The New York Times seems determined to kill the proposed Trump Middle East peace plan before it is even made public.
In a recent article, it quoted only nay-sayers and critics, who without having even seen the plan have declared its demise. In the guise of news, the Times provided “analysis” in the news section, which was, in reality, an editorial. This has become more and more common on the news pages of The New York Times. The separation of news from opinion is in the highest tradition of journalism, but The New York Times seems determined to knock down that wall of separation, especially when it comes to subjects on which its editors and publishers have strong opinions. Among these subjects are both Israel, which can do no right, and Donald Trump, who is always wrong. When these two subjects come together, as they do with regard to the Trump peace plan, readers must be wary of accepting news reports as objective.
Every single expert quoted in the article predicted that it would not succeed. Many of these experts have been involved in past unsuccessful efforts to bring about a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is not surprising that these experts would not want to see others succeed where they have failed, especially if those others were members of the Trump administration. Then one expert went so far as to say:
“The only way to protect the long-term viability of the best aspects of the Kushner plan,” he wrote, “is to kill the plan.”
The danger of such biased reporting is that it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If The New York Times reports that the plan will fail, that report itself is likely to have influence on parties to the negotiation. Nobody wants to risk their credibility by being part of a failed effort.
The New York Times declined to seek expert opinion from those of us who actually consulted with the administration on aspects of the plan. They seem deliberately to avoid quoting anyone who had a positive view of the Trump administration’s efforts.
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