The NYT almost completely ignores the synagogue hostage-taking in Texas

January 16, 2022 • 1:45 pm

When the hostage situation broke yesterday afternoon in Texas, I kept looking for news about it. Eventually all the media came on board—except the New York Times. By morning they’d been forced to post about it (and I don’t say “forced” lightly), but if you look at the online Times, it’s way, way down beyond the e-fold.

And here’s the paper copy of today’s NYT, sent to me by Anna Krylov.  Do you see a mention of the hostage situation there? I don’t.  But you can read about a woman killed after being shoved onto the subway tracks. Note as well that on all the evening news stations I watched last night, every one led with the Texas story. Every one! The NYT doesn’t put it on the front page. There’s nothing they love to ignore more than hate crimes against Jews.

Oh, and to the reader who assured me that this was not a terrorist or anti-Jewish act because the perp was a British citizen, read what the NYT has to say now:

Malik Faisal Akram, 44, was identified by the F.B.I. on Sunday as the man who took four people, including a rabbi, hostage on Saturday morning at a service at Congregation Beth Israel. The Reform synagogue is in Colleyville, a city of about 26,000 residents that is about 15 miles northeast of Fort Worth, Texas.

Yes, he may well be British citizen, but who says that that group can’t include Islamist terrorists?

Bupkes here:

The Times isn’t fond of the Jews, of course, but we all know that. Still, the lacuna above is appalling.  But the NYT is not the only paper that strenuously tried to downplay the Jewish/terrorist angle (though you bet that if the terrorist had been a white supremacist instead of a Pakistani/British Muslim, it would have gotten a lot more coverage).  Have a look at this tweet from the BBC:

This is laughable. Not related to the Jewish community? Why a synagogue, then? Why didn’t the perp take hostages in a McDonald’s? Believe me, there are a lot more McDs than there are synagogues in Texas. And why did he ask for the release of a Islamic terrorist prisoner nicknamed “Lady Al Qaeda”?  Doesn’t the BBC have any curiosity about these issues?

Want more about how the media put “hostage situation” in scare quotes and other deliberate distortions? Read here.

I’m not going to dwell further on the anti-Semitism of much of the mainstream media, but I’ll tell a relevant joke:

A guy walks into a bar and notices a man talking to the bartender down at the other end. The guy does a double-take because the man talking to the bartender really resembles Hitler.

So the guy goes up to the man and says “Excuse me, but did anybody ever tell you that you look like Hitler?”

The man responds, “Oh, but I am Hitler. I have been reincarnated and I am back on Earth to kill 10 million Jews and 33 geese!”

“Oh, my God! That’s terrible! But why 33 geese?”

Hitler then turns to the bartender and says “See? I told you nobody cares about the Jews.”

50 thoughts on “The NYT almost completely ignores the synagogue hostage-taking in Texas

  1. To say this is not antisemitism is gaslighting, pure and simple. It is exactly like saying “Islamic” State is not Islamic or Union of “Socialist” Soviet Republics wasn’t socialist. We are supposed to prioritize the sentiments of the woke Left and Islamists over the evidence of our own 5 senses.

    1. That became unsurpassably evident with the event of New Year’s Eve December 31, 2015 in front of Cologne Cathedral when hundreds of largely Muslim men began sexually molesting and assaulting German women. There was almost no coverage until the damn broke because of comments made on facebook.

      I believe in the ensuing months Angela Merkel began her crusade against social media, especially facebook.

      (BTW, friends of friends were in that square and were harrassed.)

      1. Thousands upon thousands (quite literally, the number being no exaggeration) of young English girls (mostly from working-class and disadvantaged backgrounds, and many no older than 11 or 12)) have been subjected, over the last three decades or so, to grotesque physical and emotional abuse by rape-gangs of almost entirely Muslim heritage (mostly Pakistani by ancestry) operating largely with impunity in dozens of towns and cities. This atrocity was enabled by the complicity of Labour MPs and social workers (as well as of the media, especially The Guardian) out of fear of being labelled “Islamophobic” or “racist.”

          1. The government is refusing to release official research on the characteristics of grooming gangs, claiming it is not in the “public interest”.

