Human Exceptionalism

Monster Mohel and Anti Semitism: How the NYT Doesn’t Report the News

I am not bringing this up to get back into the anti Semitic advocacy of MGMbill’s Foreskin Man and the vicious hate depiction of Monster Mohel, the psychopathic rabbi. If people want to weigh in on that topic further–although, what else is there to say that hasn’t already been stated?–do it at the post in which I discuss that topic. (I will trash all such comments here, as well as pro or con circumcision advocacy.)

No, this post illustrates how the media often presents the news in ways that does not actually report it.  Sunday’s NYT has a story on the “intactivist” movement, and Matthew Hess, the mover and shaker behind the attempted circumcision ban in SF and perhaps, Santa Monica (SF South). It gets into the anti semitism charges, and has one brief mention of the Anti Definition League’s condemnation of the comic book villain, Monster Mohel. From the story:

Mr. Hess also writes an online comic book, “Foreskin Man,” with villains like “Monster Mohel.” On Friday, the Anti-Defamation League issued a statement saying the comic employed “grotesque anti-Semitic imagery.”

That’s it.  The brief note about the ADL is plainer than boiled chalk and doesn’t describe why the ADL would be offended. To do that, you have to show the image–as in a picture is worth a thousand words–since the imagery was what the ADL complained about.  No picture, no ability of the reader to know what the fuss is all about, and a classic example of visual anti-Semitism slides past without making a wake wave.

But show the picture and the reaction would be explosive because of its evocation of similar images shoveled by the Nazis, radical Islamists, and the KKK.  At the very least, showing the character would permit readers to judge for themselves why some see it as so disturbing. (Someone at the paper had to have seen the image because the on-line version story has a link to the Foreskin Man site)

I have seen this kind of non-reporting reporting again and again in my many years in public advocacy. Ignorance?  Hard to believe.  Tight budgets? Perhaps.  Bias?  I have no idea, but considering that this is the NYT, it wouldn’t surprise me,.  Bad journalism? Without a doubt.

(The photo at the top appeared in the paper to highlight the story. To the right above is the anti-Semitic image of Mohel Monster that should have appeared in the Times’ story as well if people were to adequately judge whether the ADL’s charge was validly made.)

Update: The image on the left is an actual piece of Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda, a poster from a propaganda film of the era called Der Ewige Jude. I don’t see any difference between this hate image and that of MM, which I think the Times should have at least described.


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