Monday, November 14, 2011

Let Shmarya be Shmarya

Hershel Tzeig is very upset that Shmarya Rosenberg of Failed Messiah has, as yet, written nothing about the Penn State. Last week, he voiced his anger with an outburst on behalf of every Jew in the world:
It's been a week since the scandal broke at Penn State. In that span of days we've heard from a certain "crusading" blogger about Meal Mart Salmonella, battered Jewish women, Reb Shmuel Kamenetzky telling people not to go to the Police when they see abuse, more abuse in the Jewish Community, Israeli Haredis being male chauvinists, the Kletzky murder trial, Reb Nosson Tzvi, but only because his mother was from his neighborhood in S. Paul, and a host of non-issues. Including a very important story about a Ethiopian Jew being named Israeli Ambassador to ----- Ethiopia. But not a word, not one single, solitary word, about the abuse that went on there for years, not just abuse but violation! of young children by the No. 2 man in the University's Athletic Dept. (as far as I'm concerned, as well as the rest f the world.) The fact that America's very bright, non-Haredi students rioted in support of old JoePa, even though he did nothing to stop the violation of young children, also gets no mention. NOT. ONE. WORD. I guess he cares only about Jewish children being abused. Gentiles mean nothing to him. They can all go to hell, huh? Are they not G-d's children, Scotty? Imagine, just imagine if we would do that, support a Rosh Yeshiva who was fired because he did nothing by rioting and flipping over cars. I've been very patient, Mr. Rosenberg. I shall wait no longer.

You are nothing but a two-bit hypocrite, liar, ingrate - yes, ingrate, and worse.

And most of all, you're an embarrassment to your people.
Well, I dissent. I don't think Shamrya is an embarrassment to his people. I think he's a national treasure.  The corrupt, thieving, phonies who are daily described on the pages of Failed Messiah are the Jewish embarrassment.

Tzeig's line of reasoning seems to be that Shamrya shouldn't report about Jewish scoundrels unless he also reports about every other type if scoundrel. But is that really fair? Shmarya is a one-man show. He has to specialize. He can't be expected to comment on every scandal, and because his time is limited he shouldn't comment when he has nothing new to add. The Penn State scandal has been covered ten different ways from Tuesday. Nearly two weeks later, Google News returns over 4100 results. What might Shmarya say that hasn't already been said? Why spend time rehashing a scandal that's been properly covered, when he could instead spend time investigating the scandals that no one is covering?

In his comments, Tzeig suggests that Shmarya doesn't care about protecting children, rather Failed Messiah's real motive is "to make Jews look bad." [Reminds me of Avi Safran c:2007] I'd counter that its the Jews who are making themselves look bad. Its the old story of blaming the messenger for his message. In any event, why are Shmarya's motives relevant? Why is he being judged based on some biased and speculative guess as to what his motives might be, rather than on his actual accomplishments? Let's say Shmarya really does hate Jews. Let's stipulate that he brought his blog into existence for the sake of embarrassing them. So? He still runs his blog responsibly, he still demonstrates journalistic integrity, and he still gets credit for the scoops he's uncovered and the reporting he's posted, scoops and reporting that have made it harder for Jewish criminals to escape justice, and harder for organizations like Agudah to continue pretending that hemlines are the biggest problem facing klal yisroel. Its only after our communal problems have been publicized by bloggers like Shmarya, that the work of solving them can begin. This is why the J-blogosphere matters. 

It may disturb Tzeig that Shmarya has, in the style of an Old Testament prophet, chosen to focus on Orthodox  Jewish malfeasance, but it bothers me that such a focus is possible. If Jews were as great as we say we are, Shmarya would be out of business. If you want Shmarya to go away, fix the problems. its as simple as that. Silencing Shmarya so that we can continue keeping our heads in the sand  is dishonest and counterproductive

[This is a response to one post. It is not a commentary on Tzeig's blog, as a whole, or his blogging career. I do not read Circus Tent, and have no knowledge of Tzeig's overall style or his opinions on other matters.]
[Update Shmarya posted on Penn State yesterday, three days after Tzeigs complaint, but his take was: "What can Haredim learn from it?"]

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1 comment:

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

Tzig, not Tzeig. But whatever, bro.

One man's trash is another man's treasure, I suppose.