On Monday, The New York Times issued one of the most obvious corrections in its history. In a hit piece on Campbell Brown’s role as head of Facebook’s news partnership operation, the Times labeled as a far-right conspiracy theory the fact that the Palestinian government pays the families of terrorists. According to Nellie Bowles of the Times, “Ms. Brown wants to use Facebook’s existing Watch product – a service introduced in 2017 as a premium product with more curation that has nonetheless been flooded with far-right conspiracy programming like ‘Palestinians Pay $400 Million Pensions For Terrorist Families.’”
This, of course, was not a conspiracy theory — Mahmoud Abbas has not only admitted as much, he has championed the practice. As Leil Liebovitz of Tablet writes:
Reading Bowles’s report, for example, Lahav Harkov, the Knesset reporter for The Jerusalem Post, took to Twitter to share some of her meticulous reporting on the Palestinian pay-for-slay program with Bowles: Read the real news, and you’ll learn that, in 2017, the PA doled out more than $347 million to families of terrorists who had murdered Jews, increasing the amount to $403 million this year. Between 2013 and 2017, the PA spent $1.12 billion on supporting terrorists and their families, as Yosef Kuperwasser, the former head of the IDF intelligence’s research branch, reported in Tablet last May.
So, on Monday evening, the Times had to correct its shoddy reporting:
An article on Sunday about Campbell Brown’s role as Facebook’s head of news partnerships erroneously included a reference to Palestinian actions as an example of the sort of far-right conspiracy stories that have plagued Facebook. In fact, Palestinian officials have acknowledged providing payments to the families of Palestinians killed while carrying out attacks on Israelis or convicted of terrorist acts and imprisoned in Israel; that is not a conspiracy theory.
It’s no shock to watch the Times have to walk back its anti-Israel coverage. The Times has been a pro-Palestinian propaganda outlet for decades. In 2000, for example, the Times infamously printed a photo of an Israeli soldier supposedly screaming at a bleeding Palestinian on the Temple Mount — it turned out that the bleeding man was an Israeli being defended from a violent Palestinian mob.
And yet we’re told that the mainstream media should be the key verifiers of information, that alternative news outlets are somehow shoddy in their pursuit of the facts while outlets like the Times are the gold standard. No wonder so many people label the Times fake news and seek to avoid the news filters placed on social media by Leftists who spend their Sunday mornings reading the Times’ style section over brunch.