In June 1984, A.M. Rosenthal, executive editor of the New York Times, transferred Thomas Friedman from his assignment as a foreign correspondent in Lebanon to the position of Jerusalem bureau chief in Israel. According to Friedman’s recollection, Rosenthal chose him with a specific purpose in mind: “to dispense with an old unwritten rule at the New York Times of never allowing a Jew to report from Jerusalem.” That “unwritten rule” was based on the notion that Jews would be incapable of reporting objectively on their own people in their historic homeland.
The First Jewish Jerusalem Bureau Chief of the “New York Times”
Hint: it’s not who you think it was. But his baleful legacy lives on in his successors.