Is the Gray Lady Making Amends to Jews?

From the earliest days of Nazi Germany through the present time, the New York Times has been continuously assailed in books  by prominent scholars such as  Prof. Laurel Leff,  articles by respected politicians such as Ed Koch, watchdog organizations such as CAMERA, huge numbers of pundits and columnists such as Mark Silverberg, and editorials in high-circulation newspapers and magazines such as the New York Post and Commentary, for its long-term and blatant antipathy to Jewish causes -- and, most particularly, its biased and unfavorable "news" coverage of matters relating to the State of Israel.

Despite this long history, it appears that the Gray Lady has lately taken to running articles that might be construed as designed to salve the feeling of the Jewish -- particularly Orthodox and Chasidic -- communities, among whom there may well have been a precipitous decline in support and circulation, at least, judging by the anecdotal evidence I see by comments in the Jewish Forum and from my personal friends and acquaintances.

Just lately, Times readers have been treated to a series of peculiarly Jewish-oriented articles, including the whimsical, the contorted, and the historical/nostalgic.

On April 9 last, the Times ran a major feature highlighting "Seder Fare for Pets That Keep Kosher," which was illustrated by a photo of a dog with yarmulke chomping up Passover food on a Seder table, and explained that,

Ms. Lerman, who grew up in an Orthodox home and keeps kosher still, does a brisk business in quadruped Judaica in her store. She sells yarmulkes and tallits (prayer shawls) for dogs as well as plush toys by a company called Chewish Pets, including a bagel and a fish embroidered with the word "lox." The store supplies such items, and Evanger's food, to increasingly popular Bark Mitzvahs, a cheeky canine rite of passage where, as documented in videos of the celebrations posted on YouTube, some guests utter a congratulatory "Muzzle Tov."

This past week, readers discovered an article, although poorly written and confusingly narrated, about a supplier of the ubiquitous "black hats" to Brooklyn's Chasidic communities. Even included were the famous Italian Borsalino toppers -- of which my own non-religious fashion example (a gift from my wife) might be included.

And today (Monday, May 11), Times reporter Dan Bilefsky recounts the story of the Prague Golem:

They say the Golem, a Jewish giant with glowing eyes and supernatural powers, is lurking once again in the attic of the Old-New Synagogue here.

Small stones left by visitors at the tombstone of its supposed maker, Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel.

The Golem, according to Czech legend, was fashioned from clay and brought to life by a rabbi to protect Prague's 16th-century ghetto from persecution, and is said to be called forth in times of crisis.

Bilefsky, however, doesn't fail to mention that,

Even the first lady, Michelle Obama, paid her respects, when she visited Rabbi Loew's grave last month and, following Jewish tradition, placed a prayer on a piece of paper and put it near his tombstone.

After so many articles which have tended to alienate observant Jews, from the slightly mocking tone of reports on the possibility of hair imported for wigmaking from India being non-kosher due to a chance that it was related to idol worship, to a discussion of concern about microscopic crustaceans in New York drinking water, to a continuing anti-Israel bias in Middle East reporting, could it be that the marketing gurus at the Times have decided to make up for past sins by publishing material that places Jews and Jewish practices in a more favorable light?

Your guess is as good as mine; but if that is the intention, Pinch and his minions have a very long way to go to mitigate the damage they gave been doing for so many years among observant Jews and pro-Zionists among their readership.
From the earliest days of Nazi Germany through the present time, the New York Times has been continuously assailed in books  by prominent scholars such as  Prof. Laurel Leff,  articles by respected politicians such as Ed Koch, watchdog organizations such as CAMERA, huge numbers of pundits and columnists such as Mark Silverberg, and editorials in high-circulation newspapers and magazines such as the New York Post and Commentary, for its long-term and blatant antipathy to Jewish causes -- and, most particularly, its biased and unfavorable "news" coverage of matters relating to the State of Israel.

Despite this long history, it appears that the Gray Lady has lately taken to running articles that might be construed as designed to salve the feeling of the Jewish -- particularly Orthodox and Chasidic -- communities, among whom there may well have been a precipitous decline in support and circulation, at least, judging by the anecdotal evidence I see by comments in the Jewish Forum and from my personal friends and acquaintances.

Just lately, Times readers have been treated to a series of peculiarly Jewish-oriented articles, including the whimsical, the contorted, and the historical/nostalgic.

On April 9 last, the Times ran a major feature highlighting "Seder Fare for Pets That Keep Kosher," which was illustrated by a photo of a dog with yarmulke chomping up Passover food on a Seder table, and explained that,

Ms. Lerman, who grew up in an Orthodox home and keeps kosher still, does a brisk business in quadruped Judaica in her store. She sells yarmulkes and tallits (prayer shawls) for dogs as well as plush toys by a company called Chewish Pets, including a bagel and a fish embroidered with the word "lox." The store supplies such items, and Evanger's food, to increasingly popular Bark Mitzvahs, a cheeky canine rite of passage where, as documented in videos of the celebrations posted on YouTube, some guests utter a congratulatory "Muzzle Tov."

This past week, readers discovered an article, although poorly written and confusingly narrated, about a supplier of the ubiquitous "black hats" to Brooklyn's Chasidic communities. Even included were the famous Italian Borsalino toppers -- of which my own non-religious fashion example (a gift from my wife) might be included.

And today (Monday, May 11), Times reporter Dan Bilefsky recounts the story of the Prague Golem:

They say the Golem, a Jewish giant with glowing eyes and supernatural powers, is lurking once again in the attic of the Old-New Synagogue here.

Small stones left by visitors at the tombstone of its supposed maker, Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel.

The Golem, according to Czech legend, was fashioned from clay and brought to life by a rabbi to protect Prague's 16th-century ghetto from persecution, and is said to be called forth in times of crisis.

Bilefsky, however, doesn't fail to mention that,

Even the first lady, Michelle Obama, paid her respects, when she visited Rabbi Loew's grave last month and, following Jewish tradition, placed a prayer on a piece of paper and put it near his tombstone.

After so many articles which have tended to alienate observant Jews, from the slightly mocking tone of reports on the possibility of hair imported for wigmaking from India being non-kosher due to a chance that it was related to idol worship, to a discussion of concern about microscopic crustaceans in New York drinking water, to a continuing anti-Israel bias in Middle East reporting, could it be that the marketing gurus at the Times have decided to make up for past sins by publishing material that places Jews and Jewish practices in a more favorable light?

Your guess is as good as mine; but if that is the intention, Pinch and his minions have a very long way to go to mitigate the damage they gave been doing for so many years among observant Jews and pro-Zionists among their readership.