The role of a shill is to conceal any nefarious intent by the huckster, to protect the sheen of the product.
One can debate the merits and demerits of a law while presenting the facts accurately. Indeed, that is the role of a journalist. Both news stories and opinion columns should be based on accurate facts without overstatement or distortion. Unfortunately, many in the mainstream media have failed in these respects.
Palestinian rulers oppressing and brutalizing their own people seldom make the front page. The reason is simple: The media is often uninterested in reporting on Palestinian affairs unless Israel can be blamed.
Adjectives and labels are used to influence rather than inform; they are the weapons of journalists who prefer advocacy journalism over objective reporting. The frequent use of labels by Times reporters demonstrate how far they've strayed from their stated mission of independent and deep reporting.
On Monday, the Palestinian president blamed the Holocaust and anti-Jewish pogroms throughout history on the Jews themselves. The New York Times initially passed on reporting the story — but two days later came around to publishing a piece.
After the New York Times initially cast the Palestinian demonstrations and clashes as being a protest against Israel's naval blockade, the updated story correctly notes that it also is meant to demand a so-called "right of return."
NYT's David Halbfinger abandons the role of objective news analyst to parrot Hamas propaganda lines attacking Israel, suggesting in his own words that Israelis use "disproportionate" force against innocent demonstrators.
Not long after they ignored anti-Semitic rhetoric by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, the media got a second chance. Another speech, with more outlandish vitriol, followed. Did they seize the opportunity?