Thursday, September 15, 2005

You call that coverage?



(photo: Zaka USA)

In recent history no newspaper has tried so hard to please so many as the "English language HaModia". They have tried to acquire the readers who up until now have not read any English newspaper, The Yated Ne'eman readership, as well those who have, but and want a more "Torah-minded" paper. The Jewish Press just doesn't cut it.

One of the, might we say, side-effects of this endeavor is that when they try to please some, others are offended. By this I mean that they offend and ignore Chabad just about to the max. Now before you jump out of you seat and scream "Tzig, what do you want, Chabad has their "own" paper, and besides, they don't read it anyway!", listen to this.

In this weeks coverage of Hurricane Katrina they had a feature on the Jews affected by the Hurricane and on the Jewish response. They speak of a certain Rabbi Yisroel Schiff of Congregation Beth Israel. From what I've heard from people who've visited New Orleans on many occassions the Shul is not what you'd call a very vibrant one. It's what you'd call a local Shul that very much keeps to itself and serves the current membership. From what I understand it's also a "dying" Shul, much like the city is. I would imagine also that most Jews in The Big Easy have never heard of Congregation Beth Israel and of its esteemed Rabbi.

According to Rabbi Zelig Rivkin of Chabad New Orleans, and the skeptics among you can be skeptical, there are 10,000 Jews in greater New Orleans, of which 5,000 are in his Data bases, 400 families are cosely affiliated with Chabad, and 40 are what you'd call "full-fledged" Chabad families, namely Baalei Tshuvah. I would say that would make him somewhat of an authority on the situation there, especially concerning Jews.

Why then give Rabbi Rivkin a short paragraph and the others a page and a half? Why is it important for us to know about every Yungerman from this Kolel in Dallas or that Kolel in Houston who went to the relocation centers in Texas to visit the refugees and to completely ignore Rabbi Rivkin's extensive activities with refugees and his loss of Shul and property? Why report on everybody's losses and needs but his? Is he not deserving?

Why does very event, even the tragic ones, have to be covered only from a political standpoint?

If they purport to be a Newspaper for Torah Jewry and not the Aguda Yisroel then cover the stories like they should be and like they happened! Please don't tell me about Chabd newspaper doing the same thing because that's what they are, PARTY NEWSPAPERS AND WEBSITES! they report what "they" have done.

Am I being too "simplistic"?

(to their credit they do mention the Chabad Hurricane relief fund as one of the relief funds to donate to)

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have seen this to be a normal occurence in all haredi papers. They either ignore the person completely, don't make the Chabad connection, or do it to a bare minimum. I guess they're afraid of their own shadows.

Anonymous said...

Tzig,
You should change the name from Circus Tent to Chip On My Shoulder...

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

or stop buying the paper......

Anonymous said...

Hirshele,
Look, Chabad is controversial and not part of their preview. They represent main-stream Judaism in their mind - and we're fringe. Main-stream publications stay away from us, and we don't go out of our way to make friends among them either.
Just get used to it:
Non-Jews don't respect Jews, Non-Frum don't respect the Frum, and Non-Lubavitchers don't respect Lubavitchers.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

so I guess that makes us the best of the lot!

<:)

Anonymous said...

"running from their own shadow", I like that one.

Most Rabbonim and policy makers are essentially afraid of themselves. They're afraid to say a vort from the Rebbe because they're afraid they'd be labeled. But if they all do it and people see that it's ok, then why worry?
(meaning people are only hesitant because of the policymakers, but once they say it's ok they'll have no problem with it either!)

bpunbound said...

"CE said....

Look, Chabad is controversial"

Even a hundred years after the fact?

Case in point. Over the summer both the Yated and Hamodia ran articles with a bio of R' A.C. Na'eh (Kitzos Hashulchan etc.).

Yated made not the slightest mention of a Chabad connection, Hamodia only in passing.

You can't tell me there is no editorializing in their news pages.

Anonymous said...

