New York Times: A Icon of Agenda-Driven Journalism

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Agenda-driven journalism is nothing new, but the level to which some news outlets stoop to pursue their agendas is quite shocking. The New York Times’s coverage of Hindus, Hinduism, and India is a case in point.

In a 3-part series of articles published in early 2021 in HinduPost, Dr. Prerna Malhotra has cited example after example where the New York Times has ignored or twisted facts to portray Hindus, Hinduism, and India in a bad light. Here are selected excerpts from her articles (slightly paraphrased for context and clarity) that clearly demonstrate NTY’s unashamedly biased treatment of Hindu/Indian issues:

  1. On 12 July 2017, after the elections in Uttar Pradesh, Bharat, Yogi Adityanath was named the Chief Minister. NYT called Yogi the democratically elected Chief Minister, a ‘militant Hindu supremacist’, with the headline, “The Head of a Militant Hindu Supremacist Temple is now Leading India’s Most Populous state.” Similarly, on 23 May 2019, the day of the announcement of election results in Bharat, NYT did an opinion story with the headline, ‘How Narendra Modi Seduced India With Envy and Hate’…. and, “The Hindu nationalist Prime Minister of India.”
    However, on 24 January 2021, the same newspaper publishes a news story with the heading, ‘In Biden’s Catholic faith, an ascendant liberal Christianity’. It read, “President Biden is perhaps the most religiously observant commander in chief in half a century. A different, more liberal Christianity grounds his life and his policies.”
  2. NYT had written around two dozen articles, reports, and opinions on the Pulwama terrorist attack in February 2019. (Forty border security personnel lost their lives in that attack – Ed.)… However, the anti-Hindu, anti-Bharat bias of NYT compelled it to write articles/new stories/opinions with misleading headlines….what NYT’s reporting did was an open effort to create a pro-Pakistan, anti-Bharat narrative through misleading headlines and half-truths. A critical analysis of the Pulwama incident’s coverage clearly shows anti-Bharat propaganda at work under the garb of a media house.
  3. NYT’s obsessive Hinduphobia was reflected even in reporting an issue like the Covid-19 pandemic. On 21 April 2020, NYT wrote on Covid-19 in Bharat, with the headline- A Pandemic of Prejudice and Repression, and further expressed that “the coronavirus outbreak has allowed authoritarian and anti-sentiment to flourish against Muslims.”
    The fact is that it was nowhere about Muslims or any other community specifically but about Tablighi Jamaat members who had not only defied the pandemic-related government guidelines and congregated in large numbers, making the virus spread in the initial stages but also had misbehaved with corona warriors including the health staff and law enforcement agencies. NYT further stooped low to call the Corona warriors ‘casteist’ as it referred to “Modi’s government and especially his Covid-19 task force, dominated by upper caste Hindus”.
  4. On 24 Dec. 2020, New York Times did a news story with a mischievous headline- How Does an 83-year-old Jesuit End up in Prison, with an indirect reference to Stan Swamy, the man arrested under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in Bharat. The NYT goes on to add, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government imprisoned him under an anti-terrorism law.”
    To put the facts straight, NYT reporters should have known that he was accused of having direct links with CPI (Maoist), a proscribed terrorist organization in Bharat that aims at overthrowing the government of Bharat through revolt.
    There is more …much more in this 3-part series that speaks to the deeply Hinduphobic venom that the New York Times has been spreading in the guise of journalism. Click below to read the full articles.

Dr. Jai Bansal is a retired scientist, currently serving as the VP Education for the World Hindu Council of America (VHPA)

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