Friday, February 26, 2010

Ethan Bronner on Jerusalem

Remember the recent spat about how Ethan Bronner, the top NYT fellow in Israel and Palestine, must or must not be removed since his son has joined the IDF?

Today he's got an article about the development plans our mayor, Nir Barket, is trying to implement in a corner of East Jerusalem you've never heard of, al-Bustan. So far as I can see, Bronner's report is what's called balanced. He talked to the mayor, he talked to some Palestinian residents who will be affected if the plan goes through, he doesn't state an opinion of his own and so far as I can see, he doesn't imply one, either. Here's an issue; here's what one side says, here's what the other side says. I report, you decide.

Professional journalism.

There's only one problem: since you've never heard of al-Bustan before, you come away from this report with exactly no more understanding than before you read it. If you don't believe me, here's an intellectual exercise: Pretend you can be beamed over to this al-Bustan place, along with a group of intelligent folks who know nothing about the matter, and while standing in the middle of it you've got to explain to them what's going on, and answer their follow-up questions. You won't be able to, will you. Of course not.

That's professional journalism for you.

3 comments:

Victor said...

Knowledge without wisdom

Anonymous said...

the whole is more than its parts?
Silke

PS: off topic or maybe not because it says something about the standards of the NYT

I found this remark this morning and went what?????? Allenby and probably a lot of others before him were "religiously motivated"? Is there an Elders of the Anglicans going on, trying to take over the glories of imperialism ;-))) or are the psychos of this world clamouring for their stint of negotiating in plush spas.


"always in the name of the eternal rightness of one religion or another."
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/26/opinion/26strenger.html?ref=global-home

4infidels said...

There is also the problem of one side in the dispute has little regard for truth.

We know that if an Arab-Muslim government was in charge, the houses would have been destroyed and the people evicted before the Western press could have gotten wind of what was happening, if they would have even cared. Israel's legal system and Jerusalem's mayor trying to find a solution have given those seeking an opportunity to demonize Israel to run endless articles and create overblown horror stories about "the brutality of Israeli occupation." Meanwhile people are suffering in Haiti, dying in the Congo, Christians slaughtered in Iraq, etc, but that doesn't arouse the indignation of the world like Jews owning land in East Jerusalem.