BP,
Yes.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

Didn't somebody once say "lock up all the newspapermen"

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

If he didn't he should've.

Anonymous said...

Mishpacha in English does a great job in this regard. The cover story on the tsunami with Wilhelm was really good.

Anonymous said...

Tzig:I like how you conveniently 'preempted' what you knew would be thrust at you:That Chabadsker 'newspapers' write diddly squat about any non Chabad topics.
Yeah, I know:Chabadsker newspapers are 'party' newspapers (pardon the pun!)
Just curious, even according to your logic the Hamodia is trying to reach out to everybody, why then would they have Chabad 'aufen boydem'??
The reason is quite simple.Chabadsker make a 'tumul' as if they are a massive percentage of orthodox jews, their Rebbe is 'Nosi Hador' etc, etc but the real truth is they make a lot noise, but are really a very insignificant part of the 'heimishe velt'

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

forget the Heimishe Velt, we're talking about Louisiana here! Are they a majority there? if so then write it that way! Nobody's asking you to write about every Chabad event happening eveywhere.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

Mishpacha in English is somewhat better, but then again they're surprisingly different.

Anonymous said...

The truth is that Mishpacha is surprisingly inclusive of Chabad. A real exception to the rule.

Anonymous said...

I know from sources that HaModia was interested in adding alot more of Chabad in their newspaper, but their was no one to talk to, and no one seemed interested. For ex. they put a box to sell their daily paper in CH, but there were no buyers, so they just got rid of it. There are more things that they tried including Chabad, like the Simchas page, but nobody here was ready to help them. Hirshel if your interested in helping, I can arrange it.

bpunbound said...

CE,

Could you please explain why Yated, and to some extent Hamodia, would want to deliberatly obfuscate the fact that A.C.N. was a Chabad Chosid.

Does it somehow dull the argument that Lubavitch (what they really mean is chassidus in the case of Yated) has absolutely no redeeming value?

The fact is, you take the average "Litvishe" kid and aside from the view of Ger as the "learning Chassidus" (take that for what it's worth), Chassidus is a movement of lazy buffons that has produced or been associated with no Talmidei Chachamim of note. And that is the perception that is fostered by the "Roshei Yeshivos".

Ask the average kid what all those references in the Mishna Berurah to the GR"Z are, and you'll get a blank stare.

Anonymous said...

it'll take more than a box in CH to undo years of mistrust. How many boxes were there? How long was it there for? In BP there are boxes that don't get refilled for days! does that mean they'll stop sellinf them in BP?

Anonymous said...

Listen, Chabadskers!
Hamodia is really not interested in your business.Why:because you bring no readership..A)Because you have miniscule numbers B)You will never support any non Lubavitch endeavors.
Even the non Chabad meshulochim know that Crown Heights is a waste of time they are too partisan (and carg)to give a buck.
Actually I discussed Hamodias' amazing success in Lakewood with the distributor who decided in the beginning not to take Lakewood since he thought it would not sell well.Actually Lakewood sells thousands every week and Crown Heights barely moves any.

Anonymous said...

BP,
I think the reason they don't mention Chabad is that they don't want to taint his name. They think they're doing him a favor by not associating him with those crazy and controversial Lubavitchers.
They also don't have problems with the GR"Z - And I think most people know who it is - even Litvishe Bochurim.

Avreml,
If it isn't going, you can't blame them for taking it away from CH. They're a business.
BTW I do remember Hamodia running many write-ups on Chabad figures in the Yahrzeit section...

bpunbound said...

Chaim,

Whoever told that to you is either misinformed or a liar.

When there was a Hachnasas Sefer Torah 15 months ago in BP at a Chabad Beis Hamedresh, which was very well attended (by non-Chabad also), the paper was asked for space to place pictures of the event and an article. In fact, one picture was buried in the back of the paper, without an accompanying article, and a few lines were included in the column that lists the weekly goings-on in the neighberhood. And that was done as a "favor".