            “It comes after The Independent revealed that almost 19,000 suspected child sexual exploitation victims were identified by local authorities in just one year, sparking renewed calls for prevention efforts.”
            ++

            Asian grooming gangs: how ethnicity made authorities wary of investigating child sexual abuse

      2. Checked it, and it’s false. To check it yourself most easily, go to the wikipedia article of the event and see the sources. There are reports immediately on Jan 1st in Cologne news outlets, like Kölner Stadtanzeiger, Kölnische Rundschau, national news online, e.g. Focus and Express and the big paper of record, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung follows a day later after some evidence and statements were in.

        1. The events in Cologne certainly happend.
          Certainly the events in Cologne (I live in Cologne, and I directly know 2 ladies who where there) did not happen in the name of Islam, but they where certainly inspired by a culture (not just, but largely Muslim), where uncovered women are considered to be ‘sluts’.
          There is a tendency of left and mainstream politicians/media to either divert the attention from that fact by either denying it or by shifting the focus to the socioeconomic background of the perpetrators.
          -This denial gives the right wing AFD an easy playing field and it is detrimental to the life of women, who feel less free/safe to move within the city( my wife included).
          -Loons use this denial for feeding their conspiracies – some even get violent-killing
          innocent kids, who happen to look ‘near eastern’

          1. I’m pretty sure that Aneris was saying that the claim that there was almost no coverage of the events until sometime later, after pressure was applied, was false, not that the events didn’t happen.

    1. I just did a search for “synagogue” on both the NYT and the WSJ.

      The NYT has four stories from the hostage-taking, the WSJ has three.

      1. Sorry but I saw it happening in real time and kept checking the NYT and saw nothing. I don’t get their breaking news.

        If you’re trying to say that the NYT carries news about Jews objectively, and has no anti-Israel or anti-Jewish bias, you’re not convincing me.

        And the story is old now, so 4 versus 3 means nothing.

  2. My guess is that the FBI only said that they didn’t have anything to suggest that the hostage-taker deliberately targeted a synagogue. After all, the perpetrator is dead and the FBI’s investigation has barely begun. If so, the NYT chose their words carefully in order to send a slightly different message. Again, I’m only guessing.

  3. Some readers may not like this…but it was through Bari Weiss that I found out about this. She found out about it through friends and she then checked local Dallas/Ft Worth media and sent out a note. At that time, major media had token note of it, if that.

    I’ve learned that when identity inflected events/crimes happen, it’s usually a very clear and telling moment to see media ideological bent. Very naked then and it pays greatly to spend some time with search engines seeing how differently events are covered. And no, it’s not all out of abuncance of journalistic caution: if the event enhances progressive viewpoints, reporting becomes far more sans souci.

    There was no question, given the identity of the hostage taker, that media would do what it could to massage the event…..in the order of the Waukesha parade slaughter. Remember that? Compare that to the endless attention given to the Central Park jogger and the bird watcher…….the Times I think did nearly a dozen articles about it, extremely prominent ones, opened to reader comments.

    The NYTimes currently has the story on its homepage, but below an article on Jasper Johns that has a big illustration of one of his gray paintings. In other words, significantly subordinated. The article is not open to reader comments that I can see. Latish last night, the event was more prominently featured by the Times.

    (I’ve noticed that whether the Times allows reader comments or not on an article can be an index to how pressing it considers the event given its political and cultural narratives.)

  4. I don’t find myself defending the New York Times a lot these days, but I learned about the hostage taking at about 6:30 last night thru an email from the NYT with the header “Breaking News: The F.B.I. is at a Texas synagogue where an official says four people appear to have been taken hostage by a man heard shouting on a livestream.” It linked to an article, but when I checked the link just now it sent me to a different article titled, “Hostages Rescued Safely, Suspect Dies in Texas Synagogue Standoff”.

    Your broader point about the Times is well taken though.

    1. The Times has various newsletters and email alerts that you have to sign up for, and some of what they send you is based on what they think your interests are, so different Times subscribers will get different emails from them. I did not get an email mentioning the Texas synagogue situation, but, again, their emails are individualized in various ways, and I must not have fit some profile.

      My Sunday home delivery of the Times is of the national edition, and I did not see anything on the story in this edition, but it might have developed after the national edition was put to bed. It will be interesting to see tomorrow’s national edition.

      Online, the Times reporters did not hide the anti-Semitic aspects in the story itself, but the front page editors chose to not give it any prominence.

      GCM

      1. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) news had and has several articles about yesterdays hostage crisis. Didn’t see anything in the NYT. An alert from Bari Weiss was my only source of information early in the crisis.

