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Whither The Times?

May 6, 2019

Contrast how the New York Times reacts to its internal problems — in this case, the anti-Semitic cartoon the newspaper recently published in its international edition — with how the newspaper reacts to the NYPD.

Remember James Frascatore? He’s the cop who body-slammed tennis star James Blake outside his midtown hotel. Blake had been mistakenly identified to Frascatore as resembling the ringleader of a fraud conspiracy his unit was investigating.

Click here to read what the police brass say about NYPD ConfidentialHere’s what the Times had to say about that. Signed “The Editorial Board,” on Sept. 15, 2015, it began:

“Yes, they can start by firing him.

“James Frascatore, the New York City police officer who jumped and assaulted an innocent man, James Blake, in Manhattan last Wednesday, has disgraced the department. Commissioner William Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio should make an example of him. …” [Bratton wisely docked him five vacation days.]

Well, it’s been over a week now since the Times printed the cartoon, depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a dog, leading a blind President Trump in a skullcap. In an apology, the Times blamed the cartoon’s publication on “a single editor working without adequate oversight [who] downloaded the syndicated cartoon and made the decision to include it in the Opinion page.”

Click here to read the New York Times profile of Leonard LevittSo far, nobody has been fired and no one is making an example of anyone, although the Times said it would take “disciplinary steps” against the editor responsible for publishing the cartoon. The Times also said it had decided to suspend publication of syndicated cartoons “for now.”

“We are evaluating our internal process and training,” the Times added. Whatever that means.

The Times hasn’t identified the errant editor. Nor his supposed supervisor of the inadequate oversight, who apparently approved the decision to publish the cartoon.

As for “evaluating our internal process and training,” we have a question: how do you train someone so obtuse that he can allow a brazenly anti-Semitic cartoon to be published?

Click here to read the Washington Post article on NYPD ConfidentialThis is second scandal to visit the Times in the past 15 years. Back around 2003, the Times hired a reporter named Jayson Blair. He began his Times career at Police Plaza, where it was apparent to anyone not deaf, dumb, or blind that this was a troubled young man. At one point, Newsday reporter Sean Gardiner found Blair sitting at Gardner’s computer in the Newsday office, which was next to that of the Times, trying to access his files. Sure enough, it turned out that Blair was fabricating stories that his editors continued to support and that the Times continued to print. He ultimately resigned.

Then-publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. initially stonewalled, saying the problem was confined to Blair. As pressure built, he fired the entire editorial hierarchy through its executive editor, Howell Raines, whom Sulzberger had hired. Sulzberger wasn’t fired. Nor did he resign. Newspaper families don’t dismiss their own.

The cartoon scandal will haunt the Times long after Jayson Blair is forgotten. That is because it has betrayed much of its loyal and longtime Jewish readership. True, the Times offered a full throated apology, acknowledging the paper’s failure some 50 years before to support the state of Israel, omitting only the fact that the family patriarch, Adolph Ochs, according to his biographers Susan Tifft and Alex Jones, died bitter and depressed because, despite his successes and accomplishments, he felt he was never accepted by America’s then Christian elite.

One other fact seems clear. The cartoon can’t be blamed on Donald Trump but on the Times’s bizarre culture of liberalism run amok. While no news organization can approach the Times in its investigative initiatives, this philosophy has bled onto its editorial pages, which now lean “progressive,” anti-police and harpy-polemic.

One of its benighted columnists recently called for Democrats to abandon white working class voters in favor of the party’s supposed new base of blacks and women. Writing off the voting block of working class whites or any group for that matter is not merely offensive. It’s a strategy for a Democratic defeat.

JUDGE RICHARD BROWN. Nov 13, 1932 – May 4, 2019. A longtime public servant and a friend.

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