Monthly Archives: August 2002

Letter sent out to NYTimes

[Letter sent out to NYTimes staff and MediaWatch International]
Dear Editors of the New York Times,
Until now, I do not think I was incredibly let down by the New York Times. And it wasn’t for some blatant libel or miswrote headline that I decided to write you. I am infuriated that you chose to extensively quote the Hamas Spokesman, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, who said, after the terrorist attack in the Frank Sinatra cafeteria, that he “expresses regret for the deaths of Americans.” The honorable Rantisi was quoted both in the World Briefs and with the rest of the articles about Israel in August 2, 2002’s NYTimes.
I must admit, the Hamas does wonderful PR. They were able to spin a direct attack on international students at the FRANK SINATRA cafeteria into an attack that, unfortunately, killed and wounded Americans. They convinced the United States’ Newspaper of Record to publish their press release, making it possible that some people out there with inadequate knowledge of who the Hamas is might actually believe them. (Hell, it was in a headline in the New York Times.)
Seriously, as a long time customer and an avid reader, I would like to know who made the decision to quote Rantisi. I hope it was an intern, because I would hope that the New York Times would be able to hire people with enough experience and responsibility, let alone basic knowledge of the players in the game, which could discern between spin and news. Between truth and fiction.
Do you think that the Hamas doesn’t do extensive intelligence gathering before every operation? Do you really think that they didn’t think of the fact that it was Summer School, and that the great majority of the students were international? That one of the largest contingents were American? Do you think that they burn American flags at rallies because they ran out of Israeli ones? Knowing just a little about Hamas’ stated goals, I’d think Rantisi would regret not killing more Americans.
Hamas is world renowned as a Terrorist organization. They deliberately target civilians and then throw parties in celebration (you didn’t think about writing a headline about that, did you). So why do you call Rantisi a “Political Leader?” Well then, to tell the truth, I guess Hitler was political, as was Stalin and Mao. (I shouldn’t forget Pol Pot.) And I’m sure you would have quoted their spokespeople too, wouldn’t you?
If someone experienced made the decision it leads me to believe that they are playing for the Palestinian team. And that’s bad Journalism.
Take some responsibility for your actions please. If it means that someone with experience checks what you publish, hire someone else. I’ll pay the extra nickel.
Hoping for an explanation,
Ariel Beery


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