The Corner

National Security & Defense

The New York Times’ Dishonest Reporting on the Iran Nuclear Deal

You may have read that in response to criticism about its biased coverage of the Trump campaign, the New York Times has rededicated itself to honest reporting.

After you get up off the floor from laughing hysterically, consider this story that ran days after the Times’ renewed commitment to ethical journalism: On November 14, the New York Times ran an article with the headline: “76 Experts Urge Donald Trump to Keep Iran Deal.” In the second paragraph, the article claims this report was signed by “former officials from both major political parties.”

Not until the sixth paragraph does the story mention that this report was issued by the National Iranian American Council (NIAC).

This is the kind of dishonest reporting we have come to expect from the New York Times.

NIAC, well known as the head of the Iran lobby in the United States, aggressively campaigned for the Iran nuclear deal. The Times misleadingly describes it as “a Washington group that has advocated improved relations with Iran, even while sharply criticizing Iranian leaders over human rights issues.”

The NIAC report reads like it was written by the Iranian foreign ministry. Not only does it call for President Trump to stick with the Iran deal and not impose new sanctions, the report ignores a sharp increase in belligerent behavior by Iran since the nuclear agreement was announced, suggests the U.S. should ignore Iran’s ballistic-missile program, and calls for close U.S.–Iran cooperation on Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.

According to the report, U.S.–Iran relations have reached their highest point in 37 years due to the nuclear agreement. I don’t think the crews of U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea who have been harassed by Iranian ships and had missiles fired at them from Yemen would agree.

On Iran’s gross human-rights violations, the report essentially calls for the Trump administration to ignore them and instead makes the bizarre recommendation that President Trump take steps to show that America does not seek to harm innocent Iranians by speeding up the sale of civilian airliners to Iran.

The 76 “experts” who signed the NIAC report are mostly on the far left, including Noam Chomsky, Joseph Cirincione, Juan Cole, and John Esposito.

The article identified Lawrence Korb, Lawrence Wilkerson, Chas Freeman, and Gary Sick as experts who signed the report and served in Republican administrations. The Times did not mention that these men are now firmly on the left.

Korb may have been a Republican at one time but now works for the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress and was a surrogate for Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

Wilkerson, Secretary of State Colin Powell’s chief of staff, joined the far Left as a fierce critic of the Republican party after Powell stepped down. He has called for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to be charged with war crimes over the Iraq War.

Freeman, a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia and assistant defense secretary for international affairs in Republican administrations, blamed the “Israel Lobby” for forcing him to withdraw from accepting a top intelligence post in the Obama administration.

And then there is Gary Sick, who the Times identifies as “a Columbia University scholar who served on the National Security Council under Reagan as well as Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.” Sick is better known for circulating a false story in 1980 that that the Reagan campaign persuaded the Iranian government to not free U.S. hostages until after the 1980 election to ensure President Carter’s defeat.

How could the Times fail to mention this report was issued by a group that is essentially Iran’s main lobbying arm in the United States? How could it ignore the strong pro-Iran bias in this report? How could the Times not mention the troubling backgrounds of the signatories like Wilkerson, Freeman, Sick, and others?

Most importantly, why did the Times article not admit the NIAC report has zero credibility and will be completely ignored by the Trump administration?

The answer to these questions is that the New York Times has no interest in changing its ways and doing honest reporting. It remains a propaganda organ of the Left. Fortunately, the Times has lost so much credibility that few take articles such as its NIAC-report story seriously.

For a fair and balanced discussion of how President Trump should deal with Iran, see my November 14, 2016, National Review article, “Yes, Trump’s Going to Dump the Iran Deal.”

Fred Fleitz, president of the Center for Security Policy, served in 2018 as deputy assistant to the president and to the chief of staff of the National Security Council. He previously held national-security jobs with the CIA, the DIA, the Department of State, and the House Intelligence Committee staff.

Most Popular

Elections

Elizabeth Warren Is Jussie Smollett

Elizabeth Warren has a moving story about being fired from a teaching job because she was pregnant, a story that perfectly complements her political narrative that she is the tribune and champion of those who have been treated unfairly by the powerful. Joe Biden has a moving — and horrifying — story about his ... Read More
Culture

The Origins of the Transgender Movement

Editor’s Note: This article has been adapted from remarks delivered at a Heritage Foundation summit. I’ve been asked to talk about the origins of transgenderism and how it relates to children and their exploitation. But first, I would like to start with a little story. Yesterday I was wandering around ... Read More
World

Kurdish, Syrian, and Turkish Ironies

Outrage met Donald Trump’s supposedly rash decision to pull back U.S. troops from possible confrontational zones between our Kurdish friends in Syria and Recep Erdogan’s expeditionary forces. Turkey claims that it will punish the Syrian Kurds for a variety of supposed provocations, including aiding and ... Read More
PC Culture

Defiant Dave Chappelle

When Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special Sticks & Stones came out in August, the overwhelming response from critics was that it was offensive, unacceptable garbage. Inkoo Kang of Slate declared that Chappelle’s “jokes make you wince.” Garrett Martin, in the online magazine Paste, maintained that the ... Read More
Sports

LeBron James Looks Like a Fraud

So, LeBron James claimed that Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey was simply “misinformed or not really educated on the situation” when he tweeted his support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. “I don’t want to get into a feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at ... Read More