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Sunday, October 09, 2005

We're losing the PR war

About this time last year I blogged about my discomfort with Jewish content in the secular media. At the time I felt that discussion of Jewish Holidays really didn't belong in the non-Jewish media, and since they couldn't do the subject right anyway, I'd just as soon they left it out.

So I guess I was a little unprepared for my feeling of disappointment when the local rag decided to completely ignore Rosh Hashana this year. I don't know what I was expecting. Maybe some mention. Something like, "Tonight starts the two day holiday of Rawsh Hashawnana, so you won't be able to get in to see your doctor/dentist/lawyer until Thursday." You know, like a little "heads up."

But not a peep in this week's paper. What tipped me off was when a patient came in to see me on Thursday asking if I was "celebrating" Ramadan. I looked at her in total disbelief. Surely she knew I was Jewish. Well, maybe she doesn't know that Ramadan is a Muslim holiday. Or she doesn't know the difference between Muslim and Jewish customs.

Or maybe it had to do with the fact that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel decided to run a huge glowing article about Ramadan on the first day of Rosh Hashana.

OK, so maybe Rosh Hashana and the start of Ramadan fell out on the same day this year, so why should I expect coverage of one to take preference over the other? Still, I can't help but wonder why it is that, while Jews have brought so many breakthroughs in science, medicine, and arts to the world, and Islam has given us terrorism, oppression and death, they still manage to get better press than us.

I guess I should be careful what I wish for.

24 comments:

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Islam brought a lot of medicine, science and art to the world in the middle ages.

ball-and-chain said...

a-The middle ages have been over for a little while.
b-It is precisely because Islam brings terror that they get good press. Fear is a great motivator.

Doctor Bean said...

"Happy Ramadan" is how the press says "Please don't blow us up."

"Happy Holidays" a month after Chanuka is how the press says "Christmas is the only holiday going on now, but we don't want to say 'Christmas' because we don't want to offend non-Christians."

Christians, apparently, are the only group safe to offend.

Ezzie said...

Miriam over at Bloghead has a bunch of great posts recently about how apparently we can offend everybody except the Muslims. Sad.

Neil said...

It's a very American tradition -- to go to war against some country or people and then to feel guilty and obsess over the whole thing.

Kiwi the Geek said...

I posted but nothing appeared, so now I have the same problem PT had when his dictaphone wasn't turned on. I'm sure this won't be as good as the original post because I can never manage to write anything as well the second time.

So true what Dr. Bean & Ezzie said. There are two definitions of 'tolerance': the one that's been in the dictionary for hundreds of years, and the one liberals have been advancing for the past 10 years or so. Dennis Prager actually says that Jewish people have more in common with Christians than with any other ideological group, partly because we two are the only ones who have a healthy understanding of absolute truth and can coexist with those we consider wrong.

I hope that link works...

Kiwi the Geek said...

Darn! Maybe it wants the http...

Dennis Prager

Stacey said...

Or you could have in your local paper what greeted me on Rosh Hashanah morning when I read mine.

I saw a huge ad that said, "What is Rosh Hashanah? What is Yom Kippur?" And there was the smiling face of a Rabbi Hirsch, who looked very Jewish (and was actually a dead-ringer for Neil of Citizen of the Month).

Anyway, I thought to myself how nice it was to have an explanation of our high holidays since I do live in the "bible belt" and I am sure most people have no clue.

I went on to read the ad and to my complete HORROR discovered that it was for a new "messianic synagogue" (as if there could be such thing).

I was mortified. I am still mortified when I think of it. It explained what RH and YK are and then went on and on about how "Yeshua" atoned for all of our sins and urged that Jews can be both Jews and "believers" in Christ.

Grrr. Grrr. Grrr.

Jack's Shack said...

There have been a number of articles/mentions here and there in LA. Thus far none of them pissed me off.

However the messianics advertising around town did irk me a little.

ball-and-chain said...

Stacey: that is TERRIBLE. They are the only religion that actually pisses me off. If you want to believe in Jesus, go right ahead, just have the decency to call yourself a Christian.

Jewish Blogmeister said...

Next time get together with your friends and take out a big ad for Rosh Hashonah and everyone will remember next year good luck:)

PsychoToddler said...

I don't have any friends. That's why I blog.

Doctor Bean said...

PT: What am I, here? Chopped liver?

Of course, I never understood that saying, since I looooove chopped liver. It should be used as a term of affection. Ball-and-chain: you're like chopped liver!

AMSHINOVER said...

"Tonight starts the holiday of Ramadan, so you won't be able to get in to see your terrorist/car bomber/baby killer until Thursday." You know, like a little "heads up."

Stacey said...

I agree with you, Ball-and-Chain.

P.S. Chopped liver rocks. Yum, I need a corned-beef-and-chopped-liver now (Sure would beat the salad I am forcing myself to finish! Yuck.)

PsychoToddler said...

The interesting thing is that if all of you moved to my neighborhood and started sitting next to me in shul (even the gentiles--wouldn't be anything unusual in my shul), I'd do a lot more talking and a lot less praying. So maybe it's best for you to keep your distance and for me to remain antisocial.

Oh, and I'm not that big a fan of the chopped liver. Although it's pretty good with a nice thick slice of tomato on top.

Jack's Shack said...

Sounds like a party to me.

Wickwire said...

PT YOU'RE Jewish? (kidding) That is hard to believe. This is the United States too, the Jewish people and us are like this...(holds up two fingers).

PsychoToddler said...

Yeah, Wick, well the world seems hell-bent on eradicating the both of us...

Anne said...

On a happy note, I make excellent vegetarian chopped liver. Tastes like chicken. No, wait, tastes like sauteed green beans and onions with a few walnuts. Good for your blood pressure, PT. Good for the chicken too.

Mmmm ... My favorite holiday dish ... perfect for Ramadan.

Irina Tsukerman said...

I'm all ramadaned out. I'd rather eat some liver with onions and mushrooms on the side... especially considering that in a couple of days I won't be eating anything at all... : )

GoldaLeah said...

Did you check papers from the weekend before RH? Newspapers never quite know how to deal with a Jewish holiday that starts on a Monday night. Will Jews be reading the paprer on Monday? Yadda, yadda. Our paper ran all the features the Thursday before and ran the city-wide schedule of services on Saturday.

Mirty said...

We do get decent articles about the Jewish holidays in my local paper. There is only one reporter on the "religion" beat, so we all know her. She turns up at a lot of Jewish events and is a real sweetheart, actually. In the couple of years she's been writing for the paper, the quality of reporting on religion has improved a lot.

DovBear said...

Oh please. What probably happened is the editor said "Jeez, do we need to do ANOTHER RH story? OH look Ramadam! Exoctic and new!"

It's not bias. It's boredom.

Incidently the NY Times ran reviews of kosher resteraunts to day.