Too Jewish? Offensive NYT Chart Flags Democratic Lawmakers as 'Jewish?' or not, Removed After Outcry

September 10th, 2015 10:33 PM

Like a Monty Python skit gone tragic, the New York Times actually ran a chart in its newspaper and online labeling Democratic lawmakers against the Obama administration's controversial nuclear deal with Iran as "Jewish?" or not (the "Jewish?" part was removed from the online version after outcry).

David Herszenhorn's accompanying article, "Iran Debate Delayed as Talk Of Secret Deals Divides G.O.P. – In House, a Revolt From the Party's Right Flank," was not exactly sympathetic to conservatives, but lacked the sinister undertones of the chart, which appeared under the explanatory headline: "Lawmakers Against the Iran Deal."

The four chart headings read, from left to right: Democrats against the deal – Jewish? – District and estimated Jewish population – Vote with party.

Under the heading "Democrats against the deal," the lawmakers' names were arranged out of alphabetical order solely to enable the Times to stack all the "Yes" names that qualified as "Jewish?" at the top of the chart.

The chart's text box: "Twenty-three Democratic lawmakers have said they will not support President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, joining their Republican colleagues in the House and the Senate. Though more Jewish members of Congress support the deal than oppose it, the Democrats against the deal are more likely to be Jewish or represent Jewish constituencies."

The offensive graphic was credited to Alicia Parlapiano in the paper, but taken "credit" for on Twitter by reporter Jonathan Weisman: "As I said, I take responsibility for graphic & don't apologize. We kept data, just put it into intro. I'm Jewish....The Iran deal has divided the Jewish community like few issues I've ever covered. It is relevant and you know it."

Two weeks ago Weisman also made gratuitous references to the Jewish religion of some Democratic congressional opponents of the Obama administration's controversial nuclear deal with Iran: "But the ranks of undecided Democrats are still full of quirks and wild cards, from a freshman senator from Michigan whose closest aide has a pro-Israeli government bent to lawmakers inclined toward avoiding military conflict but from states where any position in support of President Obama is toxic."

Twitchy squeezed some grim Twitter humor out of the "Jewish?" chart incident: "Have you ever thought to yourself, 'Gee, wouldn't it be great if I could keep track of all the Jews, all in one place?' Well, the wait is over. The New York Times is here to help."

Twitchy rounded up some choice reactions off Twitter, including a tweet from Dan Foster labeling the article "Handy Jew Tracker." Twitter account Political Math: "NYT keeping tabs of all those Jews and their Jew-y votes. Never know what Jewery they're up to.... My favorite part of the NYT Jew tracker is the part where specifically track how loyal to the political party the Jews are."

The pro-Israel media bias watchdog CAMERA emailed an update:

In response to public outcry, including from CAMERA, the online version was modified slightly – removing a particularly shocking column headed “Jewish?” to assign religious affiliation to lawmakers. Yet, the chart still focuses reprehensibly on the Jewishness of lawmakers’ districts and their alleged voting patterns.