The upshot of this article: Not only was The New York Times run by Holocaust denying Nazi sympathizers during and after World War II, but this is still the case today, with the particularly tragic edge of sarcasm and cynicism known only to those who defend their crimes against humanity. It is not too harsh to speak of sympathy with Hitler when the most powerful mass media instrument of the day downplayed and buried and, indeed, effectively denied that there was anything even like a Final Solution, as Hitler called his genocide. And that denial is, of course, a crime.
Method of this article: Points will be made via the interlinear fisking of a book review published in The NY Times itself. The emphases and [comments] are mine, Father George David Byers (my blog). The book involved criticized The NY Times for their purposed failure of coverage of the holocaust. The review was hardly more than arrogant backlash. Sure, a review is merely the opinion of the one writing it, right? It has nothing to do with The NY Times itself, right? That would be wrong. Why did The NY Times pay this reviewer and not someone else? Because they know his work, and advertise it. They agree with what he has to say.
After this, to show how things degenerated with The NY Times instead of getting better in these past years, I’ll then provide you with another book review also published by The NY Times some years earlier. The book for that review will figure into a Pultizer-worthy article just now published (28 November 2012), which brings all this up to date. I’ll give you the link for that. What I will say in this blog post will help to whet your appetite for that Pulitzer-worthy article.
Disclaimer: I’m a Catholic priest, whose mother’s side of the family might well have been numbered among Poland’s Ashkenazim. Even as second generation American, she spoke some Yiddish. Some of my studies included the Ulpan and many biblical courses at Hebrew University on Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus. I did visit Dachau Concentration Camp going on forty years ago. I take the reckless endangerment thrown up against the Jewish people by The NY Times as a personal affront. None of this should need to be a disclaimer, right? I’m offended because I’m a human being.
Holocaust Memorial Museums and advertisers using The NY Times: To bring this home a bit more, while you’re reading, turn the volume way up and listen to this audio recording (video) I made at Yad vaShem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. I’m guessing that Yad vaShem and other similar Memorial Museums will want to revise their presentations of how the media treated the holocaust. I’m guessing that those who advertise in The NY Times will want to reconsider supporting an entity which is already on its way out.
* * *
BURIED BY THE TIMES
The Holocaust and America’s Most Important Newspaper
By Laurel Leff. Illustrated. 426 pp. Cambridge University Press. $29.
Book Review headline: ‘Buried by The Times’: Horror Story
Reviewer: ROBERT LEITER – Published: May 15, 2005 [original]
[This review, dated to 2005, is significant in that it expresses well the status quo of The NY Times for the entire past century right until this very day.]
ON the level of sheer reporting, Laurel Leff’s ”Buried by The Times” is impressive. She is not the first to excoriate The New York Times for its neglectful coverage of the Holocaust but she is the most thorough, building on the work of historians of American indifference like Deborah Lipstadt and David Wyman. Leff is a relentless journalist. Her time spent at The Wall Street Journal [a serious rival to The NY Times, but that doesn't discredit Laurel's work!] and The Miami Herald has served her well.
Leff catalogs in grim, ever-mounting detail how little attention the Holocaust received in The Times and how, when it was covered, the stories were generally buried in back pages. Stories about the slaughter of Jews in Austria and Italy in 1943, for instance, appeared on Pages 6 and 35 respectively. Nor was much editorial space allotted to the subject, even after it was clear that the ”atrocity stories” were not exaggerations, as had earlier been feared. [There's the admission. Right there. But now it will be dismissed and buried in the sewerage of the rhetoric of the reviewer.] The publisher, Arthur Hays Sulzberger, comes in for considerable and often justifiable criticism. [Merely "often"? A review like this should point out unjustifiable instances, right? Instead, what we get are rationalizations for a culpable lack of journalistic ethics, indeed, a monstrous defense of the complicity of The NY Times in the Nazis' "Final Solution" concerning the Jews.] Like many other Jews of the period [And that makes it O.K.?], he had a troubled relationship with his Jewishness and was outspoken in his opposition to Zionism. All this led him to make unfortunate journalistic decisions [merely "unfortunate"?] as he strove to insure that the paper was not perceived as favoring any one group, the Jews especially. [Wrong. The word "especially" proves the point and betrays the arrogant bias of the mercenary reviewer. If any other group was being exterminated by the millions, it would have been on the front page all the time. The Jews were singled out to be ignored, no matter what, no matter even this scene repeated tens of thousands of times all over Europe and beyond:]
