Score one for our side: Ethan “Eytan” Bronner, NY Times Israel bureau chief was scheduled to speak today at the Clarion Fund panel on the “Iran menace” with John Bolton, Richard Perle, the Fund’s director and the film director who created the new Clarion anti-Iran agitprop doc, Iranium. Ben Smith of Politico, taking a decidedly favorable view of Bronner, reports that Bronner, after being shamefully hounded by the radical left, decided better of participating in the panel.
But it’s such a tough job being Israel bureau chief. These leftists always seem to want their pound of flesh. Now they got it (at least that’s how Bronner and Smith likely see it).
The explanation offered to Smith by a NY Times media flack shows that either Bronner is the most oblivious, careless public speaker in America, or else terribly disingenous:
Ethan was invited by the 92nd Street Y, where he has appeared before, to be on a panel. He dealt only with the Y and was not aware of involvement by any outside group (in fact, he had never heard of the Clarion Fund before this). He did not select the panel members. When he learned of the makeup of the panel, he suggested to organizers at the 92nd Street Y that a broader spectrum would make for a better discussion. When the Y was unable to add more voices to the panel, Ethan decided to withdraw.
In his public appearances, as in his Times articles, Ethan sticks to impartial reporting and analysis, and avoids editorial judgments.
You mean Bronner was invited by the Y to speak about Iran, a subject about which he has almost no professional expertise, and assumed he was speaking alone and that no one other than the Y was sponsoring? And that the Y didn’t inform him that in fact the sponsor of the event was Clarion? This beggars belief. You mean the NY Times Israel bureau chief, who supposedly covers Israel isn’t aware of one of the best funded far-right pro-settler media shops which has intimate ties with Aish HaTorah, one of the most prominent pro-settler groups in Israel?
I do so love the entirely gratuitous puffery on Bronner’s behalf claiming that despite the fact that he was paid $10,000 in speaker fees arranged by a settler based speakers bureau, whose projects he then profiled in his own reporting, that he really, really is an impartial reporter who always sticks to the facts, maam.
Kudos to Eli Clifton for his original reporting. I wrote a letter of complaint to the NY Times public editor. Maybe it had an impact.
How can the NYTimes allow him to accept such a speaker’s fee from a controversial group within his purview of reporting? Don’t they have policies?
And Richard Perle is still spouting his venom? You would think he’d be hiding in shame after the Iraq fiasco of ten years, much treasure and nothing much accomplished but creating ever more outrage about US policies worldwide.
Piotr Berman says
Richard Perle may be venomous, but he seemed civil to me. By the way of contrast, playing “moderate” in the presence of unhinged Bolton can present a serious health risk.
Ideally, the panel was supposed to present a wide spectrum of opinion: should we “make a parking lot from Iran”, attack conventionally or merely try to ruin their economy? Then Bolton grabs the moderate by his necktie and demonstrates the necessary steps vis-avis Iran by smashing a caraffe on his face.