Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Keep CounterPunch ad free. Support our annual fund drive today!

Does Tom Freidman Read the New York Times?

by Jack McCarthy

In his silly and more-dishonest-than-usual column for December 5, “Intifada 11 is Over” the New York Times’ Thomas Friedman (for not the first and probably not the last time) blames Yassar Arafat and the Palestinian Authority for rejecting a so-called unprecedented “peace offering” in the form of a Palestinian state.

This grand offer supposedly occurred during negotiations in the waning days of the Clinton administration. At the time Clinton made a lot of news by claiming Arafat wouldn’t budge on anything.

But as the Times itself reported not long ago, based on diplomatic reports, the record shows that if anything it was the Israeli Prime Minister Barak, and not Arafat, who was obstinate and unyielding.

Why then does Friedman continue to parrot this blatant falsehood? Why does Freidman never provide “context” for the current round of violence?

As Freidman is well aware, the current intifida was ignited by matches lit by both Ariel Sharon and Barak in the midst of the election for Prime Minister. Barak pissed away the Oslo Accords during the Clinton round of negotiations to prove his mettle with Israeli hardliners and Sharon did his infamous waddle/swagger across Muslim holy ground in Jerusalem.

Friedman never mentions this.

It’s not unreasonable conclude that Freidman is using his perch at the Times for his own personal agenda–call it Bin Friedmanism. Like that other preppie news dweeb, Jonathan (“Tortureboy”) Alter at Newsweek, Friedman is vicariously flexing his muscles by cheering loudly for Sharon as he supposedly mops up Palestinian “bin ladenism.”

Freidman, however, doesn’t mention that it’s not Hamas and Islamic Jihad (who Friedman says has hijacked the Palestinian cause) who are being attacked today. It’s Arafat and company.

In his December 5 column Osama Bin Friedman can be found parroting the Sharon line and all but calls on the Palestinians to kill Arafat. He warns that Sharon shouldn’t go after Arafat. “Leave that for the Palestinians.”

One wonders who Friedman thinks Hamas and Jihad hijacked the Palestinian movement from?

As he this sleaze weasel always does, Freidman makes a quick feint toward the root cause of the conflict:settlements and occupation. Friedman briefly urges that the U.S. pressure Israel on these issues but then, israeli bombs strapped to his brain, Friedman opens up fire again on Arafat for not taking advantage at the Clinton round.

In the end the question remains:

Does Thomas Friedman read the New York Times?

Jack McCarthy is a writer in Tallahassee, Florida. He can be reached at

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine


October 25, 2016
David Swanson
Halloween Is Coming, Vladimir Putin Isn’t
Hiroyuki Hamada
Fear Laundering: an Elaborate Psychological Diversion and Bid for Power
Priti Gulati Cox
President Obama: Before the Empire Falls, Free Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal
Kathy Deacon
Plus ça Change: Regime Change 1917-1920
Robin Goodman
Appetite for Destruction: America’s War Against Itself
Richard Moser
On Power, Privilege, and Passage: a Letter to My Nephew
Rev. William Alberts
The Epicenter of the Moral Universe is Our Common Humanity, Not Religion
Dan Bacher
Inspector General says Reclamation Wasted $32.2 Million on Klamath irrigators
David Mattson
A Recipe for Killing: the “Trust Us” Argument of State Grizzly Bear Managers
Derek Royden
The Tragedy in Yemen
Ralph Nader
Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think
Norman Pollack
Centrist Fascism: Lurching Forward
Guillermo R. Gil
Cell to Cell Communication: On How to Become Governor of Puerto Rico
Mateo Pimentel
You, Me, and the Trolley Make Three
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
October 24, 2016
John Steppling
The Unwoke: Sleepwalking into the Nightmare
Oscar Ortega
Clinton’s Troubling Silence on the Dakota Access Pipeline
Patrick Cockburn
Aleppo vs. Mosul: Media Biases
John Grant
Humanizing Our Militarized Border
Franklin Lamb
US-led Sanctions Targeting Syria Risk Adjudication as War Crimes
Paul Bentley
There Must Be Some Way Out of Here: the Silence of Dylan
Norman Pollack
Militarism: The Elephant in the Room
Patrick Bosold
Dakota Access Oil Pipeline: Invite CEO to Lunch, Go to Jail
Paul Craig Roberts
Was Russia’s Hesitation in Syria a Strategic Mistake?
David Swanson
Of All the Opinions I’ve Heard on Syria
Weekend Edition
October 21, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Wight
Hillary Clinton and the Brutal Murder of Gaddafi
Diana Johnstone
Hillary Clinton’s Strategic Ambition in a Nutshell
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Trump’s Naked and Hillary’s Dead
John W. Whitehead
American Psycho: Sex, Lies and Politics Add Up to a Terrifying Election Season
Stephen Cooper
Hell on Earth in Alabama: Inside Holman Prison
Patrick Cockburn
13 Years of War: Mosul’s Frightening and Uncertain Future
Rob Urie
Name the Dangerous Candidate
Pepe Escobar
The Aleppo / Mosul Riddle
David Rosen
The War on Drugs is a Racket
Sami Siegelbaum
Once More, the Value of the Humanities
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
Neve Gordon
Israel’s Boycott Hypocrisy
Mark Hand
Of Pipelines and Protest Pens: When the Press Loses Its Shield
Victor Wallis
On the Stealing of U.S. Elections
Michael Hudson
The Return of the Repressed Critique of Rentiers: Veblen in the 21st century Rentier Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Drumbeats of Anti-Russia Confrontation From Washington to London
Howard Lisnoff
Still Licking Our Wounds and Hoping for Change
Brian Gruber
Iraq: There Is No State
Peter Lee
Trump: We Wish the Problem Was Fascism
Stanley L. Cohen
Equality and Justice for All, It Seems, But Palestinians