But what Leff lacks — aside from a graceful prose style [Ad hominem is what this about, after all, right?] – is what a trained historian would have brought to this complex and demanding material: a sense of context. [Train your eyes on the picture, Robert] Her argument is constructed through hindsight, which tends to skew her conclusions. There’s no doubt that before and during the war years, The Times was the pre-eminent newspaper in the country, but Leff imagines its influence, and the influence of the news media as a whole, as if they were as pervasive in the 1940′s as they are today [This is one of the most disingenuous bits I've read in a long time. He has to know that The New York Times has incomparably less influence today than it did back in the day. But -- hey! -- it's all about telling big lies more bald facedly so that they can get away with it! Oh! But wait! That's a quote from Hitler's Mein Kampf. Compare what this reviewer says with the other NY Times review of another book of this kind written in 1999, below.]. She also treats Sulzberger’s anti-Zionism like some evil aberration. There were many Jews who agreed with him, some of them even in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration. Anti-Zionism existed among Jews on the political and religious left and right, and everyone had his reasons. (The American Council for Judaism was formed in 1942 solely to fight the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine; one of its founding members was Arthur Hays Sulzberger.) [That's it! Derail the real topic about The NY Times being complicit with the Holocaust. Or is the reviewer seriously telling us that Anti-Zionists had to be pro-Holocaust, and that since it's O.K. to be anti-Zionist, it's O.K. to be pro-Holocaust? Just. Wow.]
Leff’s worst failing, though, is her handling of exactly what people knew and understood in the 1930′s and 40′s as the Nazis drove Jews to their deaths. [It's not about what just any "people" knew, you know, like, say, Stan and Ollie as Legionnaires in their 1939 The Flying Deuces. This is, instead, about what The NY Times foreign correspondants knew, what The NY Times therefore knew, right?] Concentration camps were nothing new; they’d been around throughout history. [And that makes it O.K. not to say anything about the extermination of six million Jews, right?] Death camps — the Nazis’ contribution to modernity — were unheard of, and the extent of the killing could not have been fathomed. [This, again, is stunningly disingenuous. No fathoming has to go on. Just reporting. And the facts were at hand. The NY Times had the facts. They were, at the time, the best at news gathering in the entire world, and they were right on top of this situation. The decision to downplay and bury the story had nothing to do with any existential fathoming of cowardice. The NY Times were far beyond that. They were incredibly cynical as to why anyone would ever be morally indignant over anything. This reviewer commits the most serious error possible: We're smart today, and everyone in the past were idiots. We can fathom, but they couldn't. We can see, but they were all blind. Not.] Jean Amery, a survivor and writer who committed suicide long after liberation, called one of his books ”At the Mind’s Limits.” He contended that Auschwitz and what was manufactured there were beyond the scope of rational thought. How could Sulzberger or any other newspaper executive have comprehended the extent of what was happening in Europe? [Sulzberger, after all, was so nice! So innocent! Newsmen are always so naïve! The reviewer is saying that The NY Times were the real victims of the Holocaust, because, you know, they were made to be uneasy by those big meanies over in Europe. Give me a break.]
This is not said to relieve anyone of guilt; there’s plenty to go around [Evil complicity in the Holocaust is lessened by way of democratic vote... is that the argument? Really?], and The Times was seriously negligent throughout the period. [Actually, that being "seriously negligent" on the part of The NY Times amounts to complicity in the atrocities of the holocaust.] But it is naïve to imagine that more stories on the front page of any newspaper would have changed the course of history. [All the major media outlets followed the lead of The NY Times, meaning that all the minor media outlets did as well. What was that word again? Disingenuous? Yep. If the entire world is screaming STOP! it will indeed stop.] Leff seems[!] to acknowledge as much in her introduction, then goes on to construct her book as if the opposite were true.
Moral indignation drives this project [As it should! Is this reviewer actually saying that we are to have no moral indignation over the extermination of millions of Jews? Yes. Such words are truly evil. The NY Times, in hiring this Nazi sympathizer, takes on the evil of his words.], and Leff indulges it every chance she gets [Good on her.]. Her title, actually, has particular but unintended resonance: the Holocaust was an issue buried by the times in which the participants lived [being buried, as they were, in mass graves with massive bulldozers] and not solely by The New York Times [The NY Times was one of the main partners in enabling Hitler to carry out the Holocaust.]. A more sophisticated writer [more ad hominem by the reviewer. Laurel has obviously backed him and his beloved NY Times into a corner, and he's lashing out.] would have seen the whole picture [she did] and not been on such a high-minded crusade [So, let me get this straight: to tell the truth about the Holocaust is "high-minded" and a "crusade"? This review stinks of evil, murderous evil, genocidal evil.] against one newspaper, no matter how powerful, influential and humanly flawed it was, and continues to be. [Again, it's not just one newspaper. The NY Times was "it" back in the day. Confessing to be "humanly flawed" doesn't cut it. Say, instead: "The NY Times was complicit with the Nazis in the extermination of the Jews."]
