Thursday, November 20, 2014

Here's what terrible media criticism looks like

Over at the NYT they ran a story about the synagogue massacre that seemed reasonably well done.  It contained no obvious mistakes, the crimes of the Palestinians were duly itemized and even the tone seemed gentle enough to satisfy even the most sensitive Zionist soul.

Unfortunately when you suffer from a pre-existing condition of Times hatred, there's always something. Here's some of the nutty complaints I saw.

They called Yehuda Glick an agitator
Now, agitator happens to be a perfectly good English word with no especially sinister connotations but if you were raised by wolves or educated in a Jewish Madrassa it may sound like the Times is saying something nasty about Mr. Glick. They are not, A quick dictionary check will reveal that the word simply seems someone who wants the government to change a policy, and urges others to resist that policy.  In other words, agitator is perfectly appropriate one word summary of Yehuda Glck's public activities over the last several years.

They said Har Nof is in West Jerusalem
As with the previous example this is a case of the Times being criticized for telling the truth rather than engaging in politically correct euphemisms. Where is Har Nof? West Jerusalem, right? And if you're mad because you hold Jerusalem is a unified city, and dislike the suggestion that it still has two  divided parts, that's fine, only the New York Times lives in a world where not a single government recognizes this, including the US - even when Republicans were captaining the ship of state. Is the Times supposed to embrace an editorial policy that  humors your view of the world, to the exclusion of how every political entity in the universe views it?  Come on.

They engaged in moral relativism
Most people know that moral relativism has nothing to do with identifying two acts as having equal moral significance. The first problem is the nutty media critics don't realize this. The second problem is they think that any time a writer lists two acts in the same paragraph he's saying they are morally identical. So when the Times recounts the violent events of the last few months, the nutty media critic thinks the Times is really saying all those events are exactly the same. And because he's as bad at vocabulary as he is at reading, he calls that moral relativism. Two mistakes for the price of one,

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