Prof. Phyllis CheslerThe writer, a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum and recipient of the 2013 National Jewish Book Award, is the author of sixteen books, including Women and Madness, Woman's Inhumanity to Woman, and The New Anti-Semitism. She has written four studies about honor killing, Her latest books are An American Bride in Kabul, (Palgrave Macmillan) and Living History: On The Front Lines for Israel and the Jews.Professor Chesler may be reached at her website www.phyllis-chesler.com
Mainly, I lead a quiet, writer’s life. I read, I write, I listen to music, I gaze out my window. Sometimes, I visit a museum or see a movie.
I read two or three books and several manuscripts every week and about one hundred articles and many hundreds of emails every day. I read online and I read hardcopies of the Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, the New York Times, the New York Review of Books, the Jewish media, the feminist media and the conservative media.
I am a thoughtful person. I do not deserve to be misled so purposely and so continuously, day after day, every single day; as well as year after year.
Once, I looked forward to reading the New York Times. I really did. It was such a “Manhattan” experience. One read it leisurely and one discussed its articles with intimates and colleagues.
Now, I still read the Paper of Record. I even appreciate some of its articles. Over the years, I have criticized its coverage of both Israel and Islamism, its’ systematic refusal to use the word “Islamist,” “Arab” or “terrorist,” (they have actually changed a bit with the times), its’ heartbreakingly vicious bias against Israel.
It is my strong impression that the indoctrination against Israel in its’ pages has, if possible, gotten more intense, more toxic, more formulaic. A lot crazier.
While the Times may cover atrocities in Rwanda or Sudan, or even the non-stop epidemics of Muslim-on-Muslim violence, it does not always side with the evil-doers.
Todays’ New York Times has extensive articles, (not about Manhattan), but about Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Gaza, and Syria. There is also an article about terrorism law in New York, a lead editorial titled “Close Guantanamo Prison” and an op-ed piece by one Yossi Beilin titled “Support Palestinian Statehood”—eight articles about Muslim countries and Islamist terrorism.
I am concerned with the front page ninth article which is titled: “From Man Who Insulted Muhammad, No Regret.” Yes, it is about That 14 minute You Tube video trailer, with the odd and ungainly title: “Innocence of Muslims.”
This piece, written by Serge F. Kovaleski and Brooks Barnes, is the kind of article that could easily have appeared in Pravda or Der Sturmer. Instead of dealing even-handedly with the intense and escalating persecution of Christian Copts in Egypt, the article instead presents this amateur filmmaker as a convicted criminal (which he apparently is), a twice-divorced father, a liar (he lied to his actors), a deranged and pathetic loser, a lost soul, and an anti-Islam activist in cahoots with other American Christian anti-Islam activists—with Really Bad Guys.
In other words, the issue of why an Egyptian Christian Copt would make such a video was neatly dodged, as was any news coverage of the plight of Christians in the Islamic Middle East and in Pakistan.
Christian girls are being kidnapped, forcibly converted, raped, and then married to their rapists. Churches are being burned down. Living Christians are being murdered, even crucified. Christians have been fleeing the Middle East. Except for Israel, the region is already “Judenrein;” and there will soon be no Christians left there either—except in Jewish Israel.
Is it entirely a coincidence that this article has appeared just before Susan Rice is set to testify about the terrorism in Benghazi and about why she attributed the obviously pre-planned Al-Qaeda-linked terrorism to this particular video?
We do not learn until paragraph seven that “there is a dispute about how important the video was in provoking the terrorist assault on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi.” And then, this front page article hurtles ahead for a full page all of which discredits and demonizes the video-maker.
Is it entirely a coincidence that this article has appeared just before Susan Rice is set to testify about the terrorism in Benghazi and about why she attributed the obviously pre-planned Al-Qaeda-linked terrorism to this particular video? Just wondering.
“Innocence of Muslims,” is a ridiculous little video, almost comical. Nothing is believable. It is so clearly an amateur effort. But, far more sophisticated films have appeared which have documented Islamist terrorism. They have also presumably “provoked” riots, offended honor, and have been duly discredited, censored, sued--drowned out in a sea of counter-narratives.
One of the three photos which appear on page A18, show people in Indonesia (the most peaceful of Muslim countries and the largest), standing on a poster of the videographer, shown wearing red horns, surrounded by a Jewish star, and calling for the Death Penalty for him.
I wonder why the New York Times chose this photo (as well as a photo of the videographer’s home) but did not “balance” it out with photos of the American Ambassador’s lynching or of acid-disfigured Christian girls in Pakistan who were attacked for not wearing Islamic hijab?
Can you imagine the ultimate effect such poisoned propaganda has on civilians?
I would say that such propaganda is precisely what leads to the anti-Israel and pro-Gaza riotous demonstrations in the West that have become so violent and menacing.