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Friday, March 31, 2006

Hatzalah Update

Lots of developments on the Hatzalah kerfuffle front.

1. Larry Gordon, the editor of the 5TJT, issued a retraction and apology. It states, in no uncertain terms, that the ad contained an "inaccurate characterization" of the Rabbi's remarks, and apologized to him for it, and the "harsh criticism" contained within it. He also apologized to his readers, if any of them had been "offended by the thrust and the direction of the message". (Full text of retraction below - click to view full size). He comes out looking good here. He accepted and published an ad, was subsequently informed of its inaccuracy, and promptly retracted and apologized. This is the classy way to behave.


2. Hatzalah put out a new ad (only a measly quarter page this time, money must be tight), with a clarification. Except that the wording was far from unambiguous: "To the 10+ thousand members of our community who we serve: It was not intended to offend anyone, but rather to ensure that each and every case of Safek Pikuach Nefesh receive the quickest care possible". (Full ad below - click to view full size). Yeah. Hard to believe this was completely well-intentioned when they spent so much ink misquoting and denigrating a community Rabbi last week. I don't think this ad is enough. They owe the Rabbi an apology, or at the very least, a retraction. Instead, it was more like: "We didn't mean to call the Rabbi names, and misquote him terribly. What we really meant was...GutYuntiff!!" Pretty weak.



3. The Community leader who called for the subsequent boycott of the 5TJT has reportedly withdrawn it, in wake of the published apology and clarification by Larry Gordon. Also, the Rabbi's name was taken off the letterhead in Hatzalah's follow-up ad, presumably in response to his anger at being included in the letterhead of the first ad without his approval. OK. The boycott may have been a hasty decision, and though I didn't agree with that sort of action, I think overall his behavior was fair and measured in his response to the 5TJT retraction.

Here's hoping this saga is over, and Hatzalah can get back to the business of saving lives, and out of the business of calling people names over inaccurate information.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't hold my breath for the retraction from a certain "local Rav" who took hatzalah's in a poor attempt at humor side last shabbos.

11:22 AM  
Blogger OrthoKrum said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:36 AM  
Blogger OrthoKrum said...

Check out overthroortho.blogspot.com

Now that's entertainment!

11:38 AM  
Blogger MUST Gum Addict said...

Yeah, the wife and I saw that small ad in the 5TJT while eating breakfast at our usual Friday morning spot.

While an apology is nice, the sting from the initial "error" doesn't fade as fast. Better than nothing though.

12:01 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

OrthoKrum said...

Check out overthroortho.blogspot.com

Now that's entertainment!


That's some pretty funny stuff! You should blog.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That OrthoKrum is PRICELESS. This guy needs to do that for all of these posts!! BRILLIANT. Yasher Koach.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting. This was a great string of posts,. OM. Thanx for the coverage.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Ariella Brown said...

Another issue this episode raises is to what extent is a publisher responsible for the content and tone of the featured ads. A few weeks ago Mishpacha Magazine was compelled to devote an article to defending itself for having run ads for Pesach in luxurious hotels in Europe while the magazine content advanced living within a budget. In general, the Haareidi-influenced magazine presents the ideal household to be one in which the husband is in kollel and the wife is home. Consequently, many reader wrote in complaining of the contradiction between the magazine's point of view and the hotel ads.

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ariella - Interesting about Mishpacha, they are hoping their readership is in Kollel with little income, yet they charge something like $3 or $4 for their magazine. Shouldn't they hope the readers would use their precious dollars on food?

1:53 PM  
Anonymous angrydog said...

It's never over as long as people keep bloging about it

2:08 PM  
Blogger MUST Gum Addict said...

ah, but mishpacha is indeed food... food for the soul. I actually did see that article about the pesach hotel advertising and agreed with their view.

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how did they defend it?
Also, would this be the same dilemma that Lkwd found itself in when they sponsored a chinese auction that 'promoted a lavish lifestyle'. (The auction included upscale home furnishings that would look out of place in a modest home or rented apt.)

10:45 PM  

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