The New York Times has faced backlash online for running a Christmas Eve piece that many called pro-Hezbollah propaganda.
The piece, which ran in the New York Times' World News section, was widely criticized as a puff piece that made the Islamist terrorist organization appear sympathetic.
The article highlighted efforts by the Iranian-backed organization to bring a Christmas Santa to a shopping mall in Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon. According to the Times, the Iranian cultural attache kicked off the event by saying, "Today, we're celebrating the birth of Christ... and also the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution."
The Times went on to say that one of the speakers at the event proposed that Christians and Muslims "are one family, against corruption, with social justice, against authority, against Israel, with the Lebanese Army and with the resistance." The article went on to describe the other Christmastime celebrations attendant to the event, and claimed that "few seasons frame the everyday give-and-take of religious coexistence quite like Christmastime in Lebanon."
Many were quick to criticize the Times' article as a whitewashing of Hezbollah's violent extremist past and present. Hezbollah has been listed as a terrorist organization by the United States Department of State since 1997.
Hezbollah has been widely suspected of having provided material support to the Islamic Jihad Organization during the deadly 1983 bombings of the United States Embassy and Marine barracks in Beirut, which killed a total of 368 people. They have also been implicated in numerous deadly terror attacks against the United States and other Western countries since that time.
More recently, Hezbollah has been accused of digging tunnels from Lebanon into northern Israel in order to facilitate a possible invasion of Israel by Iranian-backed forces.