New York Times Deletes Reader Comment Calling Netanyahu ‘Parasitic Thug’


The New York Times has deleted a reader comment describing Prime Minister Netanyahu as a “parasitic thug” after The Algemeiner published an article critical of the Times’ decision to award the comment a gold ribbon and single it out as a “NYT Pick.”

In a comment to a letter writer involved with the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), the associate managing editor for standards at the Times, Phillip Corbett, explained:

“the comment had been posted and flagged inadvertently. Our automated system initially sent this comment to a “deferred” queue for review. A moderator going through those comments then intended to hit “reject” but must have mistakenly hit “highlight” for this particular comment.

The comment has been removed, and the editors are considering whether further safeguards could prevent something similar from happening in future. While there are bound to be some problems in quickly handling tens of thousands of comments a day, this should not have happened.”

CAMERA, the watchdog group, characterized the comment as “anti-Semitic” and said it “used classic, anti-Semitic tropes evoking Goebbels-like stereotypes of Jewish disloyalty and parasitism.”

The editorial director of the reader center at the Times, Hannah Ingber, replied to a reader who sent her a link to The Algemeiner story about the comment by writing, “Thanks for flagging. It’s been deleted.”

The Times’ explanation was met with skepticism from some of the newspaper’s online critics. “Frankly, I don’t buy the @nytimes excuse that it was an accident. Not with their anti-Israel history,” tweeted Mark Jacobs, who had prompted the reply from Ingber.

Gary Weiss tweeted, “I doubt very much that their comments people are so dense that they could have made such a ‘mistake’ and not caught it.”

Times readers are thus left with a choice of believing that the newspaper’s editors are either malevolent or incompetent. Neither one is a particularly attractive option.

(C) 2017 . The Algemeiner      .      Ira Stoll




  1. Why does Ira Stoll have a fixation with minutiae of the NYT ?
    He nitpicks every little thing and makes a mountain out of molehills. A few weeks ago , he was complaining about an edit of an edit of an edit of an online NYT article. (That one was hard to follow)
    Here, when the NYT responds to him and explains what happened and deletes it, give them the courtesy of not using this example to attack them.
    It is not malevolence or incompetence. It is called a mistake. We all make them. Even the NYT. Only a tiny person with a big ego like the current resident of the WH will never admit to a mistake.
    Why not check the grammar and spelling of every word and sentence in the NYT ? I am sure you will find mistakes that got through before being corrected. You might even disagree with how they decided to spell or word or use grammar.
    There are enough big reasons to argue with the NYT coverage of the Palestinian – Israeli conflict that these articles are unnecessary.

  2. The choice between “malevolent or incompetent” may not be “attractive” but it is certainly not difficult. The trouble with this particular incident is that the NYT’s history of a persistent, prevalent anti-Israel, anti-Semitic slant to their reporting robs them of any credible defense in a “mistake” like this. Highlighting a comment, out of supposed thousands, as a NYT PICK that just happens to insult the Israeli Prime Minister is not a typo or choosing incorrectly between “continuous” and “continual.”
    And some people nitpick every little thing the President says, tweets, or writes, fixating on the minutiae of his activity while ignoring the magnitude of his accomplishments.


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