Sunday, April 03, 2016

using rapgenius to expose the pro-israel bias of the nytimes...,

mondoweiss |   “Awful + NYT forgoes context,” lamented Jewish Voice for Peace on Twitter this morning, linking to Isabel Kershner’s dreadful wallow into Israel’s “polarized” psyche, following Cpl. Elor Azarya’s videotaped Mar. 24 street murder of wounded Palestinian Abed al-Fatah al-Sharif.

Like much Times coverage of Israel and Palestine, Kershner’s story entirely erases Palestinian history and views. The report treats as commonplace the growing incitement by Israel’s top politicians to kill suspects on site. It describes a “surge” in Palestinian violence with not a word about the 68 years of repression and 49 years of occupation that led to it. It reports the divided views of a Jewish society said to be torn about punishing its own war criminals, with no mention of how the Palestinian population feels about the incident–or the decades of ethnic tyranny that preceded it.

Kershner’s piece is exactly the kind of Israel-centric bias that media activists like James North and sites such as TimesWarp and The Intercept do a heroic job of deconstructing. More than once these critics have managed to get the Times itself (or at least its public editor) to acknowledge deep flaws in the paper of record’s Middle East reporting.

But what if everyone could fix these awful Times mistakes and omissions, reaching readers right on its page? Newly expanded (which began in 2009 as Rap Genius, a site for marking up hip-hop lyrics) now “lets you add line-by-line annotations to any page on the Internet.” It’s controversial; not every publisher likes having its site marked up by potentially hostile readers–like me, in this case. I decided to give it a try.