New York Times gets 'more honest' about Iran deal

"Iranians and Americans need to be more honest about their past actions," the New York Times' Editorial Board intones in its opinion titled "Why the Past Haunts Talks With Iran."  This intriguing combination of words naturally raises a question: what does the New York Times mean by being "more honest"?

Does it mean being "honest"?  If so, the New York Times' Editorial Board is not leading the way.  Being honest means acknowledging that Obama's Iran "deal" grants legitimacy to Iran's nuclear program in exchange for a 15-year hiatus in production of the actual weapon.  That's all there is to it.  The truth about the deal fits in just one short sentence, yet that sentence is nowhere to be found in the Editorial Board's long piece.  "The deal was flawed" is the closest that New York Times gets to criticizing the "deal" — a characterization that is so general as to be utterly useless.  What exactly does it mean?  That the deal could have showered more benefits on Iran?  That ayatollahs could have gotten more out of it?  Clearly, the Editorial Board knew they had to address both sides of the debate around the "deal" and to present at least some criticism of Obama's Iran "deal" into which Biden is so eager to get back — but without sinking it in the public's opinion, which would be the result of being plain "honest" about it.  So the New York Times' Editorial Board chose to be merely "more honest" about it, describing the deal as "flawed" without telling the reader what that "flaw" in the deal actually was: allowing Iran to make the atom bomb in 2030.

This brings us to an interesting and paradoxical linguistic observation that "being more honest" really means "being less than honest."  Simply being "honest" is apparently the pinnacle of truth-speaking; adding any qualifier makes a precipitous step down from that pinnacle.  The word "more" in that context reality means "less."  We often hear that at times "less is more" — but the New York Times' Editorial Board just proved that "more is less," too.  Or, to think of it, aren't those two statements one and same?

Whatever the case, one thing is clear: the New York Times lives by the famous advertising principle from a century back: "Always tell the truth.  Tell a lot of the truth.  Tell a lot more of the truth than anybody expects you to tell.  But never tell the whole truth."  In refusing to tell its readers the "whole truth" about the JCPOA but instead going in long circles around that truth, the New York Times continues its pattern of lies by omission, of tendentiousness and duplicity, that is a hallmark of its attempt to shape public opinion on the ayatollahs' Iran and their nuclear program.

Image: Adam Jones via Flickr (cropped).

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