September 23, 2008
NYT Mocks Anti-Iran Protesters
News outlets as diverse as WCBS Radio; Newsday; Agence France-Presse; Fox News; The New York Sun; Russia's state news agency, RIA Novosti; and even the Voice of America elected to report on the anti-Iran rally held yesterday outside the United Nations.
The protest against Iran and its president, Ahmadinejad, was sponsored by the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, UJA/Federation. CAMERA, and a number of other groups. It featured such speakers as Natan Sharansky, Elie Wiesel, and the Speaker of Israel's Knesset.
Some of the reporting media included photos of the crowds and their protest signs, including Fox News, the New York Sun, and even the Voice of America, which was among those to include a crowd photo in its report.
The New York Times, however, chose a very different form of coverage. Banished to its "Metro" section, which does not reach beyond the New York City area, columnist Clyde Haberman was assigned to write up the protest rall, and did so in a mocking way -- accompanied by photos that showed not the protesting crowds, but scenes of litter being cleaned up afterward.
After mocking the people and groups who turned out to send a message to the world that Ahmadinejad's policies and nuclear ambitions cannot be tolerated, Haberman concluded by remarking:
"So it always seems to go when Mr. Ahmadinejad is in town. Chances are good that he will be here again next year. Maybe by then yet another group of New Yorkers will have figured out how to get it wrong."
Alongside the Haberman hit piece runs a column entitled "Reporter's Notebook,"which sought to single out a number of individual protesters and use them as examples to characterize the rallying crowd as, essentially, a group of weirdos.