In Defense Of Ethan Bronner
The test of a journalist is his work. I haven't detected a shred of bias in Bronner's pieces from the NYT on Israel and the Middle East, even though his son is now in the IDF. I agree with Goldblog on this for the most part. I do believe, however, that it should have been clearly disclosed without pressure from the outside forcing the NYT into a disclosure that clearly would not have happened without a public editor. Keeping such a potential conflict of interest under wraps - even as questions of war crimes are being debated in a military in which Bronner's son is now fighting - was a clear lapse of ethical judgment on Bill Keller's part, not Bronner's, who rightly informed his editors.
Hoyt also makes a fair point:
Stepping back, this is what I see: The Times sent a reporter overseas to provide disinterested coverage of one of the world’s most intense and potentially explosive conflicts, and now his son has taken up arms for one side. Even the most sympathetic reader could reasonably wonder how that would affect the father, especially if shooting broke out.
Of course it would - but with this disclosure, it seems to me that Bronner will be even more careful to be as even-handed as he can be.
But I confess some ignorance here as well. Or is Israel once again an exception?