Thursday, December 26, 2013

The New York Times-Then and Now

Hat tip Miggie

The below presentation by a young lady named Anna Blech lasts 12+ minutes. It is based on an award-winning research project she did and is well worth the time to view it. In this presentation, Blech critically describes the reporting of the New York Times during the on-going murders of Jews during World War II. Contrary to some beliefs that the world was completely unaware of the killings until the death camps were liberated, Blech shows New York Times articles describing reports of mass killings of Jews during the early 1940s. The problem was the stories were buried on back pages in tiny spaces. Due to reporting like this, many in the US public did not know what was happening overseas in regards to the Jews.

According to Blech, this was due to the influence of the Times' owner and publisher, Arthur Hays Sulzberger, a Classical Reform Jew himself, who did not identify with European Jews and did not consider Jews as a race. According to Blech, Sulzberger also wanted to downplay the perception that the Times was a Jewish paper.

The elder Sulzberger became publisher of  the Times ownership by way of being married to the daughter of the owner, Adolph Ochs, who also wanted to lower the paper's perceived Jewish profile due to his interest in Jews becoming assimilated into American society. Sulzberger was publisher from 1935-1961. He was succeeded by a son-in-law and two years later by his son, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, nicknamed "Punch", who held that position until 1992, when he turned it over to his son, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. the present publisher and chairman.

While Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Sr. had served in World War II as a Marine and in Korea as a Marine reserve, the younger Sulzberger was of a different generation and mindset. According to a profile by Michael Widlanski in his 2012 book, "Battle for our minds", the younger Sulzberger was a hippy-type Vietnam war protester, who was reportedly twice arrested at anti-war protests. After his father bailed him out of jail, he reportedly asked his son what he would want to happen if an American soldier came upon a North Vietnamese soldier. Whom would he want to see get shot? The younger son reportedly told his father he would prefer to see  the American shot because he was in the other's country. While the elder Sulzberger ("Punch") was liked by the Times' staff, the son was derisively nicknamed "Pinch" (p 121).

He has hardly lost his liberalism since then. He has been a fierce opponent of George W Bush and his "War on Terror". Reporting, not surprisingly, has tilted pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel, and has downplayed the idea of Islamic terrorism as a worldwide threat. Today, the younger Sulzberger presides over a once-great newspaper that has become little more than a propaganda arm of liberal Democratic politics. He has accumulated a collection of left-wing columnists like Maureen Dowd, Frank Rich, Paul Krugman, and others who have zero objectivity-only their personal political agendas.

The road from America's flagship newspaper to propaganda rag has been long and hard.


Miggie said...

The NY Times, along with the major newspapers they feed in every major city, is a daily well written propaganda pamphlet. People aren't buying it and the industry is declining. OTOH, Fox News is doing great as is the Wall Street Journal and the Investors Business Daily. They have better Opinion (and news coverage) sections than the Old Grey Lady. RIP

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Because it wasn't on the front page of the New York Times, nobody knew about it. Because everybody in America read the New York Times. It was every American's primary news source. Huh?

Oh, and there was no homegrown anti-Semitism in America, so what were the Och's and the Sulzberger's worried about anyway? I mean, the first Jewish Supreme Court justice had a sitting justice refuse to shake his hand because said justice believed that this is a Christian Nation and no Jew had any business sitting on the court, the KKK had been at the peak of its second incarnation only ten years before...

Gary Fouse said...

Not sure what your point is Siarlys, but the points I made were pretty clear. The first Sulzberger wanted Jews to be considered like everyone else in the US and was removed from the suffering of Jews in Europe. The current one is a lefty who has made the NYT a propaganda arm of liberal Democratic politics.
The practice of burying stories that go against your agenda is commonly used today as it apparently was decades ago.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Oh, EVERYONE buries stories that don't fit their agenda. And what's wrong with wanting Jews to be considered like everyone else in the US?

Americans knew what was happening to Jews in Germany... they just weren't motivated to go to war over it, any more than most Americans would have enlisted in 1861 to free the slaves.

Gary Fouse said...

I don't believe I mentioned that aspect of assimilation in a pejorative way, merely as a point of explanataion.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

You don't believe it, huh? You mentioned assimilation as a factor bolstering your point, and your point was that the Times did something wrong.