 24, 2005

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