    2. I also received the email about the story (6:29 CT).

      I believe I had to confirm subscription to “Breaking News” to get immediate notification to breaking stories.

      That I know of, what I get is NOT based on what they think my interests are … OR, they’re way off base and have been so for at least a few years.

      Most of what I get from the Times gets a glance and a quick trip to the trash.

  5. This is laughable. Not related to the Jewish community?

    Note that the FBI man in the video says that the terrorist’s issue (release of Aafia Siddiqui) was not specifically related to the Jewish community. The BBC then dropped that word in their recounting. But dropping that word changes the sentence quite a lot.

    1. HI Coel, copying in a couple of tweets:

      Karol Markowicz
      Absolutely everything is related to bias and privilege and otherness and escalated rhetoric…except, of course, attacks on Jews, which are always random.

      Michael C Moynihan
      @mcmoynihan
      ·@AP
      and 2 others
      Good lord. Imagine some Nazi taking hostages at a black church, demanding the release of Dylan Roof, and the FBI reassuring us that the hostage taker’s demands had nothing to do with the black community.

      https://twitter.com/bariweiss

  6. Frankly, I don’t get it. What would motivate the NYT to pass on a story that is on everyone’s mind? Maybe they didn’t have a reporter in the area? But, then again, the incident unfolded over many hours—long enough for FBI agents from Virginia to get there to help. Surely, the Times could have put someone on a plane. (Yes, I know that I’m giving them a big benefit of the doubt here in allowing them a reasonable alibi for not covering the story. If they have a good reason, I’d like to hear it.)

    1. There’s no excuse for the NYT’s lack of coverage – the incident was reported by the mainstream media here in the UK, for example. It must be down to a conscious editorial decision rather than a journalistic lack of resources.

    2. What would motivate the NYT to pass on a story that is on everyone’s mind?

      The woke prohibition on saying anything that reflects negatively on Islam.

  7. I commented below the line at today’s Hili to say that it was being reported that the hostage-taker was British – I certainly didn’t mean to imply anything about his motivation, just claiming him as one of our own rather than the more usual home-grown nut job that is the perpetrator in such incidents in the US.

  8. I just checked the online edition — it’s 4:10 pm New York time — and I don’t see anything on the digital “Front Page” that refers to the incident. This is very difficult to understand. Even if this eruption of violent antisemitism is an embarrassment to the paper’s worldview, they can’t possibly think that the event can be “hushed up”.

    Is there some mechanism for demanding an explanation?

    1. Really? It’s linked in Jerry’s article, and can be readily found: _nytimes.com/2022/01/16/us/hostage-texas-synagogue.html

      I regard it as a conspiracy theory, because what exactly is the benefit of deliberately delaying a news item, and which is then anyway reported everywhere about the same time? I regard the 24h news cycle and overeager reporting whilst little is known as a problem, not something every outlet should aspire to.

  9. With the megatons of lax & bagels that have been consumed alongside the Sunday NYT over the last 75yrs or so, one might think they’d have some amount of sensitivity toward a significant part of their market.

    Was there any particular event that started this?

  10. If I’m thinking about the same reader comment that mentioned he (the deservedly dead guy) was British, my take was that it reinforced, not weakened, my suspicion that it was an islamist terrorist act with the usual anti-Semitic motivation. Yes, I assumed he meant a British Muslim. Can’t speak for the commenter, but that’s how I took it.

  11. The question in my mind is not just the avoidance/downplaying of a Jewish related news item but also what other gaps there are in the NYT news. Is criticism of the Woke downplayed? How about criticism of leftist blunders?

    How can you tell the difference between news, fake news, missing news and opinion. If you cannot tell then you are perhaps reading propaganda, trying to confirm a desired world view.

  12. It certainly is a relief to learn from the beeb that gunpoint hostage-taking at a synagogue has nothing to do with the Jewish community. On the other hand, the gunman’s British citizenship might make one
    nostalgic for President Trump’s attempt to ban entry of foreigners from dangerous places. Oh wait, the UK wasn’t among the countries listed under his ban. Maybe next time.

    1. Well, he was trying to keep out Muslims but had to settle, for Constitutional reasons, for visitors from Muslim-majority countries. Just wait.

  13. Just for the record, I saw a couple of articles from the Washington Post today. They were not very long but they had it covered.

