8 votes

Shame On You’: New York Times Antisemitic Cartoon Controversy Escalates

32 comments

  1. [13]
    moriarty (edited ) Link
    Oh come on! As a jew and an Israeli, this is simply rage porn. I think the cartoon was apt in describing how Netanyahu's success despite the bigotry, racism and corruption is paving the way and...

    Oh come on! As a jew and an Israeli, this is simply rage porn. I think the cartoon was apt in describing how Netanyahu's success despite the bigotry, racism and corruption is paving the way and informing Trump. It is just spot on. I've been saying this for years - the US is following very closely in Israel's footsteps, about 5 years behind.
    I think it's rich for Netanyahu to protest after he's welcomed and supported the actually antisemitic Victor Orban campaign in Hungary and his antisemitic depiction of Soros. Or the agreement he's signed with Poland's prime minister excusing poles from responsibility for the crimes of the Nazi regime.
    I think they could've done away with the Star of David and yarmulke and have a little Israeli flag instead, but oh well.

    21 votes
    1. [12]
      Nmg Link Parent
      As a Jew and Israeli-American, i disagree with you. This isn't about portraying Netanyahu in a bad light or Netanyahu being a hipocrite. Don't let your distaste for Netanyahu cloud what the...

      As a Jew and Israeli-American, i disagree with you.

      This isn't about portraying Netanyahu in a bad light or Netanyahu being a hipocrite. Don't let your distaste for Netanyahu cloud what the cartoon is. The controversy is about the fact that they chose to identify him as a Jew (star of david, NOT flag of Israel, along with a Kippah on Trump's head), combined with the fact that he is identified as:

      A) As a dog in a negative light, when a lot of anti-semitism in the Muslim world calls Jews dogs

      B) As leading a blind US President, when a lot of anti-semitic discourse is about how Jews control the world and all the bad things that happen in it.

      So yes, this is anti-semitic, and I would not expect to see it in the New York Times.

      11 votes
      1. [3]
        moriarty Link Parent
        I agree that the portrayal of the star of david and kippah is in bad taste. I chalk it down to the frustratingly common interchangeability of Israelis and jews. But the dog leading a blind person...

        I agree that the portrayal of the star of david and kippah is in bad taste. I chalk it down to the frustratingly common interchangeability of Israelis and jews. But the dog leading a blind person is clearly an allegory, not a trope. It represents a skilled and successful demagogue leading the way for a bumbling clueless president.
        I'm well aware of the common antisemitic tropes - since you're also an Israeli, you'd have discussed them at length in school. But I think in this case you are reading too much into this - Netanyahu doesn't represents all jews and Trump here doesn't represent the world. The interpretation I see in this is much narrower, as explained above.

        11 votes
        1. [2]
          cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
          IMO the star of David was likely included because a lot of people in the US wouldn't have recognized the caricature of Netanyahu otherwise. Although I will admit that even so, it and the dog...

          IMO the star of David was likely included because a lot of people in the US wouldn't have recognized the caricature of Netanyahu otherwise. Although I will admit that even so, it and the dog portrayal are still rather tone deaf... but antisemitic? I don't know about that.

          5 votes
          1. moriarty Link Parent
            In my personal opinion, a star of david represents all jews and if they wanted to hint at Netanyahu without evoking antisemitic sentiments, they should've used an Israeli flag. I can certainly see...

            In my personal opinion, a star of david represents all jews and if they wanted to hint at Netanyahu without evoking antisemitic sentiments, they should've used an Israeli flag. I can certainly see why people like @Nmg find it offensive - and even if I'm not sure I'd call this antisemitism, I agree that it's certainly tone deaf. I do think, however, that it is a very piecing and accurate criticism of current politics.

            4 votes
      2. [3]
        TheJorro Link Parent
        To be fair, this could be derived from Trump's history of calling people dogs.

        A) As a dog in a negative light, when a lot of anti-semitism in the Muslim world calls Jews dogs

        To be fair, this could be derived from Trump's history of calling people dogs.

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          Nmg Link Parent
          That's the first time I have heard of Trump calling people dogs. I think the anti-semitic connotation would be more likely recognized by an international audience.

          That's the first time I have heard of Trump calling people dogs. I think the anti-semitic connotation would be more likely recognized by an international audience.

          1. TheJorro Link Parent
            I'm part of the international audience, though.

            I'm part of the international audience, though.

            2 votes
      3. [5]
        culturedleftfoot Link Parent
        As someone not totally up to speed with neither the history nor current state of anti-semitism, I was struggling to parse the cartoon, and had the question - if the kippah was omitted, would it...

        As someone not totally up to speed with neither the history nor current state of anti-semitism, I was struggling to parse the cartoon, and had the question - if the kippah was omitted, would it read anti-semitic, dubious, or simply critical of Israel?

        3 votes
        1. moriarty Link Parent
          I think you need to omit both the kippah and the star of david to make it clear this is critical of Netanyahu/Israel and Trump/US.

          I think you need to omit both the kippah and the star of david to make it clear this is critical of Netanyahu/Israel and Trump/US.

