Noa Shaindlinger isn’t the type of person you’d expect to find cited as a credible source in The New York Times. She is the type who thinks the death of two Israeli pilots in an air force training accident was “good news.” It is a “shame he didn’t die,” she once wrote after describing an Israeli severely wounded in an accident. And when a Palestinian firebomb attack failed to maim the intended victim, she called the lack of injury it “unfortunate.”
In other words, Shaindlinger is the type of person who openly celebrates when Israeli children — in the case above, a two-month-old boy and 16-, 17- and 20-year-old girls — lose their fathers. The Israeli propagandist is so extreme, in fact, that it is hard to draw an analogy to an American counterpart. This isn’t because there are no fringe Americans who take delight at the death of their countrymen. There are. Rather, it is because we don’t tend to encounter them in newspapers. Journalistic judgment about which voices are worth taking seriously acts as a filter meant to separate the credible from the demagogic, the thoughtful from the hateful — and The New York Times website from the anarchy of the internet at large.