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The Likes Behind the Lies: Exposing the NYT’s Bias in the Gaza “Mass Rape” Story

NYT & others face backlash for publishing fabricated stories in Israel-Palestine conflict. Journalists' social media activity raises questions about media bias.
The New York Times Bias

Explosive exposé reveals pro-Israel bias in major news outlets. The New York Times, BBC, and others face scrutiny for publishing fabricated stories of mass rape in Gaza, allegedly fueled by journalists with concerning social media activity and personal ties to Israel. This piece explores the ethical violations, challenging the credibility of these outlets and underscoring the perils of partial reporting within the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

by Daniele Luttazzi

In Italy, the pro-Netanyahu propagandists didn’t miss a beat: they filled newspaper columns and TV segments with tales of the “mass rapes” committed by Hamas in Gaza on October 7th, stories initially fueled by the New York Times and eagerly picked up by the BBC, The Guardian, CNN, the Associated Press, and Reuters. But it turns out, those harrowing accounts of mass rapes were nothing but fabrications. The authors behind these pieces, once praised by the Times‘ editor Joe Kahn, were Jeffrey Gettleman, Anat Schwartz, and Adam Sella. Last Saturday, the Telegram account @zei_squirrel cracked open a Pandora’s box: it revealed Schwartz’s likes on various posts peddling Zionist propaganda on X, including one that dehumanized Palestinians as “animals” deserving of a “Holocaust”; another on “40 decapitated children” (yet another falsehood); one calling for Gaza to be turned into a “slaughterhouse”; and another urging Israeli propagandists to equate Hamas with ISIS to terrorize Western public opinion (you can read Schwartz’s posts here).

The Times has since launched an internal investigation into Schwartz, as its corporate policies prohibit journalists from “expressing partisan views, promoting political opinions, endorsing candidates, making offensive comments, or doing anything else that could undermine the journalistic reputation of the Times.” Schwartz quickly deactivated her X account, only to reactivate it after scrubbing the controversial likes. But the Times is far from innocent here: Schwartz’s problematic likes were there before she was even brought on for the Gaza reporting; a cursory glance at her resume would have revealed two telling details: Schwartz worked as a director for Israeli state TV and was part of Israel’s military intelligence. South Africa even cited one of the posts Schwartz liked in its case against Israel for genocide, as evidence of genocidal intent.

Zei_squirrel pointedly remarked, “This is the person they chose to write about Palestinians.” Gettleman, for his part, is a fervent Zionist; the Times put his podcast on the mass rapes by Hamas on hold after staff raised concerns about its accuracy. As for Adam Sella, he’s Schwartz’s nephew (hello, conflict of interest), and both tried to coax a witness into cooperating with the Times piece because it was “important for Israeli propaganda.” It seems the Times is considering cutting ties with Schwartz. But what about Gettleman and Sella, the co-authors of the falsehood? This isn’t just a matter of netiquette—liking posts of violent and racist propaganda—it’s about the fabrications these three published, fabrications as egregious as those by Judith Miller in the NYT during the criminal, colonial, and illegal war waged by Bush, Blair, and Berlusconi in Iraq. Jeremy Scahill of The Intercept also calls out the Zionist lies in the Times and the Wall Street Journal‘s false claims about connections between Hamas and UNRWA: “These two stories were written by anti-Palestinians pretending to be objective journalists.” The WSJ journalist, Carrie Keller-Lynn, was a social media strategist for the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) during the 2009 Gaza war and, in the U.S., was a university activist against BDS, opposing the global campaign of boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel (the campaign’s goals: to end the Israeli occupation and colonization of Palestinian land, achieve full equality for Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, and respect the right of return for Palestinian refugees). After all, how many falsehoods have we been made to believe since we were brought into this world?

Il Fatto Quotidiano, February 27, 2024

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