"As for as the media being erev rav and even the "chareidy" internet, I attached to this email a very important psak din [the image for this post] from 2012 by ALL the leading Rabanim some who are no longer with us - Rav Elyashiv zt"l, Rav Vosner zt"l, Rav Sheinberg zt"l, Rav Lefkovitz ztz"l, Rav Steinman shlit"a, Rav Karelitz shlit"a, Rav Kanievsky shlit"a, Rav Orbach shlit"a, Rav Baadani shlit"a, Rav Tadka shlit"a.
Read the line that says:
בכלל האמור חילילה לתת הכשר או פיקוח לאתרי האינטרנט "חרדים" המפרסמים חדשות, האתרים אלו הם מחטיאים את הרבים בדברים נוראים ואיומים ןמלאים לשון , הרע, הרס חינוכי, ביזוי תלמידי חכמים, מחולוקות ותועבות, וחובה להוקיעם!
Here's a link that you can add where people can see many letters from rabanim like this http://www.enativ.com/certificates.aspx"
My free translation of the sentence in Hebrew is:
"According to what we've written above, it's a terrible thing to give a 'kosher'' stamp of approval to 'haredi' internet sites that publicise the news. These sites are causing the masses to stumble in terrible, serious sins, [and contain] evil words of lashon hara, machloket (strife) and abominations, [and are causing] spiritual destruction and the neglect of Torah, and we are obliged to speak out against them."
What’s wrong with ‘haredi’ news sites, you might ask? Don’t we need to know what’s going on with all the Rebbes, and all the issues in our local schools and communities, and all the latest appointments being made in our institutions?
Here’s where we hit a huge, halachic reality check that most of us, maybe nearly all of us, would prefer to completely ignore and pretend it doesn’t exist: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ‘GOOD’ NEWS.
What do I mean by that? I mean that even the most ‘haredi’ news site is regularly reporting things that fall completely foul of even the most basic laws of lashon hara, or evil speech. Remember, any negative information about a Jew, even if it’s true, still counts as lashon hara.
Sure, there are times when negative information about Jews has to be publicized toelet, for a good reason, such as in cases of abuse, or to avoid potential harm or danger. But the rules governing these instances are very specific and very exacting, and they’re being completely ignored by even the most ‘haredi’ news sites.
Worse, every news site, every blog, every facebook group has its own slant, bias and agenda, even if it’s just implicit. So the ‘news’ you’re getting from that site - or from any other place - is subjectively colored by the beliefs and the desires of the people putting that information together.
Even when people are Torah-observant and well-meaning, they still have any number of subconscious biases, grudges, and prejudices that will color how and what they write, often without being consciously aware of the problems at all. If you ask that Ashkenazi Litvak guy why he loves running negative pieces about Sephardi poskim, he probably has no idea that on some level he’s trying to prove ‘his’ approach and worldview right, at someone else’s expense.
Or, if you ask the Chassidic writer why so many of his stories are focusing on the teens going off the derech in the non-chassidic communities, he’s not going to know that he’s still fighting a subconscious battle in print with his very difficult yekke parent.
There are hidden agendas going on all over the place with the media and the people who are putting the information together, both obvious and less so. The problems of lashon hara, and people slanting information occur even with very well-meaning and genuinely God-fearing people.
But when the people putting the news out are not well-meaning, not God-fearing (however ‘frum’ they look on the outside) and very emotionally-disturbed - well then Houston, we have a problem.
Because knowledge is power. Readership is power. Huge numbers of visitors reading your site is power. And power, as well all know only too well, is completely corrupting (and also hugely attractive to emotionally-disturbed people who crave attention and influence.)
I’ve been a journalist now for more than 20 years. I started off on a financial mag straight out of university, before going on to work at a Jewish weekly in London, then freelancing for the nat