Culture, Israel

File Under 'Non Sequitur'

I don’t generally nitpick NY Times editorial decisions, but today’s huge [website] frontpage story has a ridiculous non sequitur too good not to share. The article runs about 40 graphs pertaining to the escalation of the conflict in the Gaza. The big news was the replacement of Qassam rockets with Grad-type missiles. “The Grad missiles have a longer range than the homemade, relatively crude Qassam rockets,” the Times explains. Which is how Ashkelon became a target today (Four rockets. One hit a house. No casualties.).
The final graph of the story, though, dismisses the rocket/retaliations narrative for something entirely different:

Omri Sharon, a son of Ariel Sharon, the former Israeli prime minister, began a seven-month prison term on Wednesday after being convicted in 2006 of violating party campaign finance laws, fraud and perjury. The sentence had been delayed because the elder Mr. Sharon, 80, had a severe stroke.

I don’t know if this indicates that the NYT is lazy, that the writers needed to pad out their word count, or that they believe all Israel news belongs under one monolithic rubric. But I do know that it’s buried far enough down in the story that most readers will never have the wtf moment I did reading the Times today.

5 thoughts on “File Under 'Non Sequitur'

  1. the structure of news writing is such that the most relevant, pressing and important stuff goes at the beginning piece, in the lede and in the first few paragraphs, as you well know.
    it’s fairly common to just throw any information that is newsworthy at the end of an article, if there is some sort of relation between the two pieces.

  2. Let this be a reminder: When using another document as a template, delete ALL of the text from the previous one.
    This is just one of my theories about how this happened. Another is that the editors don’t read entire articles either.
    Thanks for the post.

  3. This is more than I thought he would get. Israel can actually be proud of this moment. I hope the sense of justice extends to Olmert and his corruption scandals.

  4. I think it is more likely that – by publishing something juicy and negative (“see how corrupt Israel is?”) – the writers hoped to diminish the reality of and potential outrage over the fact that better weapons means more dead and injured Israeli civilians.

  5. It sounds to me like the tacked-on final paragraph was there to say, “Wait, everyone! Sure, surrounding Arab nations are helping to supply Palestinian terrorists with bigger and better weapons with which to kill Jews. But before you start to sympathize with the Zionist Entity, remember that it includes individuals who do not live up to absolute standards of moral perfection!”
    Whew! And to think I almost really felt bad for a minute there. I was about to say, “Oh crap! Hamas is getting all professional on us!” But now I can just shrug, knowing that if more Sabras went to shul on Yom Kippur and if we all just adhered stringently to Torah, nobody would want to kill us.

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