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May 15, 2012

What The New York Times Took From The Jews

New York Times logo 2The Village Voice has a list of what the New York Time's reporters took from FailedMessiah.com, The Jewish Week and other Jewish publications along with CBS 2 and the Guardian in the Times' articles on child sexual abuse in the haredi community of Brooklyn.

The Village Voice has a list of some of the parts of the Times short series on child sexual abuse in the haredi community of Brooklyn that were taken without attribution from Jewish media, including FailedMessiah.com.

The vast majority of what the Times took it took from Hella Winston's award winning reporting in The Jewish Week, but the Guardian, CBS 2 NYC, and, yes, FailedMessiah.com were also ripped off, while New York Magazine's seminal reporting from 2006 and some work done much more recently by the Forward was clearly used by the Times to shape its reporting but was not mentioned. On top of that, UOJ's work, which drove this issue early on, went unmentioned by the Times.

The part of the Times' reports that is getting the most media attention is Hynes' agreement with Agudath Israel of America that allowed Agudah to insist that haredim bring suspicions and allegations of child sexual abuse to rabbis, not the D.A. or police. The rabbis would then decide if the evidence was great enough to report to law enforcement or ACS.

That agreement and its implimentation was first reported by me here on FailedMessiah.com on November 27, 2011.

The Times got Agudah's executive VP, Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, to talk about that deal and reported what Zwiebel said. But it did not credit me or FailedMessiah.com with breaking the story of the deal and the story of the closed meeting about the implementation of that deal:

The second half of the Times story opens with the shocking charge that Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes has effectively consented to the rabbinic leadership's efforts to cover up the sex-abuse scandal. The DA's approval of the cover-up was first reported last November by Shmarya Rosenberg in his blog Failed Messiah. Rosenberg reported that religious leaders claimed in a private meeting that Hynes supported their policy, but it was the Times that first reported [more than five months after FailedMessiah – Shmarya] the actual meeting last summer in which an influential rabbi told Hynes his group was telling Jews not to go to the police with sex abuse allegations without first checking with a rabbi.

The Village Voice also notes the Times' own ethics policy, which seems to mandate crediting sources like me and the others I mentioned above.

How did the Times respond?

Sharon Otterman, one of the reporters of the Times series, did not respond to a request for comment yesterday. The other reporter, Ray Rivera, declined to comment on the record. The Times's public editor, Arthur Brisbane, also declined a request for comment, telling the Voice that he's looking into the issue himself.

You can read the Village Voice piece here.


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This is like the story of Gulliver (the Times) and the Lilliputians (the "smaller" reporters), at the end of the day, they have the same objectives! Or perhaps, it's like the analogy of "it takes a thief (the Times) to catch a thief (the cover-up artists)!" Isn't that how life works, if you want to get the help of a powerhouse, that the big guys always get the credit that their money can and did buy?!

Bottom line, the two key articles in the Times have finally broken the dam, by smashing down the walls of cover-up with its two powerful ramrod articles. It looks like the Hynes & Henna duo will be kicked out in disgrace and a new policy will be put in place. The Charedim will lose their ability to cover up the way they have done under (Charles) Hynes and Henna (White)!

This is no time to create a squabble among the reporters, but rather to focus and keep an eye on what the real goal is, changing the corruption in the Charedi world, or at least making them pay for it when it comes to covering up for child abuse.

@ Gullivers Travels:

You're missing the point. Obviously we're happy that the Times- probably the biggest newspaper in the coutry- is reporting on these issues and exposing the abuse in these communities, in that we all have a commom interest. The problem is the growing trend of the Times not giving credit where credit is due, which is not only a Jewish concept in itself, but if directly quoted without proper citation is plaigarism, an illegal offense.

Gulliver's Travels:

You are terribly naive if you think that much will change in Joe Hynes' Brooklyn as a result of the Times stories. The best hope for change lies with the charedi families in Brooklyn who need to stand up to their corrupt rabbis and support one another in the fight against intimidation. And it is the Jewish media that has been there to help to give these folks a voice for years, and the Jewish media that will continue to do so long after the Times has forgotten this story exists.

What The New York Times Took From The Jews

The New York Times is plenty Jewish itself.

I think the biggest hope is that someone in the Justice Department, someone who cares about children read the article and feels it is outrageous and decides to do something about it.

If that article is in the Times and Shmarya is not in it, they'll regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of their lives.
But what about us?
We'll always have Failed Messiah. We didn't have it before...
But he's got a job to do. Where he's going, the Times can't follow. What he's got to do, they can't be any part of. He's no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems caused by a bunch of Haredi don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday they'll understand that.
Here's looking at you, kid.

Eli w m m...you get 5 stars for negativity. you are a pratt.the problems caused by a bunch of haredi. you forget they are not a BUNCH. They are a cancerous creature creating havoc and growing and growing.

Mike, I completely agree with you. The Times needs to do the right thing if they wish to maintain a semblance of journalistic integrity.

You must remember this
A kiss is just a kiss
A sigh is just a sigh
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by.

At this point, we should also acknowledge all the work The Village Voice has done (over at least the three decades I read that paper on-and off) is reporting on media improprities.

I think this issue is one that needs to be more addressed by legacy media such as newspapers because of all the reporting done by "new media". Anybody with the money to pay for website hosting these days can publish. And they can't be credited in the way that a source the reporter took out to lunch can be.

Apologies to Billy Joe (NY State of Mind):

Some folks like to get away
Take a holiday to the shtetl world
Hop a bus to Kiryas Joel
Or to Williamsburg
But I'm taking a Mehadrin
And the attorney general's mine
He's in a New York state of crime

I've seen all the gedolim
And their Golem [Hynes] make a scene
Been high in the mikvah with a nubile teen
But I know what I'm needing
And I don't want to serve no time
I'm in a New York state of crime

It was so easy living, oy vey,
Out of touch with the black hatted Jews
But now I need to read what Shmarya says
The New York Times will steal the news

It comes down to immunity
And it's fine with me, 'cause my lawyer lied
Don't care if it's Borough Park or by the Rebbe's side
I don't have any morals
I've left them all behind
I'm in a New York state of crime

It was so easy living day by day
Out of touch with opposing views
But now I need a little schrei "oy vey!"
The New York Times reports child abuse

It comes down to immunity
And it's fine with me, 'cause my lawyer lied
Don't care if it's Borough Park or by the Rebbe's side
I don't have any morals
I've left them all behind
I'm in a New York state of crime

I'm just taking a prison bus on the Otisville line
'Cause I'm in a New York state of crime

How about what FailedMessiah.com took from
without permission or credit due?!

Yochanan - GREAT as usual!! (Love them Billy Joel songs!)

Thanks for your support, Abra.

Oh, YL, a masterpiece!

Thanks, OCR.

Brilliant, even better than the original! Maybe FM could release a collection of your Greatest Hits.
(and now I feel doubly humbled that Yechi didn't even catch my film reference...)

Thanks, Eli. I have been toying with the idea of compiling a book of the favorites.

LOL you loser SR. You finally get your just desserts for not crediting certain activists.

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