The New York Times retreats


The New York Times editorial page has been in retreat mode this week. It began with the serious savaging by many informed critics of Paul Krugman's column from last Friday, and a partial  but incomplete surrender by Krugman on Monday. Now add its Israel coverage.

Marty Peretz of the New Republic laced into (registration required) the Times for its  churlish coverage of Israel's disengagment from Gaza. The Times is a paper, which despite its wide Jewish readership, and base in New York, had little visible  sympathy for and little coverage of the Jews massacred in the Holocaust, or for Israel at its formation. It has never been warm to Zionism or Israel throughout modern Israel's history . The paper has been run by the Sulzberger family, which has been running from its roots  for a century, never more so than under the reign of the current occupier of the Times' throne, Pinch Sulzberger.

The Times had an editorial yesterday applauding Israel on the success of the Gaza disengagement and even congratulates Ariel Sharon for his achievement, without getting in the requisite number of digs or new demands that always accompany any positive words about Israel. 

Their editorial last week (discussed here), while the disengagement was underway, attacked Sharon in advance for planning to use the Gaza disengagement as an excuse for not withdrawing from the West Bank. 
The Times may be feeling the heat. I do not think it has changed its colors this week, and become a respectable newspaper, of course.  But the slight about face for Krugman, and the more significant change in tone in the editorial on the Gaza disengagement, may  signal that at least some folks at the Times are reading what is written about them, and are aware of the most egregious problems that have been identified.

Richard Baehr  8 25 05