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 January 2, 2008 / 24 Teves 5768

Will Smith, Hitler and the Diminishing Value of Truth

By Dennis Prager

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | On Dec. 22, the Scottish newspaper The Daily Record published an article summarizing an interview its reporter Siobhan Synnot had with the superstar actor Will Smith. Near the end of the highly laudatory piece, the reporter wrote: "Remarkably, Will believes everyone is basically good" and immediately cited the actor saying: "Even Hitler didn't wake up going, 'Let me do the most evil thing I can do today,'" said Will. "I think he woke up in the morning and, using a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was 'good.'"

What Will Smith said is probably true. Most of history's great evils were committed by people who somehow convinced themselves that the evil they did was really good. This is hardly a new problem. As the Prophet Hosea said 2,700 years ago, "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness" (Hosea 4:6).

Some years ago, I made a video on goodness ("For Goodness Sake") with the director David Zucker in which I said almost the same thing word for word, that few people who do evil wake up in the morning saying, "Ah, another day to do evil."

In his play "Incident at Vichy," playwright Arthur Miller depicts a Jewish doctor in Nazi Occupied France who seeks a corrupt Nazi to bribe in order to escape Hitler's genocide of the Jews. The Jewish doctor knows that if he finds an idealistic Nazi, he is doomed. Miller's point was that there were bestial Nazis who believed that what they were doing was good.

Yet, Will Smith, making the same point, was quoted around the world as saying that he thinks that Hitler was a good person.

Every Hollywood and celebrities Internet site I checked — about 30 — headlined that "Will Smith thinks Hitler was a 'good' person" (note that 'good' was put in quotation marks as if the headline was accurately quoting Smith).

And most then opened their phony report with this: "U.S. actor Will Smith has stunned fans by reportedly declaring that Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler was essentially a 'good' person."

A complete fabrication.

The lying about Smith was not confined to Hollywood and celebrity Web sites. For example, Rense.com, which calls itself "World's No. 1 Alternative News Service — Your First Source for Reality and Honest Journalism," offered this headline (www.rense.com/general79/smith.htm), reprinting a World Entertainment News piece: "Will Smith — 'Hitler Was Essentially a Good Person.'"

A Web site presumably credible to its readers put into quotation marks something Smith never said.

Even some responsible sites completely distorted what Smith said. YNETnews.com wrote: "Hollywood superstar Will Smith told Scottish newspaper The Daily Record recently that he was convinced Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler did not fully understand the extent of the pain and suffering his actions would cause during his time in power in the 1930s and '40s."

Smith said that? Where? When? YNET — to repeat, a usually responsible site — made up that whole statement.

And, of course, millions of Internet readers believe all this, and then the sites publish readers' comments based on the lie the site published — such as this one at YNET about "Will Smith losing millions of fans, being another Mel Gibson "

To their credit, the mainstream print and electronic news media rarely misquoted Smith, but when they did cover it, the coverage was unhelpful and occasionally irresponsible.

The New York Post's gossip column, "Page Six," wrote this on Dec. 30: "December 27, 2007 — Will Smith wisely backed away from comments he made to a Scottish reporter about Adolf Hitler." In fact, Smith never "backed away" from his comments, and there was nothing to back away from.

The Chicago Tribune column "Red Eye" opened its Dec. 24 report on Will Smith with this: "Will Smith likes to think there's good in everybody. Even Adolf Hitler."

A headline in The Australian read, "Will Smith sees the good in Hitler."

And on Dec. 27, Scotland's premier newspaper, The Scotsman, reported — even after Smith's clarification — "Last week, however, the warm feeling for Smith turned distinctly chilly. In an interview with the Daily Record, he was quoted as saying Adolf Hitler had just been trying to do good."

Smith reacted to what he correctly called "an awful and disgusting lie" and denounced Hitler as "a vile, heinous vicious killer responsible for one of the greatest acts of evil committed on this planet." At that point, Abe Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, announced, "We welcome and accept Will Smith's statement that Hitler was a 'vicious killer' and that he did not mean for his remarks about the Nazi leader to be mistaken as praise." That was good and necessary. But, like the irresponsible blogs, the ADL leader characterized Smith's original statement this way: "Unfortunately, in citing Hitler in what appears to be a positive context, Smith stirred up a hornet's nest on the Internet, where hate groups and anti-Semites latched on to the remark and praised it."

But Will Smith never cited Hitler in "a positive context," and Foxman should never have said that Smith did. By doing so, Foxman preserved the original lie. A group dedicated to opposing defamation should have opposed the defamation of Will Smith, not subtly contributed to it.

What is to be learned? The lessons are simple:

1. Don't trust a Web site that doesn't cite a reputable source for a news item (opinions columns have different standards).

2. Then, check that source.

3. Don't trust headlines in newspapers — read the entire column.

4. When a person is quoted, read his original statement in context.

In the meantime, however, millions of people around the world will continue to believe the lie that Will Smith said that Hitler was a good man.

And the media will, apparently, pay no price.

JWR contributor Dennis Prager hosts a national daily radio show based in Los Angeles. He the author of, most recently, "Happiness is a Serious Problem". Click here to comment on this column.

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