Nothing Important Happened Monday

It must be that nothing of much importance happened on the day following Independence Day, at least nothing newsworthy enough to be written up as the lede story in the New York Times.

Instead, the lede honor, two columns at the upper rightmost corner of the front page, running halfway down the page to the "fold," is devoted to an article in the paper's "news report" format intended solely to embarrass the State of Israel, to make her look bad in the eyes of readers, and, perhaps, to engender efforts to change U.S. tax laws to Israel's detriment.

The thrust of this overwhelmingly important "news" article is that tax-deductible contributions to certain American charities, including Christian ones, help support Jewish some settlers and their settlements, thus, according to the Times, abusing American tax laws and undermining President Obama's policy initiatives in the region.

Two half-page deep columns are not enough, though, for this multi-bylined article. The continuation inside occupies a full two-page spread, complete with additional photos and a meticulously elaborate map purporting to show where the money goes. The reporting and graphics are clearly the result of a tremendous amount of time and research expended by the Gray Lady in order to imply insidiously that the Treasury Department is laxly aiding the illicit flow of tax-deductible dollars to Israeli Jews.

Not among the "news that's fit to print," however, is a report in The New York Post that:

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, interviewed yesterday on the Arabic news station al-Jazeera, said President Obama had given him three missions, the "foremost" of which was to improve relations with the Muslim world. ... he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good.

It appears that the Times confiders it worthwhile to devote its most prominent front-page space and two inside pages to lamenting the tax-deductible status of contributions in aid of Israeli Jews but finds that NASA government dollars - stolen from the space program, which is being mostly shut down for lack of funding - isn't a subject worth reporting at all.

Some judgment. Maybe in addition to a Public Editor, who (don't all laugh at once) is supposed to keep reporters on the straight and narrow, the Times also needs a Fitness Editor who can judge what is really news and what is propaganda masquerading as such.