Anonymous said...

PIPPY - ARE YOU THE SAME AS MALACH?

Anonymous said...

BP:You know nothing about the average litvishe boy if you think they don't know who the Gra'z is.
Btw what does the average Chabasker know about non Lubavitcher rabbonim?
Practice what you preach!

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

That's where you're all mistaken. The HaModia was supposedly founded, especially the daily one, so that Yungeleit and families should not have to buy the local paper to get their news, The fact that they sell ad space notwithstanding. This makes it a totally spiritual mission. Therefore, unlike politicians, they need to cater to all people, not just the ones who buy their paper.

Anonymous said...

bpunbound,
Since when do they have to include every Hachnoese Sefer Torah with an article? There must be a couple of them every week in BP.
What I wrote is something that I personally was involved in.

Anonymous said...

Pipik,
You guys are wrong, the average Litvishe Bochur doesn't know about Litvishe Rabbonim as much as tehy don't know about Chassidishe Rabonim. I am not reffering to Ausband, Kanerik, Wachtfoigel etc.

bpunbound said...

Chaim,

C'mon. Last week they had a picture of a 'Rosh' walking on the street to his einekel's bris. How newsworthy is that?

As far as a couple every week, I'm keepin' score. The major ones have always managed to have a substantial article along with a number of pictures in the center of the paper.

Anonymous said...

It's one thing to be PR animals which Chabad is. Almost every improtant world event is followed by a eye witness account by Chabad rabbis: the bombing in London (Sufrin) the NO floor , Iraq (Grand rabbi Goldstein) and etc. These reports are carried in almost evry Anglo-Jewish newspaper in the US and papers in London and Israel.Kol hakavod
I find it aamazing that Lubavitchers" farginen nit an anderem" a little PR to anyone but themselves.
Are the Chabad people in NO the only orthodox rabbis there ?
When was the last time a Chabad pres release lets say from Detroit also mentioned the improtant work the local Kollel does there ?Or from Ct mentioned the Yeshiva in Waterbury ?
So HAMODIAH does not mention Chabad , so rabbi Schiff's shul is small. How many Chabad houses with a vast PR machine hardly have a minyon and certainly not a minyon without a Parking lot ?
C"mon show a little "breitkeit" and give others a chance to get a little Pr action too !

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

Kurenitzer
Bemechilas Kvodchem

1) You're missing the point of the story. In a place like NO yes, in Detroit, Chicago, LA maybe not.

2) the PR you're referring to is the childish type that gets covered in websites from private people or the like.

3) You owe us a follow-up about Perlow.

Anonymous said...

Pipik, I've edited your last post, here's the edited version. Watch your step.

Hirshel:The American Hamodia is owned by Ms Lichtenstein, grandaughter of R'itche Mayer Levin, it is more succesful than the israeli one because it is less political and partisan.

Anonymous said...

The censor is getting busy.
Btw, there was no vulgar language in the post, only some truisms about the lack of interest that the heimishe oilem has in Lubavitch.
Is this going to turn into a clone of mentalblog?
The only reason you opened yours was because he banned you.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

I meant "watch your step" because you were stepping into a big pile of bulls---. That's all. I did not call you an idiot, or a mother of all idiots, all I said was watch your step.

Anonymous said...

What was not true about my statement in that post for example that the chasidishe/heimisheh oilem views Chabadskers as modern orthodox?

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

They play it both ways. if the Lubavitcher is modern they'll say ער איז נישט קיין היימישער , and if he is a Chassidisher Yid like it should be they'll say ס'איז נישט אונזער דרך
You can't have it both ways.

Anonymous said...

Blog on Hirshel!

Anonymous said...

The standrad books on Karlind do not mention reb Asher in Berlin. I recall seeing Menshe unger writing about it . Let me try finding it.

Anonymous said...

I saw where some Israeli papers actually credited this Young man as being a Chabadnik, not from Zaka.