You’ve just got to love the grudging way Jodi Rudoren of the New York Times reported Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election yesterday: “After a bruising campaign focused on his failings, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel won a clear victory in Tuesday’s elections and seemed all but certain to form a new government and serve a fourth term, though he offended many voters and alienated allies in the process.”
One could have said much the same of Barack Obama, who in 2012 won a clear victory after a bruising campaign focused on his failings, though he had offended many voters. Needless to say, the Times didn’t. (The bit about alienating allies—the reference is to domestic ones, not to the U.S.—isn’t really applicable in a two-party presidential system.)
In 1992, the last time American voters rejected an incumbent president, someone produced a bumper sticker saying “Annoy the media—re-elect Bush.” Unlike Americans then, Israelis yesterday certainly succeeded in annoying the media, and none more than the Times.