Much pithier than I would.
The whole issue of whether Ethan Bronner’s son’s service in the IDF compromises the New York Times reporting is so outrageous (Uri summarizes it here), that I’ve been holding back because it’s liable to push me off the deep end into a lengthy screed.
Thank heavens (and The Atlantic) for Jeff Goldberg who gets it just right, in considerably less than 2,000 words, especially here:
This is a somewhat obvious point except to propagandists, reporters are capable of actually separating out their personal interests from their coverage. I’ve worked with Palestinian reporters in Gaza and the West Bank, many of whom have had family ties to Fatah and, in one case, even to Hamas, but without fail they’ve functioned as professional news-gatherers interested only in getting the story before the competition. I don’t think the Times should stop using Palestinian reporters in the West Bank and Gaza, because if it did so, its coverage would suffer. And its coverage of Israel would suffer immeasurably if the Times bent to the pressure of anti-Israel propagandists and removed Ethan Bronner from his post.
I used to think Ali Abunimah, who started all this, had a few good ideas, but now I wonder if he bothers thinking at all. This initiative is a big fat welcome mat for folks who want to marginalize and even criminalize Palestinian reporting, a phenomenon I addressed here.
Listen up: This is a standard that would essentially kill the concept of the "local hire," rob us (the global "us") essential insights into conflicts around the globe, and reduce media credibility just when it needs as much reinforcement as it can get.
As I’ve written elsewhere, an organic involvement in one society or the other on either side of a conflict — and having a son enlist is as organic as it gets in Israel — does not detract from reporting; it enhances it.