Everybody had all these ideas about saving Detroit, and nobody’s ideas actually worked. At a certain point, you have to stop fooling yourself.
Every few months, the New York Times issues another update in its on-going “Death of Detroit” series. This quote is from a Detroiter in today’s newest story, which focuses on the utter failure of the city’s emergency services and, of course, its impending bankruptcy.
What I want to know is when the Times will finally pronounce Detroit dead. I also want to know if there are Vegas odds on Detroit rising, zombie-like, from the grave.
On a slightly more serious note, what happens to the suburbs and exurbs when the city to which they are at least nominally attached ceases to be an actual city with a government and a population? Do the suburbanites simply pretend it hasn’t happened and continue to talk about Detroit as if it was a place? If so, in what sense will this state of affairs be any different from that of the previous thirty years or so?
I know several people who subsribe to an email listserv run by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA). Every few weeks, one of them forwards me the latest outrage perpetrated by such anti-Israel mouthpieces as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the like.
It is bellyaching of the absolute worst sort, charging that absolutely every criticism of Israel amounts to stunning anti-Israel bias. The messages provide subscribers with talking points that should be sent to each week’s offending member of the lamestream media:
- The Times' constant criticism of Israel is unwarranted and unprofessional.
- The news pages, most especially page one, should be reserved for actual news.
- The New York Times' code of ethics requires impartiality; readers demand and deserve it.
- Israeli leaders have repeatedly offered peace but Palestinian leaders have repeatedly rejected even negotiations.
- Stone throwing attacks can and have injured or killed many Israeli civilians and servicemembers.
- Barbaric acts of terrorism targeting civilians must not be equated with the legitimate rights of a democratic nation state to defend its citizens from such attacks.
There are even suggested tweets:
- Hey @nytimes, quit picking on #Israel. #NYTimesSmearsIsrael @CAMERAorg
- #Israel deplores violence, #Palestinian leaders foment it. Cover that @nytimes! #NYTimesSmearsIsrael @CAMERAorg
- Why do Israeli apts get page 1 coverage, @nytimes, but not Arab apts? #NYTimesSmearsIsrael @CAMERAorg #Israel
- Hey @nytimes, why humanize terrorists but not their victims? #NYTimesSmearsIsrael @CAMERAorg #Israel
The biases and inaccuracies that CAMERA routinely point out revolve around things like, “The reporter didn’t talk to enough pro-Israel people”; “This person, who wasn’t consulted, would have said something different”; “The op-ed author supports divestment”; “This author has said negative things about Zionism”; “The Palestinians did something bad thing, but it wasn’t covered in this article”; and, of course, “Readers of this piece who don’t know better would think that this is the complete picture of the Arab/Israeli conflict but it isn’t.”
The problem is almost never something like, “This information is blatantly false; Israel did not do the bad thing that is reported here.”
As a result, whenever I receive these email updates about the nefarious reporting in such pro-Palestinian rags as the New York Times, the effect is actually to make me less sympathetic to the concerns of CAMERA and the Israeli government (on whose behalf this “media watchdog” is constantly yapping).
As I told an audience of middle age and elderly Jewish men at what has got to be my least popular lecture ever — part of a local B’nai B’rith group’s luncheon series — the best way to determine if criticism of Israel stems from bias or anti-Semitism would be for Israel to immediately freeze settlement construction, stop violating international humanitarian law, and agree to Palestinian statehood.
If there are still a bunch of complaints about Israel after that, then I’ll subsribe to CAMERA’s email listserv and shout about bias too.
The New York Times on 12-12-12, in 1912.
"For those who delight in that sort of amusement …"
I saw this foolishness on Facebook the other day and had to post it here.
First of all, it’s in remarkably bad taste.
Secondly, it’s patently ridiculous to compare the situation of Israeli citizens facing Hamas rocket attacks and defended by th military might of the IDF with the Warsaw Ghetto fighters, who were outmatched in every sense and literally facing extermination.
Third, I think it’s pretty strange to claim that the New York Times has taken an accusatory tone with regard to Israel in the most recent iteration of the Gaza conflict. I suspect that supporters of the Palestinians would be very quick to disagree about the nature of the media coverage in the United States.
Finally, I would think supporters of Israel wouldn’t be so cavalier about making comparisons to the Warsaw Ghetto uprising when Israel has quite literally been launching an overwhelming display of military prowess against a ghettoized people. I’d have a hard time imagining better propaganda for Hamas than something like this, with just a few of the words changed.
Oh, the sheer number of snarky things that immediately came to mind when I read this a few minutes ago …
Here’s a sample:
- "Krugman declares victory!"
- "Fox News stunned to learn Rumsfeld had been reading the New York Times.”
- "The New York Times weeps at further loss of subscription dollars.”
- "Rumsfeld fails to consider iPad app implications of his rash decision."
- "…is what Rumsfeld ought to have tweeted from the Hague.”
I may read the Times online legitimately now — and enjoy the warm, squishy feeling of being a moral animal — rather than through the use of one of the many, many work-arounds that Running Chicken readers helpfully sent my way!
Thanks for your unconditional support during these trying times, as well as for your enduring willingness to put up with my insufferable smugness.
No, “Lame” because I use the Times for a class and, as such, I run through my 20 free articles pretty quickly. I’ve discussed this with our campus representative on more than one occasion — since our campus is part of the NYT readership program — and I’ve been waiting for information about a legitimate way through their paywall, especially as I get Sunday home delivery but don’t have an account number that I can simply enter and proceed merrily through it.
The Stone — a forum for philosophers to discuss contemporary and age-old issues — has returned to the New York Times Opinionator section after a hiatus of several months and Simon Critchley announces its return thusly:
For some of us who are lucky enough to get paid to think, philosophy is a profession, a way of paying the bills by teaching students.
But philosophy is more than a profession. Philosophy is that living activity of critical reflection where we are invited to analyze the world in which we find ourselves, and to question what passes for common sense or opinion in the particular society in which we live.
This activity is not some optional addendum to a culture, but should form part of that culture’s life. It should be integral to how a culture converses with itself, understands itself, talks to other cultures and seeks to understand them. Philosophy can provide a method for debunking the many myths and ideologies that haunt the present, as well as proposing alternative frameworks for thinking about the concepts we live by.
Philosophy, one might say, is an essential ingredient in the enactment, enrichment and excitement of something like freedom.
And, with that, it’s clear that I’ll be burning through my limit of 20 free articles a month at the New York Times website even sooner. The Stone’s 50+ essays last year were incredibly interesting and provided me with a lot to think about … and to blog about. I’m looking forward to tackling a whole new batch of them. And — who knows? — maybe even to write one … in case The Stone is interested in human rights or moral heroism this year!