The New York Times and the Holocaust

From Howard Kurtz’s Media Notes, quoting the Jewish newspaper “The Forward”:

What exactly is the Times’ “nefarious reporting record on the Holocaust”?

During WWII the Times relegated a lot of holocaust related stories to a couple short paragraphs on the back page. A lot of other newspapers did the same thing or ignored it altogether, for a variety of reasons.

The Times’ poor coverage was considered doubly scandalous in light of the fact that the paper’s owners were Jewish.

The History Channel did a bit on this recently (past year or two). I beleive someone has also written a book on the subject, probably on which the History Channel based their show.

Holocaust stories weren’t always on the back page, but were rarely on the front page and were virtually never the top headline.

We’ll probably never know why they did what they did (editorially).

My guess is that the editors thought the Holocaust to be an ongoing story rather than “new” news in the sense of just breaking, like a battle won or lost.

I guess also they might have been thinking that the Holocaust, although exceedingly barbaric, was a “Jewish” story as opposed to general interest.

Perhaps they also thought it so difficult for the average Joe New Yorker to believe that they thought they’d risk their credibility by taking the story out of the background and making it a front-and-center issue.

Personally, I would have thought the story would be great anti-Nazi propaganda at the very least. AFAIK, they had plenty of verification and cross-referencing available to ensure the facts were indeed as they were being reported at the time.

I don’t know the answer but I wonder if it would help if we knew with what we were comparing the Times’ coverage and in which time frame – can’t see a comparative national/international context ?
BTW, from a competition POV we seem to have one Jewish owned paper (The Washington Post) dissing another (The NYT) by means of quoting a third Jewish owned paper (The Forward) – Potential ‘un-attributed’ smear territory, IMHO. Is there a more aggressive than usual circulation war brewing/going on in the US at the moment ?

One part of the thinking was that these were just like the false “Hun Atrocity” stories prevalent in World War I. The Times may have been reluctant to report these rumors and get burned again. Especially since the stories coming out were so extreme that it was easy to think they might be exaggerations.

One reason could very well be because, like most liberal Jews, they were very much in favor of President Roosevelt’s agenda and did not want to greatly publicize and cause a public outcry about an issue that Roosevelt didn’t want to deal with.


This is the original article.

Tangential to the OP question of the record of the Times relative to reporting during the Holocaust, the article offered a summary(to me, at least) of the current controversy: