Monday, October 18, 2004

The NYTimes Protects Its Myth

In "The Legend of the Squandered Sympathy", I pose the question of whether the NYTimes's obscuring of the massive hostility to the US expressed in the mainstream European media before and even just after 9/11 was a matter of simple incompetence or conscious editorial decision. I cite some examples that suggest a healthy dose of incompetence was at least a factor. But whether the Times's myth of "squandered sympathy" was created through accident or design or (which is the likeliest choice) some combination of both, now that it has gained widespread currency and is even beneficial to a certain Democratic presidential candidate, it would seem that the Times's editors are prepared to use quite deliberate means to protect its sanctity against any rude interference of reality.

Here is a screen capture from an October 11 NYTimes article on the German magazine Der Spiegel.

Notice the photos at the right, including half of a Spiegel cover depicting George Bush as a cowboy with guns drawn. Why in the world would the Times show only HALF a Spiegel cover?

Here is a closer look of the Spiegel cover as it appears cropped in the NYTimes.

Why in the world...?

Well, maybe it's because the full cover looks like this.

The title reads "The - little - Sheriff: George Bush Jr. against the Rest of the World." Well, what's the problem with that? We all know that after 9/11 George Bush squandered the sympathy of the world with his "unilateral" foreign policy based on the use of force rather than the seeking of dialogue and so on and so forth and so on. The problem is that (as the caption to the photos in the Times piece clumsily notes) - this Spiegel cover dates from April 2001.