NY times billboard

Looking out their office windows, NY Times editors and writers see a massive billboard that reads: “The New York Times At it AGAIN: Defaming Israel with distorted ‘news.’”

By: JNS and United with Israel Staff

The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) unveiled a giant billboard this week outside the offices of The New York Times, criticizing the major daily newspaper for its biased coverage against Israel.

Looking out their office windows, editors and writers now see a massive billboard that reads: “The New York Times at it AGAIN: Defaming Israel with distorted ‘news.’ Stop the bias.”

“The billboard represents the collective voice of hundreds of thousands of people frustrated at the Times’ shoddy reporting and bias against Israel,” says Andrea Levin, executive director of CAMERA. “We’re inundated with complaints about The New York Times—and for good reason.”

Since the beginning of 2018, the Times has published so many egregiously factual errors that CAMERA created what it calls a “New York Times Line,” a timeline that tracks the newspaper’s errors on Israel. It provides a visual counterpoint to the Times‘ own recent ad campaign that lauds the paper as the arbiter of truth.

“Numerous examples of error-ridden articles at the Times have been documented by CAMERA analysts,” says Levin.  She added that “there are years when the coverage seems more attentive to objectivity and balance, and other times when opinion pours into the ‘news’ and editors allow this—and refuse to correct clear-cut factual errors. We seem to be back in one of those periods.”

“All we ask is that the Times live up to its own standards of accuracy and accountability,” stated Gilead Ini, a senior research analyst at CAMERA. “The New York Times can and should provide excellent journalism, but unfortunately, its coverage of Israel right now is often marred by errors, bias and significant omissions. In the recent Gaza violence driven by Hamas—to mention just one instance—the Times termed the barrages of fire bombs, rocks and attempts to tear down the border fence an ‘experiment with nonviolent protest.’”

CAMERA has documented coverage over many years, including a detailed analysis in its monograph, Indicting Israel: New York Times Coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict.

In 2013-14, the organization also rolled out a billboard campaign across New York City focused on bringing attention to biased coverage of Israel by the Times.

The current billboard, located in a high-trafficked setting, will be seen by an estimated 100,000 passersby a day.

“Once again, readers won’t be silent when Israel is maligned by the publication,” Levin added.

History of Anti-Israel Bias

The prominent newspaper has been roundly and repeatedly criticized for its anti-Israel bias, and even one of its editors admits – it’s a real bias.

Asked in a recent interview about what the most common complaint is about the paper’s opinion coverage, Andrew Rosenthal, editor of the Times‘ opinion pages, said it’s “that we’re anti-Israel.”

A 2014 study published by CAMERA shows the Times is nearly seven times more likely to publish pieces critical of Israel than of the Palestinians. The analysis also revealed that the newspaper is twice as likely to publish opinion pieces predominately supporting the Palestinian cause — in relation to which side deserves more sympathy or criticism — than articles supporting the Israeli narrative.

One Times opinion editor, Matt Seaton, admitted last year that the newspaper has a policy of veering away from criticism of Palestinians.