In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 14, 2011 / 9 Adar II, 5771

NPR Loses in ‘Gotcha,’ But What Was Won?

By Mitch Albom

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Maybe I'm confused, but if someone tricked me into a lunch by pretending to be someone else, secretly hid a camera, goaded me into comments during a private conversation -- then released only the juiciest parts on the Internet, I'd at least have the right to be ticked off, right?

Apparently not. When this happened to Ron Schiller, chief fundraiser for National Public Radio, he resigned. So did NPR's CEO, Vivian Schiller, even though she had nothing to do with the comments.

I've heard about liberal guilt. But whatever happened to fighting back?

The sleazeball behind this latest "gotcha" incident is James O'Keefe, who is all of 26 years old, calls himself an investigative journalist without formal training and thinks nothing of lying and fraud as long as it perpetuates his strong conservative viewpoint.

Thus he sent his operatives to a lunch posing as Muslim charity workers. Posing, as in faking. They offered to make a phony $5 million contribution to NPR. Phony, as in lying. The offer was not accepted (did anyone notice this?) yet the poseurs continued to engage Ron Schiller in a conversation that ultimately led to the tea party. (We don't know the whole conversation because, as of press time, O'Keefe still hadn't released it).

Schiller, who clearly said he was speaking as an individual, not an NPR employee, made some disparaging remarks about the tea party, as if no one has ever done that before.

But when the edited comments were released, chaos ensued. The right wing screamed it was evidence that public broadcasting should be de-funded. The left distanced itself from Schiller's "inappropriate" remarks.

And nobody asked the obvious question:

When did this become journalism?

Why so little criticism of O'Keefe?

Let's get a few things straight. I'm not here to defend or attack public broadcasting. That's a debate for another day.

But there used to be certain rules for reporting. No matter what your opinion of a subject, you did not pretend to be a person you were not. You didn't give a fake name or a fake workplace. You didn't hide cameras and mikes during phony conversations.

Yes, investigative journalists might fade into the background and war correspondents might keep their identities quiet for safety reasons.

But having a private lunch with a businessman -- totally as a setup to trap him? This isn't "Serpico." You're not cops on a sting.

And yet this "Punk'd" version of news is now so accepted, no one makes nearly the stink about O'Keefe as they do about his victim. Supporters say O'Keefe revealed the true liberal bias of NPR -- so somehow the ends justify the means.

Well, besides the fact that Schiller was a fundraiser, not a news exec, and the business and editorial sides of public broadcasting are notably separate, let me ask you this. You're a salesman. A big customer makes a dirty joke. Do you lecture him -- or just laugh along because deep down you need the sale? You're a business owner, and a customer turns the conversation political. Do you stop and make a stand? Or do you maybe utter a few agreements and later, on the way home, tell yourself, "I didn't even mean that."


Well, now imagine that those moments were recorded and smeared across the world. Wouldn't your first reaction be, "Hey. That guy was a fraud! And that was private!"

Of course you would. But when it's someone else, we prefer to say, "Aha!"

We'd better be careful if what passes for journalism becomes nothing more than dogmatic espionage. It's the cheapest, laziest form of news -- hide a camera and call it a story. There's no context. No thoroughness. Just "watch this and get shocked."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on Mitch's column by clicking here.

Mitch's Archives