Robert Leiter is the literary editor of The Jewish Exponent, a Philadelphia weekly. [He has to be one of the most anti-Jewish writers... actually... to date. But -- hey! -- He's been published by The NY Times, so he must be O.K., right? No, that would be wrong. I'd like to take this guy by the scruff of his neck and shove his face into every last corpse, skeleton and pile of ashes produced by the Holocaust, even if it should take years to do this. I wonder if he would write a different review after that. But he's only a reviewer. Let's get The NY Times family and admins and do this for them. On second thought, that would be a desecration of those who died. So, let's drag The NY Times crowd through the Holocaust memorial museums and, as a penance, have them prepare special rooms in those museums dedicated to the complicity of The NY Times in the Holocaust. Then let them beg forgiveness for the rest of their days in those rooms.]
* * *
Now then, let’s go back a few years, to 1999, to a work ambiguously referenced but not cited in the above review. This following book figures into the Pulitzer-worthy article that I’ll link to, so read this carefully. ///
THE TRUST – The Private and Powerful Family Behind The New York Times.
By Susan E. Tifft and Alex S. Jones.
Illustrated. 870 pp. Boston: Little, Brown & Company. $29.95.
Title of the review: ‘The Trust’: A Family and a Newspaper Entwined
Reviewer: CHRISTOPHER OGDEN – September 22, 1999 [Original]
In the mid-1980s, at the peak of the Reagan administration’s power, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, then publisher of The New York Times, was invited to a private White House lunch with the president, the vice president and the secretary of state. When it ended, he hurried to The Times’ Washington bureau and, elated, called his mother, Iphigene. “Mom, guess who I had lunch with?”
How wonderful, the family doyenne replied after he told her, adding with exquisite timing, “What did they want?”
Presidents, nations, corporations, causes and citizens have all wanted something — ideally approval or at least recognition — from the world’s most influential newspaper. Then in his third decade as publisher, Punch Sulzberger, as he has always been known, understood that as well as his mother did. She was the daughter of Adolph S. Ochs, who had bought the bankrupt paper in 1896, and was the wife of Arthur Hays Sulzberger, who succeeded Ochs in 1935 and served as publisher for 26 years.
The authority of the Times remains unequaled today, two years after Sulzberger stepped aside as chairman, ceding the crown of the multibillion-dollar public company to his son, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., in an exercise of divine right that Arthur of Camelot would have appreciated.
Such primacy does not just happen, nor is it easily sustained, a reality few comprehend better than the wife-husband writing team of Susan E. Tifft and Alex S. Jones. Their 1990 book “The Patriarch: The Rise and Fall of the Bingham Dynasty,” examined three generations of the powerful Kentucky family that built a great publishing company only to have it collapse in a tangle of greed and jealousy.
In their new book, “The Trust: The Private and Powerful Family Behind The New York Times,” Ms. Tifft and Jones made the most of a larger canvas and a biographer’s dream situation: full access to the Sulzbergers and archives of the Times with no family control over what the authors wrote. (Jones covered the press for The New York Times from 1983 to 1992.) The result is a riveting family story. In seamless authoritative prose, with rich, uncluttered detail, precise characterizations and a solid sense of historical context and social dynamics, the authors relate how four generations of Ochses and Sulzbergers built the Times while, not incidentally, avoiding the fate of the Binghams.
The tone is admiring but realistic. No hagiography this. And yes, there is a pile of dirty laundry fairly sorted, from drug abuse and extramarital affairs to brutal office battles and stunning incompetence.
The book opens in 1996 at a party at the Metropolitan Museum of Art celebrating the centenary of the purchase by Ochs, the patriarch. He was the son of a poor German Jew, a dreamer who immigrated to Louisville, Ky., and a rigid Bavarian mother. He grew up with an affinity for balance and a love of newspapering. At 20 he bought The Chattanooga Times and 18 years later, with backers’ money, he purchased the insolvent New York Times, whose greatest value, he said, was its “good name.”
