Israel's flag back over Cairo Embassy not fit to print in NY Times

In its Aug. 30 edition, the New York Times runs a lengthy article about what happened in Cairo since anti-Israel demonstrators pulled down and desecrated the Israeli flag flown over the Israeli Embassy a week ago.  But leave it to the Times to omit the most important development -- of which more later ("In Egypt, An Act of Boldness Is Disputed" page A4).

The article, reported by no fewer than two Times correspondents in the Egyptian capital -- Heba Afify and Stephen Farrell -- runs the full length of a column on the main international-news page.

It starts off by recounting in great detail the feat of a Spiderman-like protester, who climbed up the side of the Embassy building, ripped away the flag and tossed it down, thus becoming an instant hero.  YouTube, Facebook and Twitter took it from there.

"His rebellious ascent thrilled the crowd and many across the nation," Afify and Farrell write.  "To them, it seemed to epitomize a new Egyptian boldness."  But the jubilation didn't last long.  A rival soon emerged claiming to be the real Flagman.  He insisted that it was he who got to the flag and tossed it to the other guy a few stories below, who then proceeded to reach bottom first and to falsely claim his moment of glory.

So for the next few days, Egyptian media served up the "Battle of the Flagmen."  And now the Times obliges.

But in its fascination with and emphasis on the anti-Israel mood in Cairo, the Times omits an important final act in this bit of political theater -- as of Aug. 29, the day before the Times' went to press with its story, the Israeli flag proudly flew again outside the Cairo Embassy.  This was understandably news in both the Egyptian and Israeli media -- but not for the Times and its Cairo correspondents . 

An example of Israeli resilience in the face of adversity just doesn't comport with the paper's anti-Israel bent.  The Times, which boasts on its front-page masthead that it provides "all the news that's fit to print" did not see fit to print the most recent and most newsworthy development about the Israeli flag proudly fluttering again at the Embassy of the Jewish state in the capital of Egypt.

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