Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

15 Iyar 5771 - May 19, 2011 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Opinion & Comment
Yated Ne'eman Self-interest in Attacking Mishpachah is a Silly Accusation

by Mordecai Plaut

Of all the charges and counter-charges hurled in public media and private conversations, one of the silliest is that Yated Ne'eman is motivated by self-interest in attacking Mishpachah.

Mishpachah is a competitor of Yated Ne'eman for chareidi readers, goes the argument, and in recent years Mishpachah's readership has been steadily increasing while Yated's readership has been declining. Thus, the charges go, Yated is attacking Mishpachah as a matter of desperate self-interest and perhaps even self-preservation.

Now, it is clear to all that Mishpachah is a competitor of Yated Ne'eman for chareidi readers. I do not know if Mishpachah's readership has been steadily increasing or if Yated's readership has been declining. But let us assume it is so.

But to assert that Yated is advancing its self-interest by attacking Mishpachah is absurd. If anyone thinks there is the slightest shred of a possibility that Yated may have gained readers from attacking Mishpachah, he must have been doing market research only among the overactive teens who lead too many chareidi demonstrations — and who cannot afford subscriptions to Yated or to Mishpachah.

Anyone involved in chareidi publishing, and anyone not involved who thinks about it seriously, knows that the chareidi community is looking for a pleasant reading experience. Attacks on anyone are not a pleasant reading experience, and they tend to arouse feelings of anger, hatred and disgust — often directed at the attacker.

Moreover, if there is anyone benighted enough to think that attacking well-liked publications will win you readers, he was certainly not involved in any attacking campaigns from the aggressor side. The staff of Yated, as its detractors are quick to remind anyone who shows signs of forgetting, are veterans of plenty of attacking campaigns. Be this as it may, it certainly means that none of them are under any illusions of this sort of material helping them out materially.

Perhaps the critics can find another base motive for Yated's actions, but I find it amazing that such an obvious canard can be so popular.

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