          1 vote
        2. [3]
          Nmg Link Parent
          If the Kippah and Star of David were gone, (Netanyahu could be holding an Israeli Flag, which would be okay), then the cartoon would simply be critical of Netanyahu and would no longer be...

          If the Kippah and Star of David were gone, (Netanyahu could be holding an Israeli Flag, which would be okay), then the cartoon would simply be critical of Netanyahu and would no longer be anti-semitic.

          1 vote
          1. [2]
            culturedleftfoot Link Parent
            Even I get that; I was asking specifically just about the kippah.

            Even I get that; I was asking specifically just about the kippah.

            1. Nmg Link Parent
              If only the kippah were removed, then it would still be considered anti-semitic because of the star of david.

              If only the kippah were removed, then it would still be considered anti-semitic because of the star of david.

              1 vote
  2. [11]
    Douglas Link
    It was a big misstep, but I'm not going to cancel over it. When it comes to journalism I want to support, the choices seem few and far between. WaPo's got Bezos, NPR's got Koch Brothers starting...

    It was a big misstep, but I'm not going to cancel over it.

    When it comes to journalism I want to support, the choices seem few and far between. WaPo's got Bezos, NPR's got Koch Brothers starting up behind them (which I feel has lent itself to them giving legitimacy and platforms to opinions that shouldn't get it), who's left? I suppose Al Jazeera.

    Plus when Pence jumps on the bandwagon, I can't help but feel more obliged to let it slide.

    5 votes
    1. [9]
      Nmg Link Parent
      What do you mean NPR has Koch Brothers starting up behind them? NPR is the most trusted news source in America last time I checked. Regarding Pence....if I told you Hitler's favorite ice cream...

      What do you mean NPR has Koch Brothers starting up behind them?

      NPR is the most trusted news source in America last time I checked.

      Regarding Pence....if I told you Hitler's favorite ice cream flavor was Rocky Road, would you ensure that you never ate Rocky Road ice cream? Let the Politicians politicize...don't give them the power to decide what issues are important and which ones are not.

      4 votes
      1. [8]
        Diet_Coke Link Parent
        NPR receives some of its funding from Koch Enterprises, and I have seen them have guests on who work at Koch-funded think tanks, discussing issues that the Kochs lobby about, without disclosing...

        What do you mean NPR has Koch Brothers starting up behind them?

        NPR is the most trusted news source in America last time I checked.

        NPR receives some of its funding from Koch Enterprises, and I have seen them have guests on who work at Koch-funded think tanks, discussing issues that the Kochs lobby about, without disclosing it. A caller called them out on it and it was amazing to see the guest and host flounder around trying to explain it.

        They also receive funding from industry groups like PHARMA and military-industrial companies like Boeing and Lockheed-Martin. It shows in their coverage of Medicare-For-All and events in Venezuela.

        I drive for work so I listen to entirely too much NPR. They try really hard to stick to the status quo and play right down the middle, which is often to their detriment. I don't see them often lie outright, but in what they cover and how they cover it there is a good deal of bias.

        1 vote
        1. [7]
          Akir Link Parent
          This appears to be a misconception. Are you sure you are hearing "Koch"? Because they do have a large endowment left by Joan Kroc. I do know that one of them is a supporter of NPR Station WGBH,...

          This appears to be a misconception.

          Are you sure you are hearing "Koch"? Because they do have a large endowment left by Joan Kroc.

          I do know that one of them is a supporter of NPR Station WGBH, but it appears to be mostly because they are a PBS station; they give money specifically to make Nova.

          2 votes
          1. [6]
            Diet_Coke Link Parent
            That Snopes link is about a different question entirely. Of course they didn't buy NPR, they do donate to it though. And in fact, NPR refuses to say how much. I have 100% heard them get a shout...

            That Snopes link is about a different question entirely. Of course they didn't buy NPR, they do donate to it though. And in fact, NPR refuses to say how much. I have 100% heard them get a shout out on Planet Money, which has covered MfA in an underhanded 'theyre gonna raise yer taxes' kind of way.

            1 vote
            1. [5]
              Akir Link Parent
              It's literally the only trustworthy result I could find regarding this issue, at least on the first page of a Google search. Don't take this personally, but I want more concrete evidence to back...

              It's literally the only trustworthy result I could find regarding this issue, at least on the first page of a Google search.

              Don't take this personally, but I want more concrete evidence to back your claim than your statement hearing about their support. Can you find a transcript where they mention this link?

              3 votes
              1. [4]
                Diet_Coke Link Parent
                I'm sorry but it's just not worth my time to dig up. Like I said, the Snopes link is a completely different question. I guess you don't have to trust me, but why would I make this up?

                I'm sorry but it's just not worth my time to dig up. Like I said, the Snopes link is a completely different question. I guess you don't have to trust me, but why would I make this up?

                1. [3]
                  Akir Link Parent
                  I don't think you are making this up. But when talking about influencing journalism the next question should be to find in which way and extent the influence works. But before we can even get that...

                  I don't think you are making this up. But when talking about influencing journalism the next question should be to find in which way and extent the influence works. But before we can even get that far, we need to confirm that there is an influence to begin with.

