By The Daily Freier Staff
Last Updated 1/29/2016 at 9:30 PM
Manhattan: Readers of the New York Times are in for a unique treat as the Paper of Record has launched an exciting contest. From now through the end of February, New York Times Middle East Reporter Diaa Hadid places one factual statement in each of her stories and challenges you to find it!
New York Times’ Reader Advocate Margaret Sullivan explained the contest. “Think of this as a ‘Where’s Waldo?’ of the Middle East, except instead of looking for a goofy dork in a striped shirt, you’re looking for something Diaa said that wasn’t hearsay, rumor, cock and bull story, or fantasy!” Ms. Sullivan continued. “This may stop us from having to provide disclaimers and editorial corrections to each of her stories…..Basically, it’s all about context. If we change the narrative from trying to spot the falsehoods in Diaa’s work to trying to find the real stuff, then that is a real win-win across the board.”
Intrepid Times readers who find the factual statement in a given article are entitled to their choice of an NPR totebag, a CD of James Taylor and Carole King live in concert from Tanglewood, or a $20 gift certificate to Zabars.
Word of the contest has spread quickly, with dedicated readers springing into action. David F. Of Monterey, California shared his excitement about the competition. “This is amazing! I was reading Diaa’s article about the ‘siege’ of Gaza and I kept scouring for the part that wasn’t made up. So I checked and checked. No reference to Egypt also maintaining a blockade. No reference to Egypt building a moat filled with sewage. No reference to the United Nations trucks entering every day from Israel. No reference to imported cement ending up being used to build Hamas attack tunnels leading to Israel. No reference to the new mall they built. And then, Bam! I found it! She wrote ‘Gaza, which lies along the Mediterranean Sea…..’ Now where do I collect my prize?”
Diaa, who used to write for noted “middle of the road” publication Electronic Intifada, seemed to take the whole thing in stride. “After my story about the reported expulsion of Palestinians from the Old City where I forgot to, like, you know, interview any Israelis, I’ve been taking a bit of heat from the Jooz media watchdogs. But I don’t get it. Like what’s with the surprise? It’s not like I’ve kept my biases on the DL. Anyways, this contest seems like a good way to move past that. Besides, I’ve got a lot on my plate. Next week I have a 1,000 word piece about the Nicole Brown/Ron Goldman murders that I’m going to write based strictly on my interview with OJ Simpson!”