NYT Public Editor Calls Out Own Paper For Not Disclosing Op-Ed Writer’s Terrorism Conviction

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The New York Times’ public editor called out her own paper Tuesday for publishing an op-ed by Marwan Barghouti without disclosing the fact that Barghouti was convicted in 2004 of killing five Israelis in a terrorist attack.

On Sunday, the Times published an essay by Barghouti complaining about Israeli prison conditions, but left out any mention of his terrorism conviction.

The paper described Barghouti simply as “a Palestinian leader and parliamentarian” — keeping their readers in the dark about the fact that Barghouti is a convicted terrorist. (RELATED: NYT Fails To Disclose Terrorism Conviction Of Op-Ed Contributor)

Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti attends a deliberation at Jerusalem Magistrate’s court January 25, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Public editor Liz Spayd called out the Times in a column titled, “An Op-Ed Author Omits His Crimes, and The Times Does Too.”

Spayd noted that “a rash of readers have objected — in emails to me and on social media — to what they say was The Times’s distorted characterization of Barghouti.”

She included an email from reader Jonathan Bank of Alpharetta, Georgia, which read in part: “The New York Times and all media lose credibility and contribute to the degradation of journalism when they publish misleading author credentials within editorials and op-eds.”

“To omit that critical piece of information and simply describe the author as a leader and politician effectively prevents the reader from placing his opinions in proper perspective,” Bank added.

“This isn’t a new issue for the Opinion section,” Spayd noted. (RELATED: For The Second Time In Three Days, The NYT Changes A Headline To Bash Trump)

The Times has since added an editor’s note to Barghouti’s column that reads: “This article explained the writer’s prison sentence but neglected to provide sufficient context by stating the offenses of which he was convicted. They were five counts of murder and membership in a terrorist organization. Mr. Barghouti declined to offer a defense at his trial and refused to recognize the Israeli court’s jurisdiction and legitimacy.”

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