Culture

Jewish Press takes umbrage with my characterization of their Kolko coverage

Alright Jewish Press, I take it back. You never defended rabbinic sex offenders, you just (by your own admission) attacked their accusers, making no apology after they were vindicated. Rather, you ran this quote on the occasion of Kolko’s arrest (otherwise known as the sole occasion on which his case was even mentioned in your paper):

“I think a bunch of people are out to get him,” Aaron Tarnes, 30, a student at the yeshiva for 15 years, told The Daily News. “I’m disturbed to hear such things against such a wonderful man.”

G-d forbid, you should’ve investigated the allegations and done your jobs as journalists. Maybe you could’ve come away nominated for a journalism award, as New York Magazine was for their bang-up job on the topic. Rather, you sought to act as part of the spin machine that deflected attention from the issue by instead focusing on the ethics of making anonymous accusations (without acknowledging the threats made against those who had spoken out previously).
But after all, you made all those special pullout supplements so the community that didn’t want to hear about it could continue to comfortably bury their heads in the sand. And how could that possibly be seen as anything other than stridently pursuing the truth? How noble.
Finally, yes, it is true, you ran my sister’s op-ed on the subject. I’d forgotten entirely about that, and specifically, how shocked I was to see that you had actually run it. If I recall correctly, the entirety of my email to my sister in response to the publication of her op-ed was, “The Jewish Press?!”
So uh, yeah, gee… Sorry for that misunderstanding there. Why don’t you cry about it?
Dude, you’re a newspaper; we’re a weblog. You’re supposed to steal our leads and pretend we don’t exist, like the other Jewish papers do… Come on. You’re embarrassing yourselves.

12 thoughts on “Jewish Press takes umbrage with my characterization of their Kolko coverage

  1. The JP is lacking in the ethical department. They have a swindler with a lengthy record, Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum of the Rabbinical Alliance, on their team, who they are constantly promoting. When you have someone like that on your staff, of course you want to block comments on your blog that you don’t like.

  2. Rich: I don’t understand the harping on rabbi Tanenbaum I see from you and others on various blogs. As far as I can tell, he’s just a columnist — and his column is not halachic, he doesn’t pasken, etc. He’s not on the paper’s masthead, there’s no reason to believe he has any input into anything other than his column. If having ethical or legal problems in one’s past is to be a bar to employment by an Orthodox company, organization, etc., I’m afraid a good portion of the frum community would be unemployable.

  3. Phil – there is a difference between people having an incident or two in their past, as deplorable as that may be, and a record of swindling over more than thirty years, which Tannenbaum has. Also, a Rabbi should be held to a higher standard.
    Right now Tannenbaum has two columns in the JP weekly and he used to have even more until they recently cut him back. One of them is on daf yomi. According to the Talmud, one should not seek Torah from someone who is a swindler like that. One is supposed to seek Torah from a Rabbi that is like an angel, and if he is otherwise not to. So he should not be given a position of respect teaching Torah. The other column poses as a news column, but is actually a column of propaganda.
    If you follow it carefully, you will notice that after the recent Jewish Week expose on Tannenbaum (http://thejewishweek.com/news/newscontent.php3?artid=13530), the JP dropped mention of his affiliation with the Rabbinical Alliance on it. So obviously they are aware of his past. Yet they still give him respect, give him the title Rabbi, which should be stripped from him, and give him two platforms each week. Who else in the JP, that is not a family member, gets that ?
    ” If having ethical or legal problems in one’s past is to be a bar to employment by an Orthodox company, organization, etc., I’m afraid a good portion of the frum community would be unemployable.”
    He can have employment. He can sweep the floors and deliver the mail. But to be the director of a Rabbinical organization and be given a platform to pontificate on religious matters ? Are there no standards at all ?

  4. He’s not on the paper’s masthead, there’s no reason to believe he has any input into anything other than his column

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