A nonreligious Jew and journalistic visionary, Ochs was determined that The New York Times not be a “Jewish newspaper,” but a newspaper of record, which it became during World War I by printing uncut official documents from all sides. Ochs’ failure to press editorially for an unconditional German surrender, though, prompted criticism that the paper was treasonous. Distressed, he suffered a breakdown, which, combined with angst about the rise of Hitler and succession at the newspaper, plunged him into manic depression.
His daughter, Iphigene, the “institutional gyroscope” of the family and, by extension, of the Times, effectively picked her husband to succeed her father. During the next quarter-century, more analysis and photos, larger headlines and columns with bylines pushed daily circulation up 40 percent; Sunday sales nearly doubled, rising by 600,000. Staff size doubled and, of greater significance as the Sulzbergers produced three daughters and Punch, the newspaper became an overwhelming presence in the family’s life.
For some, that meant a two-ton rhinoceros in the living room; for others, a role at the Times became all-important. Ms. Tifft and Jones write that all considered themselves stewards of a public trust, not a private possession, and recognized that the Times was shaping their destiny as well as the nation’s agenda.
Such noblesse oblige had its drawbacks. The family wanted quality but hated discussing finance. With no budgets and little planning, the company operated for decades more as a foundation than as a commercial enterprise. The overpowering sense of responsibility drove Arthur Hays Sulzberger to an addiction to prescription drugs. Orvil E. Dryfoos, husband of Marian, the eldest child of Iphigene and Arthur, lasted only two years as publisher before the pressure, intensified by the crushing 114-day newspaper strike of 1962-63, brought on a fatal heart attack.
Punch Sulzberger appeared hopelessly unready when he took over in 1963. He lacked charisma and intellectual credentials but was saved by common sense and solid Ochsian instincts, certainly not innate news sense. As a reporter in Paris, he attended a race at Le Mans on his day off and saw a car fly off the track and kill 83 spectators but never thought to call in the story. Fortunately, he exercised a light hand over the newsroom, where he installed the brilliant and mercurial A.M. Rosenthal as editor.
All the larger-than-life newspaper figures are here, plus the big news stories, analyzed without fear or favor, in the words of the credo Ochs declared in his first editorial: the mishandled Teapot Dome scandal, the Bay of Pigs invasion, which the Times knew about in advance but did not report, and pained efforts to cover the rise of gay culture in the 1990s. Finest hours, like the publication of the Pentagon Papers, are clearly presented, but so are the worst moments, including the Holocaust, which the paper scarcely deigned to note, and the front-page story on the liberation of Dachau that never mentioned the word Jew.
Technically “The Trust” is a biography, but at heart this is a love story about a family and the unique institution it created and nurtures. Little wonder that the current publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., challenged by the Internet and an industrywide decline in newspaper readership, feels pressure too. “Deep in Arthur’s soul,” an editor explains, “he believes that if he blows this, he will burn in hell.” Given the younger Sulzberger’s family history, Hades ought to be the least of his worries.
Christopher Ogden is the author of “Legacy: A Biography of Moses and Walter Annenberg” (Little, Brown, 1999).
* * * FINALLY — TO THE POINT * * *
What instigated this blog-post: A Pulitzer worthy article written by Father Gordon MacRae (about) was just now published (28 November 2012), updating the complicity to this day of the New York Times in the Holocaust of the Jews. This is a must read, and will itself become a story in the next days and weeks. This article brings us up to date with the true hell of anti-Semitism in The New York Times leadership. Stalin and The NY Times team up with Hitler. Yes, you read that right. Yikes! CLICK HERE FOR THAT ARTICLE.
Promised updates: There will be links to other stories as they come out. One will be published soon. It will be very, very hard hitting. Come back frequently. It might take a day or two, but it will happen.
Law suits: The New York Times and their minions may threaten a raft of law suits. Hey! Great! I don’t care. At the moment, I feel like the Jewish girl who, surviving the liberation of a concentration camp, went to sit on top of a mountain of corpses. When questioned as to why she did this, she responded, How can I live when my brothers and sisters have been killed?
Request: You may make comments here all you like, but please, go to Father Gordon’s article and drop a comment there. That will be very helpful. Thank you. Also, share Father Gordon’s article around! Use the sharing buttons both here and there. Hint: I don’t have a facebook account, but I’ve noticed that when people use facebook, it brings a lot of traffic. We want as many people to see the truth of The New York Times as possible.
For advertisers in The New York Times: Is this what you want yourselves associated with? Bill Donohue’s analysis of the new director of The NY Times.