Media Blog

NYT Assigns Reporter to “Islam Beat”

The NYT has assigned Neil MacFarquhar to cover a new national beat: Islam. The TimesWatch topic index on MacFarquhar turns up instances in which MacFarquhar refused to label groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad as terrorist outfits, writing instead that the groups have been “‘labeled’ so by Israel and the U.S.,” or calling individual members “Palestinian opponent[s] to [Israeli] occupation.” MacFarquhar tells the San Francisco Chronicle:

It’s a new beat for the Times: an immigration story, with a lot of immigrants from Muslim countries; a … story about the difficulties they have integrating in the U.S.; a civil rights story, with a lot them facing difficulties in the wake of 9/11; and a cultural story, with Muslim artists coming from around the world. It’s a nice mix. It’s not designed to be a terrorism or theological beat. It’s more about people.

Will this be anything other than a space for groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations to air their various grievances? Or will it be more like the “conservative beat” the NYT created in 2004 — a sort of condescending look at an outside group the NYT doesn’t really understand.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Demagoguery Is Not Leadership

The government of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in New Zealand has, with the support of the opposition, decided to enact fundamental changes in the nation’s firearms laws less than a week after the massacre at two Christchurch mosques. This is the opposite of leadership. It is also an example of why ... Read More
White House

The Media’s Disgrace

There will soon enough be an effort to memory-hole it, but the media coverage of the Russia investigation was abysmal and self-discrediting — obsessive and hysterical, often suggesting that the smoking gun was right around the corner, sometimes supporting its hoped-for result with erroneous, too-good-to-check ... Read More
Politics & Policy

What Was Trump So Annoyed About?

One of the stranger arguments that I heard throughout the Mueller saga -- and am hearing today, now that it's turned out to be a dud -- is that Donald Trump's irritation with the process was unreasonable and counterproductive. This tweet, from CNN's Chris Cilizza, is a nice illustration of the genre: Donald ... Read More
White House

Our Long National Hysteria 

Our long national hysteria may not be over, but at least it should — by rights — be diminished. Robert Mueller delivered his long-awaited report on Friday, and Attorney General William Barr just released his summary of the findings. They completely vindicate President Trump regarding the allegation that ... Read More