The New York Times printed a second anti-Israel cartoon on Saturday in its international edition, a development that comes in the wake of the newspaper having run an antisemitic cartoon on Thursday, retracting it on Saturday, and then, later on Sunday, apologizing for running it.
— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) April 29, 2019
This second cartoon depicts Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu wearing a robe and holding up what looks like a tablet with the Star of David on it. It depicts Netanyahu as blind and holding a selfie stick, taking a photo of himself. Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades-Ha did not immediately respond to Breitbart News’s request for comment on Monday morning in response to this revelation.
— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) April 29, 2019
But the second cartoon was roundly criticized by the pro-Israel community.
Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt ripped the Times for printing it:
This is insensitive, inappropriate, and offensive. It shows once again that the @NYTimes needs to educate its staff about #antiSemitism. We call on them to take immediate action. pic.twitter.com/6HBFxduKP7
— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) April 29, 2019
…As did several pro-Israel media outlets and political leaders:
— Israel News Agency (@Israel_News_INA) April 29, 2019
ANOTHER antisemitic cartoon from the @nytimes.
Protest outside of NY Times headquarters tonight on 8th Avenue at 5:30 P.M.
— theJewish Voice (@JewishVoice) April 29, 2019
Wait…the @nytimes featured ANOTHER Netanyahu cartoon? This one AFTER the Thursday cartoon depicting Netanyahu as a dog? Am I reading this right? Is the Times obsessed with Israel’s prime minister? pic.twitter.com/r1KsSaYWtw
— Dan Senor (@dansenor) April 29, 2019
The second cartoon was published on the opinion pages of the international edition of the New York Times on Saturday in print. It comes after the Times previously, last Thursday on those same pages, printed an antisemitic cartoon that the paper retracted on Saturday morning. That original antisemitic cartoon depicted a blind President Donald Trump wearing a skullcap being led by Netanyahu, who was portrayed as a dog on a leash whose collar bore the Star of David. As some experts have pointed out, that first cartoon has striking resemblance to a literal Nazi propaganda cartoon from 1940 that showed a Jewish mean on a leash leading British Prime Minister Winston Churchill around.
Pic 1: The Jew leads Winston Churchill.
Nazi Germany 1940.
— Kay Wilson (@kishkushkay) April 28, 2019
The Times was roundly criticized for publishing that first cartoon, and less than two full days after originally publishing it, the newspaper retracted it and admitted it was antisemitic and an “error of judgment to publish it.”
“A political cartoon in the international print edition of The New York Times on Thursday included anti-Semitic tropes, depicting the prime minister of Israel as a guide dog with a Star of David collar leading the president of the United States, shown wearing a skullcap,” the initial editor’s note on Saturday retracting the image reads. “The image was offensive, and it was an error of judgment to publish it. It was provided by The New York Times News Service and Syndicate, which has since deleted it.”
Notably, that first statement did not include any apology–and did not include any specific details about who was responsible, whether there any consequences – up to and including whether the people responsible for this still work at the Times, and what structural issues exist on this front inside the Times newsroom–so the Times came under even more criticism over the next day or so. Trump’s son, Donald Trump, Jr., and Netanyahu’s son, Yair Netanyahu, both ripped the Times, as did many other supporters of both leaders. Similarly, Rhoades-Ha did not reply to several requests from Breitbart News asking for those details and more.
So the Times then came out late Sunday with a second statement on the first antisemitic cartoon issuing an actual apology this time, and blaming the incident on a single editor and a lack of proper editorial oversight process–promising “significant changes”–and said the newspaper was conducting a mass internal investigation into what happened and who was responsible:
We are deeply sorry for the publication of an anti-Semitic political cartoon last Thursday in the print edition of The New York Times that circulates outside of the United States, and we are committed to making sure nothing like this happens again,” the New York Times said in its second statement. “Such imagery is always dangerous, and at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise worldwide, it’s all the more unacceptable. We have investigated how this happened and learned that, because of a faulty process, a single editor working without adequate oversight downloaded the syndicated cartoon and made the decision to include it on the Opinion page. The matter remains under review, and we are evaluating our internal processes and training. We anticipate significant changes.
Rhoades-Ha has not replied when asked by Breitbart News repeatedly whether the Times will make all of its internal investigation findings public, including underlying documents like emails and text messages. She has similarly not answered when asked the identity of the specific editor the Times now says is responsible for that first antisemitic cartoon, and whether that person still works for the Times and if so, whether that person has faced any other consequences short of termination for this admitted lapse in editorial judgment.
Rhoades-Ha similarly did not provide when offered the opportunity anyone from the New York Times to explain the publication’s position and handling of this for a series of segments on the scandal brewing inside the newspaper on Breitbart News Sunday on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel on Sunday evening. But, during the show, several top supporters of President Trump lambasted the Times for its handling of this matter, saying it proves the paper is what they have been saying it is all along.
