|NY Times Runs Puff Piece on Anti-Israel Comic Book|
If Patrick Cockburn and Joe Sacco have one thing in common, it is their outspoken antagonism toward Israel. And despite this, or perhaps because of this, the New York Times enlisted the former to review the latter’s new anti-Israel comic book, Footnotes in Gaza, which alleges massacres in Gaza by Israel at the time of the 1956 Suez crisis.
This strange choice of an anti-Israel partisan to review an anti-Israel book not only resulted in a glowing, uncritical and almost sycophantic review, but also prompts some serious questions:
Is it useful to readers, not to mention professionally ethical, to draft a political partisan in this way? Is the Times Book Review department oblivious to the extreme biases of the two writers or — worse yet — in agreement with them?
Cockburn’s journalistic career includes writing for the Independent, a fiercely anti-Israel British newspaper, and for Counterpunch, an online publication with even more radical views about the Jewish state. Joe Sacco is the author of two comic books about Palestinians — Palestine, and his recently published Footnotes in Gaza — which take a dim view of Israel’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
A Cover-Up of Bias
There is, however, a crucial difference between Sacco and Cockburn. While Sacco openly admits that he promotes the Palestinian point of view, Cockburn, in his Dec. 27 New York Times book review of Footnotes in Gaza, deceptively attempts to portray Sacco as an objective investigative reporter.
“I have my prejudices, and I have my preconceived notions, ” Sacco once noted. “Like anyone does, like any reporter does, but I’m just sort of ‘fessing up to it.”