The Israeli elections are looming Tuesday, and conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former army chief, Benny Gantz, are running a close race. In the runup, the New York Times piled on its usual anti-Israel and specifically anti- Netanyahu hostility. Monday’s front page featured David Halbfinger, the paper’s Jerusalem bureau chief, portraying Netanyahu, who is supported by Trump and derided by many Democrats, as ruthless and desperate, a "rapacious alpha dog" with "an antipathy for liberal voices, a discomfort with Muslim minorities and a willingness to work with the far-right."
New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief David Halbfinger was on the front page Monday analyzing President Trump’s popularity in Israel: “For Netanyahu, Trump Offers Election Boost -- U.S. President Popular Among Israeli Voters.” Halbfinger spun that seemingly flattering factoid in the most cynical and hostile way (it is Israel, after all, the paper’s least favorite country), comparing Trump and Israel’s embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu so that neither came off well at all. This particular treatment of an American president’s popularity overseas was quite unlike how the paper celebrated President Barack Obama locking up the Paris slum vote, or candidate Obama’s “tone poems” delivered to a rapturous crowd in Berlin.
Israel, always to blame at the New York Times. A front-page photo of fleeing Palestinian protestors at the Gaza border was deceptively captioned: “Israel Strikes in Gaza – Protesters at the Gaza border flee from an Israeli air assault on Friday. One Israeli soldier and four Palestinians were killed.” The picture introduced Isabel Kershner’s story , “Israel Launches Broad Air Assault in Gaza Following Border Violence.” From neither headline would you learn that it was the Palestinians that attacked first by assassinating an Israeli soldier, with Israel retaliating. Kershner’s story also implied faulty timelines making Israel appear the aggressor.
The New York Times has been heavily criticized for its blatantly anti-Israeli coverage of the deadly protest in Gaza, after the terrorist group Hamas urged Palestinian civilians to rush the fence guarding Israel’s border from attack. The disparity continued on Wednesday’s front page, “Israelis Reflect: ‘I Hope at Least That Each Bullet Was Justified.’” Reporters Isabel Kershner and David Halbfinger reported from a kibbutz close to the conflict, near the “open-air prison” that they call Gaza.
In Sunday’s New York Times, Jerusalem bureau chief David Halbfinger managed both to minimize the existential threat Israel faces in the region, and the death cult of the anti-Israel terror group Hamas (while repeating Hamas talking points as fact) in “Though Deadly, a Protest Is Hailed as a Big Step for Gazans.”
Betraying its obvious antagonism toward America’s ally Israel, and coddling the statehood hopes of Palestinians (along with much of the rest of the media), the New York Times reacted with alarm to the breaking news Tuesday that President Trump would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Israel’s center of government since 1948.
Campaign 2016 has already started, and the New York Times weighed in on the presidential hopefuls in three stories Tuesday. So far, it's a hail for Hillary, a ho-hum greeting for Joe Biden, and hostility toward Republican governors Chris Christie and Bobby Jindal. David Halbfinger's Tuesday front-page story was loaded with hostility toward New Jersey's governor: "Brash Christie Plays Rutgers Circumspectly."
It does not take much for Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey to uncork his temper. He has called a Navy combat veteran an “idiot,” suggested reporters “take the bat” to a lawmaker in her 70s, and gone taunt-to-taunt with detractors on the boardwalk and in countless town hall meetings.
Saturday’s New York Times featured a flattering profile by David Halbfinger of Long Island Rep. Steve Israel, whose job it is, in his new role as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, to return the party to power: “L.I. Congressman Leads an Uphill Charge Toward a Democratic House.”
It may seem surprising that the job of taking back the House -- Democrats need 25 seats to do so -- has fallen not to a bloodthirsty partisan, but to the easygoing Mr. Israel: an unassuming centrist from Long Island who once voted with President George W. Bush nearly half of the time and has barely made a mark after a decade in Congress.
“Unassuming”? Perhaps. “Centrist”? No way. The American Conservative Union awarded Israel’s lifetime voting record (he's a 10-year veteran of Congress) a mere 11 points out of 100, including 0 out of 100 the last two years. Those numbers situate Rep. Israel well left of center.
The Times's Jamie Lorber also insisted Israel was a "moderate" and a "middle-of-the-road Democrat" in a November 19, 2010 story marking his ascent to head the DCCC.
The New York Times's weekly “Sunday Routine” feature is billed as “Prominent New Yorkers recount their weekend rituals.” This Sunday it featured Al Sharpton being interviewed by David Halbfinger. Halbfinger’s introduction gave no hint of why Sharpton is considered by non-Times readers as a controversial figure.
Unmistakable and formidable, if a physically reduced version of the man he once was, the Rev. Al Sharpton, 56, uses Sundays as his “half-down day.” It’s a workday, for sure -- including two hourlong radio broadcasts -- but it also offers chances for decompression, companionship, exercise, sending texts and posting on Twitter. A Brooklyn native, Mr. Sharpton lives in a two-bedroom apartment in the West 70s in Manhattan.
That bias by omission permeates the paper’s historical coverage of Sharpton, which has consistently labeled him a “civil rights advocate,” while ignoring his (literally) racially incendiary past: the racially charged Tawana Brawley rape hoax; his ranting against “diamond merchants” (Jews) in 1991; the Harlem protest against what he called a “white interloper," during which a fellow protester burst into the store, shot four employees and set the store on fire, where seven died.
New York Times reporter David Halbfinger filed from Trenton, N.J., Wednesday on Gov. Chris Christie’s recently unveiled budget proposal (“Christie Declares ‘New Normal’ in Proposing Tight Budget”) and again displayed a pro-Democrat double standard.
Only last week Halbfinger penned a favorable profile of Connecticut’s Democrat Gov. Dannel Malloy, who devoted half the interview to running down, in Halbfinger’s words, the “blustery and bellicose” Christie, whose clips of his back-and-forth engagement with union members have won him a conservative fan club.
Halbfinger’s treatment of Christie was far less friendly than the tone he took toward Gov. Malloy:
David Halbfinger’s Wednesday New York Times profile of Connecticut’s newly elected Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy favorably compared him to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is winning fans for his insistence on budget discipline and his outspoken challenges to unions: “In Tackling Connecticut’s Finances, New Governor Criticizes Peer’s Approach.”
Reporter Halbfinger let Malloy hypocritically pat himself on the back for civility while taking pot shots at Christie. Halbfinger played along, portraying Christie as “blustery and bellicose” compared to the “polite” Democrat Malloy, flatteringly portrayed as closing a deficit while spending “much of his energy finding ways to spare the most vulnerable" and considering tax increases.
The New York Times put its full weight behind liberal New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on the front page on Thursday, after she fought for open homosexuality in the military and a measure extending health care to first responders to the 9/11 attacks. In this article, it's clear they're happiest about her gay advocacy. Reporter David Halbfinger hailed a new heroine in explicitly gushy terms:
When that measure, too, won approval on Wednesday, it not only marked a victory of legislative savvy and persistence. It also signaled the serious emergence of Ms. Gillibrand, the 44-year-old successor to Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Once derided as an accidental senator, lampooned for her verbosity and threatened with many challengers who openly doubted her abilities, a succinct, passionate and effective Senator Gillibrand has made her presence felt in the final days of this Congress.