Saturday, March 15, 2008

"Mommy, Why Do We Have A New Governor?"

I know you're probably sick of reading about Spitzer. So am I.

Now that he has resigned and we have a new governor taking office Monday, my sincere hope is that the teachers in the frum New York schools will deem this important enough to inform their students. But what will they tell them? Why are we getting a new governor? (David Paterson, ONE "T," thank you, Yated.) What happened to our old governor? Why did he have to resign?

I've been thinking:

The frum media, like the Yeshiva World, Yated and Hamodia didn't explicitly say what caused New York Governor Eliot Spitzer to resign. They alluded that he was involved an in "immoral crime ring." Last I checked, all crimes were immoral, but that's besides the point.

Are the papers right for hiding that fact? Say they would have written "prostitution," the paper would be deemed inappropriate to be brought into a frum home. A young Bais Yaakov girl would pick it up and begin to wonder what a prostitute is. Or worse, a young Yeshiva Bachur.

When I was about 11, I was reading the TV listings one Sunday morning at the kitchen table. (Some things never change.) I saw that "Pretty Woman" was airing. I had heard of it, and knew that it put Julia Roberts on the map, but that was all. The description mentioned a Streetwalker. Wise 11-year-old that I was, I asked my mother. "Someone who does non-Tzniusdik things," my mother answered, blushing. "Oh, you mean like a prostitute?" I clarified. My mother nodded. "Oh, so why didn't you just say so?" I asked, rolling my eyes, and looking back into the newspaper.

All this even before the Hamodia used the word "prostitute."

Basically, everyone knows what kind of "immoral crime ring" Spitzer was involved in. My question is whether the Jewish media's decision not to specify and use the word "prostitution" is sheltering people (most of whom already know) or a nice Tzniusdike standard that they can be proud of?


At 3/16/2008 12:41 AM, Anonymous Smartphone said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 3/16/2008 7:15 AM, Blogger Jessica said...

"Basically, everyone knows what kind of "immoral crime ring" Spitzer was involved in."

If everyone knows then why do they need to write it out explicitly?

At 3/16/2008 7:34 AM, Anonymous big bro said...

Jessica got you there!

You're the blogger. Don't ask us what we think. YOU tell us what YOU think. Then, in the comments, we tell you whether we agree or disagree.

Essentially, if the paper spelled out what the guy did, it would defeat the purpose of what the paper's supposed to be about; namely, a paper that can be brought into the home.

So if they write "prostitute" then you might as well get the Daily News.

Now if you want to discuss whether the paper is useful if it hides information, that's a whole separate discussion. But at least they're being consistent.

At 3/16/2008 10:39 AM, Anonymous Some Guy said...

agreed. the fact that people know what he was involved in is not a waiver for spelling it out. My kids may have heard of playboy but I dont get them a subscription for it.

At 3/16/2008 8:36 PM, Blogger Lubab No More said...

I don't know what the big deal is. When they read the parsha in shul they don't say "Tamar dressed as if she were a member of an immoral crime ring".

They bring more attention to "immoral crime rings" (and whatever other issue they take pains to avoid mentioning by name) when they dance around the issue. They act like children on the playground talking in whispers about sex.

At 3/17/2008 8:21 AM, Anonymous Isaac Kaplan said...

I've gotta agree with big bro on this one.

In fact, a chareidi rabbi told me that the Hamodia didn't even mention any crime ring at all; they just said that Spitzer resigned and that a new governor would be taking over. This rabbi's 11-year old son is a huge Hamodia fan, and the rabbi was very happy that the scandal was barely even alluded to.

I think the Hamodia is great for their crowd. I don't see why an 11-year old needs to know any of the details here, and for the crowd that chooses not to expose them to these issues, it's a great paper. It does a great job of keeping a family up-to-date with what goes in the world, without exposing them to any objectionable content.

If someone's got a problem with that, there's always the Post, with that topless pic on the cover.

At 3/17/2008 9:58 AM, Anonymous big bro said...

"Last I checked, all crimes were immoral..."

Except child molestation and stealing from the government.

At 3/17/2008 10:06 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

big bro: lmao @ your second comment.

Whether they should have used the word...well, I guess I see both sides to the issue, which is why I haven't decided yet one way or the other.

At 3/17/2008 10:34 AM, Blogger MS said...

Michelle, did your teachers in elementary school tell you anything when Clinton was being impeached? My teachers didn't say one word.

At 3/17/2008 11:10 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

I was thinking of that...nope. They sent our parents a letter telling them not to say ANYTHING to us about it.
I honestly don't remember whether they used that opportunity to bash goyim, and "their lack of morals" or whatever their claim is.

At 3/17/2008 1:56 PM, Anonymous Chani said...

I have to agree with what basically everyone has been saying so far-the Yated & Hamodia want to make sure that they are appropriate for frum families & little kids. Anyone who wants news written more explicitly will buy other papers or just listen to the radio. And as Jessica said-if everyone knows what he did, there's definitely no need to write it straight out.

At 3/18/2008 4:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally, I don't think I'd have a problem with my kids (if I had any) coming across the word "prostitute"--there are pretty straight-forward, non-explicit ways to explain, depending on the kid's age.

And I respect the fact that some do want a paper that they feel is "kosher" enough to bring in their home.

What I do think is stupid, though, is that those papers won't even use the word "movie" or "TV" but will instead, take it out and insert something in brackets like "a certain box" etc. I mean, kids obviously know those things exist!! Do they think if they pretend it doesn't, their kids won't be tempted to watch any?

At 3/18/2008 5:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know what you're getting with the Hamodea and Yated, for better and worse. They should be respected for putting together a daily paper that is "censored" and is therefore brought into the homes of the very frum who would otherwise not be abreast with world affairs. Very frum people don't get the Times, not so much because of the fact they use the words like prostitute, and will cite profanities in a quote, but because their ads are quite revealing, (full page CK ads of women's unmentionables.) So please give the Hamodea/Yated credit for providing a laudable service to the frum community. To what degree should parents "shelter" their children is another issue, (Personally, having a TV, internet, regular newspapers in the house is perfectly fine) but there is clearly a need for this type of newspaper, and if they err on the side of caution by not writing "prostitute" there is nothing wrong with that.IYHBYYOU

At 3/18/2008 11:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Clinton was impeached because he lied.

Ichabod Chrain


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