One of the more prominent second echelon instruments of the New York Times is The Lede blog, now managed by Robert Mackey, formerly of but still an occasional contributor at The Guardian. He manages to highlight Israel-related stories and also is quite capable of pushing insignificancies, all the while providing the special twist that provides angst and anger due to lack of context, misrepresentations and shallow perspective.
The Lede trumpets itself so:-
The Lede is a blog that remixes national and international news stories — adding information gleaned from the Web or gathered through original reporting — to supplement articles in The New York Times and draw readers in to the global conversation about the news taking place online. Readers are encouraged to take part in the blogging by using the comments threads to suggest links to relevant material elsewhere on the Web or by submitting eyewitness accounts, photographs or video of news events.
Last January, Robert Mackey and I had an ''exchange'' at The Lede. My comment, #42, which dealt with the incident when an Arab woman was thought to have been gassed by the IDF when, as it evolved (truth & facts can never catch up with a determined blogger) it was all the fault of the Arab side, read:-
To Robert: I am sorry that my mocking tone annoyed you. I was not aware that you would assume the map was made up or that Haaretz publishes editions in two languages. Or that you would doubt Haaretz''s claim that the rocks came first.He responded:
Robert Mackey, ReporterJanuary 8th, 20115:33 pmI''m afraid you have misunderstood what I wrote in my response to the other reader and to you. I simply did not, as you state, "assume the map was made up or that Haaretz publishes editions in two languages," or "doubt Haaretz''s claim that the rocks came first." You seem to have assumed that my attempts to get the the [sic!] reader who submitted the map with absolutely no explanation of where it was posted online was an indication that I was doubting that Haaretz publishes on paper in two languages (I have since learned that it does so) and assumed that by trying to establish for certain what the newspaper reported that I was actually arguing with the other reader and you. I was not. I am attempting to be accurate and to call a halt to mud-slinging and sarcasm as common features of discussions on this blog.You are perhaps so used to reading, and writing, blog posts that are essentially arguments that you did not recognize that I was merely making an honest attempt to establish factual accuracy here. People have in the past on several occasions submitted material to this blog in comments threads that was not what they said it was. My reaction, to ask questions and request some sort of verification that this map was what the reader said it was is ordinary journalism in the pursuit of the truth, not sarcastic punditry.
We are now at it again. He pushed the "cruelty" story of a female photographer who was seemingly treated poorly at a Gaza crossing. After leaving some comments, I later returned and pointed out to him a much worse story via Twitter:-
ymedadtinyurl.com/83br5tt@RobertMackey remember "cruelty" of Addario''s ordeal by Israel? try this -
And it starts.
Robert Mackey@ymedad perhaps your perspective, as a West Bank settler, is biased. otherwise why respond this way to a mistreated woman''s complaint?And continues (a not quite complete compilation):-
ymedad@RobertMackey no, no debate. pointing out possible bias. similar events get disproportionate attention/highlight. TheLede will report this?
ymedad@RobertMackey . ok, u don''t mind a count to quantify the subject then. an academic study. will get back with findings.
Robert Mackey@ymedad you are free to waste your time, but I predict you will only report findings that support your own narrative, like all nationalists.
Robert Mackey@ymedad you use the same logic as people who called The Times anti-American for reporting abuses of the US government.
ymedad@RobertMackey I know the "2 wrongs". I await your acknowledgement that you unduly highlight/spotlight Israel, that''s all.Robert Mackey@ymedad there are literally thousands of posts on other subjects, but Israel is of interest to US readers for reasons other than bias.
Robert Mackey@ymedad you could collaborate with Bahraini, Sri Lankan, Pakistani, Indian, Serbian and Irish nationalists who charge me with bias as only
ymedad@RobertMackey sorry, I am not a "collaborator" (bad choice there). & you have something against "nationalists"? with whom do u collaborate?
Robert Mackey@ymedad possible explanation for reporting news that fails to serve their nationalist agendas.
@ymedad Having grown up partly near the border in N. Ireland, I''d say security checkpoints anywhere make some abuses likely, but
@ymedad that doesn''t make any of them less worth reporting. And we have reported on abuses at US security checks in the past.
Robert Mackey@ymedad did you read the report carefully enough to know the word ''cruelty,'' was used by the victim, not me? why not harass her directly?
ymedad@RobertMackey me harrass? i don''t do that. I argue, debate. you feeling harrassed? relax, you''ve got the Grey Lady at your back.
I think that dialogue can be fruitful. Don''t you?.