                  6 votes
                  1. Douglas Link Parent
                    I recognize it's been days since this thread, but the evidence I've had that they're funding some news in NPR are in a few shout-outs in their morning reports, and in programs like Planet Money...

                    I recognize it's been days since this thread, but the evidence I've had that they're funding some news in NPR are in a few shout-outs in their morning reports, and in programs like Planet Money and Freakencomics. In fact, Freakenomics did the most softball interview with the elusive Kochs: http://freakonomics.com/podcast/why-hate-koch-brothers-part-1/ which I guiltily admit is what's sold me on the idea more than anything (I've stopped listening to Freakenomics as the hosts both seem to be a bit out-of-touch with the lower and middle class).

                    Lastly, my local rep Ron Wyden called it out during an interview on OPB when McConnel obstructed Obama's SCOTUS pick saying their money's roots only grow deeper and deeper, but if you've never searched the audio archives of a PSB affiliate, it's not exactly easy.

                    I'll keep my ears out; if I hear anything else I'll let you know.

                    1 vote
                  2. Diet_Coke Link Parent
                    In which way: that's easy. While you or I may donate $50 or even $100, Koch Enterprises can write a much larger check. IIRC 64% of NPR's funding comes from individual donors, 6% comes from the...

                    In which way: that's easy. While you or I may donate $50 or even $100, Koch Enterprises can write a much larger check. IIRC 64% of NPR's funding comes from individual donors, 6% comes from the government, and the remaining 30% comes from corporate donors. However, there are tens of thousands of individual donors and a handful of corporate donors, so their influence is outsized compared to yours or mine. However we can't know the exact level of their donations and resulting influence, because as I pointed out NPR isn't required to tell us.

                    When we look at the extent, again we run into information NPR is not going to share. If a story gets killed, or if a producer gets hired because of their radical milquetoast centrism, NPR isn't going to share that with us. All we can do is look at a network that generally has high quality discussion and see that they consistently ignore Bernie Sanders' popularity or disingenuously cover MfA and ask why.

    2. actionscripted Link Parent
      I think it's important that artists have the freedom to make mistakes. If a piece doesn't land the way it was intended, is too incendiary, is offensive, etc. then we all get to have a conversation...

      I think it's important that artists have the freedom to make mistakes. If a piece doesn't land the way it was intended, is too incendiary, is offensive, etc. then we all get to have a conversation about it and they get the option to respond to the response.

      It really bothers me that the reaction to things we don't agree with nowadays is to shut it out/down completely and encourage everyone else to do the same.

      3 votes
  3. BuckeyeSundae Link
    I don't have too much room to complain on this one (I am not a Jew, nor do I have anyone other than a sister-in-law and a nephew/niece who are Jewish), but I think generally people should try to...

    I don't have too much room to complain on this one (I am not a Jew, nor do I have anyone other than a sister-in-law and a nephew/niece who are Jewish), but I think generally people should try to respect other peoples as much as possible, even if you might strongly disagree with their political leaders' policies. I think sometimes people so strongly identify with their political beliefs that they rationalize disagreement with those politics as justifying hate speech, and that's not generally okay in my book.

    That said, I think NYT responded fine enough after the fact. This is the delicate sort of situation where people will demand that heads roll but actually engaging in that impulse might not be the best for the organization's overall health. At minimum they seem interested in reducing the amount of discretion the people involved get to make those sorts of publication decisions without oversight and that seems sensible as a way to ensure something like this is less likely to repeat.

    2 votes
  4. [7]
    The_Fad (edited ) Link
    Soooo do TPTB want us to acknowledge Netanyahu's objectively discriminatory behavior or do they want us to ignore it? The cartoon, for what it's worth, had no business being published by anyone. E...

    Soooo do TPTB want us to acknowledge Netanyahu's objectively discriminatory behavior or do they want us to ignore it?

    The cartoon, for what it's worth, had no business being published by anyone.

    E - TBTB -> TPTB

    5 votes
    1. [6]
      Nmg Link Parent
      TBTB?

      TBTB?

      4 votes
      1. [5]
        The_Fad Link Parent
        The powers that be

        The powers that be

        1. [4]
          Nmg Link Parent
          Don't you mean the Bowers that be? Netanyahu is a terrible politician, fully agreed. But we aren't talking about what the cartoon claims it intended to show. We are talking about the obvious...

          Don't you mean the Bowers that be?

          Netanyahu is a terrible politician, fully agreed.

          But we aren't talking about what the cartoon claims it intended to show. We are talking about the obvious anti-semitic imagery and lack of oversight (and lack of sufficient apology, if you ask me) on the side of the new york times.

          3 votes
          1. [3]
            The_Fad Link Parent
            I don't understand

            Don't you mean the Bowers that be?

            I don't understand

            1. [2]
              TheJorro Link Parent
              The Powers That Be initializes to TPTB, not TBTB.

              The Powers That Be initializes to TPTB, not TBTB.

              2 votes
              1. The_Fad Link Parent
                Oh goodness I'm dumb. My bad, lol.

                Oh goodness I'm dumb. My bad, lol.

                2 votes