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Just Shmooze / YWN Article about Dov Hikind
« on: September 12, 2012, 10:30:45 PM »
YWN is very pro Greenfield and very anti Dov Hikind. Dov Gordon wrote a terrible article tonight and posted on YWN. I tried posting my comment there but of course the mods did not allow it to get on. This is typical propaganda by YWN, especially the night before the primary election. Anything to promote their agenda. Anyone else share my hatred for YWN?

Anyway, here is my response to the article they posted:

Link to article:

My response:

When I read this article I laughed at the title but then became angry along the way seeing this as nothing but blatant loshon hora and propaganda the day before an election. I thought we as jews were above the type of Democratic vs. Republican, CNN vs. Fox News, left vs. right spats which we have been accustomed to. I was clearly wrong. There is so much wrong with this article that I feel compelled to point them out.

I would like to preface by stating that YWN's affiliation with David Greenfield is well documented, while there support for Dov Hikind is minimal at best. I like Greenfield and I like Hikind so I am not partial one way or the other. The facts are simply that YWN has publicized its support for Greenfield through and through, while very infrequently, if ever, doing so for Dov Hikind. True political writing is written from a neutral stance, not one that is openly skewed to the politician it supports.

As I stated, there are several issues I have with this article:

1) There is a blatant accusation that is being made in this article and while I am no Rabbi it is certainly an element of lashon hora to accuse Dov Hikind of making backdeals regarding general elections. I will not push this issue because its not my place to, that is for the YWN editors to be on top of as well as the Daas Torah it always mentions it consults with. Either our "daas torah" is failing us, or YWN has simply neglected their responsibility. This article should not have been published, especially in Elul.

2) Stating that several people have contacted the column asking the same question lends no credence to the legitimacy of the question. People dream up conspiracies all the time, it does not mean their true or valid. While this article does not state that the story is true, it also should not be the impetus toward writing an article that suggests such a thing to begin with. If these people truly believe that Hikind may be "backdealing" let them come out and say it in the public. YWN and Dov Gordon should not be publishing an article that is riddled with inconsistencies and errors based on a few people positing a question.

3) I have no preference for either candidate but know Shlomo Mostofsky quite well, and am familiar with Charles Finkelstein too. Both are askonim and are very good people and I have nothing bad to say about them. I wish both of them success. To state though that Charles Finkelstein is not actively campaigning is simply untrue. He has ads in every paper and on every website, he has been to Rabbonim and Rebbes, and has been out on the streets talking to voters. He also has been on the Dov Hikind radio show for the last several weeks promoting his campaign. While he may not be seen in the papers as much or receive the same amount of endorsements as Mostofsky, he is still very much running an active campaign. I cannot fault Dov Gordon for making a prediction, everyone is entitled to one, but stating the campaign is not active is simply a falsehood.

4) The sentence which states "It appears that Hikind may have made deals with the Democratic Party..." is probably the worst sentence of them all. This is the sentence of which the whole article is premised upon yet nowhere in the article is any supporting evidence spoken about proving the claim. To state that "it appears" that something is someway means nothing without support. Nothing in the article evidences to the fact that the claim has any legitimacy. It is simply a hypothesis made by the writer but is supported by nothing. A good journalist ensures that his articles are well written but more importantly, well supported. This article contains neither of those elements.

5) Piggy backing off the previous point, good journalism requires support through trusted sources. It was when I read the sentence stating that there is only one frum civil court judge in NYC that I started to laugh. This so easily showed me that this article was written as mere propaganda and nothing more. It is factually wrought with error and supports itself through quotes from presumably knowledgable and trusted "community leaders." I would love to know which community leader stated there is only one civil court judge in NYC. Whoever he or she is, is clearly not well informed or in tune with our communities. In the civil court in Brooklyn alone, there are 3 frum judges! There may even be more that I am unaware of, but there is also at least one frum civil court judge in Queens. Stating that there is only 1 frum civil judge in NYC is a farce! To then publish this quote without doing any fact checking is negligence on the YWN's part. Regardless of who wins, we will not be left with one frum judge. Moreover, if Shlomo Mostofsky or Charles Finkelstein wins that number will only grow. We need not "unite" to vote for Shlomo Mostofsky to ensure that the tragedy of having only one frum judge will be avoided. We need to unite to vote, each for whom he or she chooses. If everyone votes there will be no issue as a frum candidate will be declared the winner. It is sad that these are the types of people we have as our "community leaders."

6) The only thing arguably true in this article is that for all intents and purposes the election will be decided tomorrow. Shlomo Mostofsky did not shoot to the front of the race once endorsed by David Greenfield, YWN decided he did. While Mostofsky has publicized his endorsements better than Finkelstein, he too gained several endorsements from Rabbonim and Rebbes, as well as Dov Hikind obviously.

7) If we want to talk about unity and achdus...Charles Finkelstein ran for judge in NYC in 2004. He ran a very active campaign and received many many endorsements. In the end, he lost by about 2200 votes in a city-wide election. The reason? Lack of unity. While Dov Hikind did his best to promote Finkelstein, and the Young Israel as well, with the help of Mostofsky who was President at that time ironically enough, it was the Agudas Yisroel of America who likely cost him the race. The Agudas Yisroel of America would not promote him and tell people to go out an vote. This was a golden chance to put a frum person as judge, yet the ball was dropped and instead three goyim were the victors ahead of him. The achdus was lacking then, and had it been present, we would all be discussing how everyone will be casting their votes for Mostofsky as he joins the ranks of the other frum judges. Facts are that the achdus has gotten worse since that time, especially with David Greenfield and Dov Hikind always being at odds with one another. No one votes anymore for the person, but rather whether they are endorsed by Hikind or Greenfield. If we had any achdus at all, we wouldn't have ridiculously written articles like this one being published.

No matter who you vote for, Finkelstein or Mostofsky you can't go wrong. Both are genuinely good good people and both will do good for the klal as judge. But do not fall victim to the net that YWN has cast as it can no longer be trusted as a legitimate news source. This is a very poorly written article riddled with inaccuracies and loshon hora. It has no place on YWN and it is shameful that it was chosen to be posted the night before the election. I hope that this comment will at least open up the eyes of people to see what this article truly is.

If you have any thoughts on it let me know. Agree? Disagree?

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