Words alone cannot express my disappointment in the article that Ari Goldman has written (“Telling It Like It Wasn’t,” Aug. 12).
He writes about a “frame” — apparently a motif that’s decided upon by the powers on high that the editors must conform to. I worked for The Times for nearly 30 years — the majority of that time with newsroom personnel as we moved to the world of computers — and never heard the term. I have been in contact with a friend who worked in the newsroom for more years than that, and he never heard the term. He said that if any respectable reporter or editor at The Times had been told how to slant a story, or a line of coverage, he or she would have quit, or at a minimum leaked the facts with maximum fanfare.
Goldman knows this (or knew, perhaps), since the couple of times he and I broached the subject, we expressed the same level of frustration with the way our community misunderstood and unfairly maligned The Times’ coverage of Jewish and Israeli stories.
Goldman writes that there were a dozen or so additional reporters reporting from Crown Heights. Does he suggest that they too were in on the conspiracy, or were their reports also manipulated by the editors to conform to the “frame?” If so, I just wonder how Goldman feels the “frame” was made known to those responsible for conforming to it. Did the publisher, executive editor and metro desk editor have a meeting or send a memo or whisper into somebody’s ear what the “frame” is going to be for this particular story? Or did everybody just know? And finally, does he feel that this type of “framed” reporting goes on for every major story or for only those involving Jews and Israel (as many of my friends and relatives would swear is true)?
Let us now ask if Ari Goldman himself is a disinterested reporter. Isn’t it possible that he brings a pro-Jewish bias into every story involving Jews — knowingly or perhaps unknowingly?
I feel sad to see a very nice guy with a distinguished background and world-class writing ability join forces with the misunderstanders and unfair maligners and become a Times basher.