“The New York Times has self-righteously been preaching to the rest of us for decades now about how awful the rest of us are and how wonderful they are and they come out with this cartoon–I’ve seen it, it is absolutely antisemitic,” Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), who’s running for U.S. Senate in Alabama, said on Breitbart News Sunday on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel on Sunday evening. “For them to put that out, and then they didn’t apologize initially until they got beat up about it, then they finally apologized for it. Look, the American people are seeing this stuff. They get it–they understand what’s going on. The New York Times, that editorial page, is off the charts liberal. They don’t represent the American people and they should quit preaching to them because they’ve proven they’re as bad as some of the worst stuff we’ve ever seen in this country about bigotry and antisemitism. I hope this is a wake-up call for them internally but I got to tell you, I’m real skeptical about that. They get on their high horses really quick. It may knock them off for a minute, but they’ll get right back on it.”
LISTEN TO REP. BRADLEY BYRNE ON BREITBART NEWS SUNDAY:
Corey Lewandowski, President Trump’s former campaign manager, added on Breitbart News Sunday that the Times should fire the people responsible for this and that the only reason this abhorrent situation is not dominating news is because the Times is a left-wing paper and the antisemitic cartoons were critical of Trump and Netanyahu, both conservatives. If a conservative outlet had done this to a Democrat or a leftist, Lewandowski argued, it would be handled much differently by most of the media.
“The legacy media continues to attack this president for unfounded reasons,” Lewandowski added on Breitbart News Sunday about the incident. “What you said is really, really important: First, what the New York Times says, it’s supposed to the Old Gray Lady, the paper of record, the one that everyone turns to–what they said was we made an ‘error in judgment.’ There was no apology issued for 48 hours. Can you imagine if this was done from a conservative outlet to a Democrat? It would be on every news channel, they would be demanding that the individual who approved this be named and fired, but look–this is the same publication who said they would be willing to go to jail to get Donald Trump’s tax returns. That’s what they said. This is the same publication that every time they make a mistake, the apology is on page A97 in 1.25 font–right? This is the same publication that perpetuated the stories of Donald Trump, Jr., having meetings in the Trump Tower and that there was ‘collusion’ and they are all part of the Trump delusion system. So, am I surprised that this happened? No, I’m not. Am I appalled by it? You bet I am. Look at this president: His son-in-law, his daughter, and his grandchildren are Jewish. He has surrounded himself at every level of his professional career with senior members of the Jewish community because if you listen to what Benjamin Netanyahu said–and I respect him immensely–he said of all the friends that Israel has ever had in the White House, Donald Trump is the greatest friend to Israel. This is a man who’s recognized the true capital and moved the embassy there, this is a man who’s recognized Israel’s rights to the Golan Heights, and still he is accused of being antisemitic and what the New York Times did should lead to a boycott from every Jewish person who has a subscription to the publication and moreover some should be fired for this. There has to be accountability, because it took them now 48 hours to finally say ‘we regret it, we are sorry, we made a mistake.’ All they said before was ‘it was a bad choice.’ If that was something that happened to a conservative, if a conservative did that to a Democrat, it would be front-page news everywhere and every major legacy outlet would be calling for the resignation of someone but when it’s done to Donald Trump or his family, it’s ‘hey, don’t worry about it, it’s not important,’ and it’s shameful. That’s why the American people are so tired of the way that the media has treated this president and lied about him first during the election now during this whole Russia collusion false narrative. They’re tired of it, and they’re going away from this legacy media because it isn’t truthful anymore.”
LISTEN TO COREY LEWANDOWSKI ON BREITBART NEWS SUNDAY:
President Trump, meanwhile, on Monday morning noted that the Times has not apologized to him–the target of the Times‘ antisemitism–even though the paper did apologize generally for the publication of the antisemitic cartoon:
The New York Times has apologized for the terrible Anti-Semitic Cartoon, but they haven’t apologized to me for this or all of the Fake and Corrupt news they print on a daily basis. They have reached the lowest level of “journalism,” and certainly a low point in @nytimes history!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 29, 2019
Greenblatt of the ADL added that the “overdue apology” was not enough, and called for “sensitivity training” for Times staff on antisemitism:
An overdue apology is a start but, as we mourn for #Poway, it's insufficient. New procedures obviously are needed but @nytimes must do more.
– Sensitivity training for their staff on #antiSemitism
– Educate readers on the persistent poison of anti-Jewish hate. https://t.co/22s78JSWOU
— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) April 28, 2019
The newspaper continues, even days later dragging into a second week, to not be transparent about this matter. Rhoades-Ha has still not answered whether the Times will publicly provide all of the findings of the newspaper’s internal investigation including underlying source documents, and will not answer what structural problems led to the publication of the two cartoons. Rhoades-Ha has also not answered whether anyone has been held accountable to date, what changes are being made, what structural issues still exist, and whether the Times can be trusted in the future not to push such anti-Israel content now that it has done so repeatedly.
It remains to be seen what happens next, but this appears to be just the beginning for the New York Times.