  14. This is typical.

    Does anyone hear anything about the murderous car incident in Wakesha, Wisconsin? The MSM refused to identify the race of the perp (despite immediately available very close eyewitnesses). which was my first clue that he was African American. (And it’s quite remarkable since the US MSM seems to think the the most important thing about anyone is their race.)

    He killed six and maimed many more.

    If the races had been reversed, Wakesha would probably still be on fire.

  15. It looks like this is not an act of anti-semitism per the prior statements on this site. The terrorist wanted his sister free and there is, so far, no evidence he targeted Jews as a race. Honorable Professor castigated the media and others (including me) for the rush to judgement about the Atlanta shooter who killed asian women labeling it a hate-crime when it wasn’t racial due to the shooter not having an extensive anti-Asian presence online. That he chose to target Asian women was not a sign of hatred of Asians. By that measure, a synagogue hostage situation is not anti-semitic until evidence he hates Jews specifically.

    I stand by my belief that it is not a rush to judgment to label anyone who chooses a minority group to kill or take hostage a hate crime, even if they don’t have a long history of attacking that particular group. A view that could change or be modified if further information comes to like (e.g., see Pulse shooter and anti-gay label). Glad it ended without any innocent lives lost.

    1. It’s not his REAL sister, it was an Al Qaeda woman who had plans for terrorism in the U.S. and then tried to shoot a U.S. soldier.

      And for whether this was an act of anti-Semitism, are you saying that he chose a synagogue BY ACCIDENT? This is not the sme as the Florida shooting in which the perp had patronized these establishments. And you might check out what Biden’s National Security Advisor characterized the synagogue situation as an act of both “anti=Semitism” ahd “terrorsm”. Synagogues in Texas got extra police protection. (see https://www.foxnews.com/politics/jake-sullivan-texas-synagogue-act-terrorism-anti-semitism or other sites).

      Forgive me if I take the judgment of the National Security Office over someone who ignores the data to support your own preferred the narrative. And this is your last email on the topic.

      For some reason you are desperate to see this as an act to take revenge on Jews: a hate crime, and to ignore all the facts to do so.

  16. A paper owned by Jews has consistently been unfair in its coverage of Israel and negligent in covering crimes against Jews.

  17. More here:

    The service was live-streamed and captured the audio of the man demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist who is currently serving an 86-year prison term in the US, law enforcement officials told local media.

    Siddiqui was convicted of trying to kill US military officers while in custody in Afghanistan. Thousands took to the streets in Pakistan to protest against her conviction in 2010.

    A brother of Malik Faisal Akram issued a statement apologising to the victims and saying he had been suffering from “mental health issues”.

    Friends of Akram in his home town of Blackburn told the BBC his mental health had been getting worse and said they were surprised that he had been able to travel to the US.

    Two teenagers have been arrested in England as part of the investigation into the incident. Their ages and genders have not been revealed.

    British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss described the incident as an “act of terrorism and anti-Semitism”.

    [ https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-60027351 ]

  18. [Sorry about the length in this comment, but it skewed the issue when I tried to shorten it.]

    I saw this, which may be of interest in the context:

    Anne Frank betrayal suspect identified after 77 years

    A team including an ex-FBI agent said Arnold van den Bergh, a Jewish figure in Amsterdam, probably “gave up” the Franks to save his own family.

    “When van den Bergh lost all his series of protections exempting him from having to go to the camps, he had to provide something valuable to the Nazis that he’s had contact with to let him and his wife at that time stay safe,” former FBI agent Vince Pankoke told CBS 60 Minutes.

    The team said it had struggled with the revelation that another Jewish person was probably the betrayer. But it also found evidence suggesting Otto Frank, Anne’s father, may himself have known that and kept it secret.

    In the files of a previous investigator, they found a copy of an anonymous note sent to Otto Frank identifying Arnold van den Bergh as his betrayer.

    Mr Pankoke told 60 Minutes that anti-Semitism may have been the reason it was never made public.

    “Perhaps he just felt that if I bring this up again… it’ll only stoke the fires further,” he said.

    “But we have to keep in mind that the fact that [van den Bergh] was Jewish just meant that he was placed into an untenable position by the Nazis to do something to save his life.”

    Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant reports that van den Bergh died in 1950.

    In a statement, the Anne Frank House museum said it was “impressed” with the investigation team’s work.

    [ https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-60024228 ]

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