Working for the New York Times in Israel seems to guarantee a disturbing lack of transparency. FAIR reports:
After the news broke that New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner had a son who enlisted in the Israeli army (Extra!, 1/27/10), Times public editor Clark Hoyt noted (2/6/10) that it was problematic for Bronner to continue reporting on “one of the world’s most intense” conflicts while his son took up arms for one side. Hoyt spoke to a former Times Jerusalem bureau chief, David Shipler, who stressed the importance of disclosing this relationship to readers.
Bronner is now close to the end of his tenure in Jerusalem. But two years after that controversy, the New York Times has yet to learn the importance of disclosure. And the concealed relationship again concerns a Timesreporter who writes from Jerusalem: This time, it’s correspondent Isabel Kershner.
But even more damning is this: Her husband, Hirsh Goodman, works for the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) as a senior research fellow and director of the Charles and Andrea Bronfman Program on Information Strategy, tasked with shaping a positive image of Israel in the media. An examination of articles that Kershner has written or contributed to since 2009 reveals that she overwhelmingly relies on the INSS for think tank analysis about events in the region.
The close family tie Kershner has to the leading Israeli think tank, a branch of Tel Aviv University, has never been disclosed to readers of the New York Times. The paper did not return requests for comment.
The INSS is well-connected to both the Israeli government and its military. Many of its associates come from government or military careers; its website boasts of the group’s “strong association with the political and military establishment.” In 2010, according to INSS financial documents, the Israeli government gave the institute about $72,000.