God, business, politics and Rabbi Lapin

It makes me proud to be a Washingtonian — and a Jew — to know that our region boasts such a well-connected and influential rabbi as Daniel Lapin. Known locally mostly for his incredibly boring radio show (no wonder he’s forced to buy his own air time on KTTH) Lapin has recently gained national notoriety as the man who introduced disgraced uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff to disgraced House Majority Leader Tom Delay.

New York Times columnist Frank Rich called Lapin a “show rabbi” for the Christian right, and as the investigation deepens into the Delay/Abramoff corruption scandal, we’re beginning to learn more about Lapin’s role in the neo-theo movement, and about his own questionable business practices.

Rick Anderson has a great piece in the current Seattle Weekly (“Meet the Lapin Brothers“), and local talk radio blog blatherWatch has also been providing excellent coverage for weeks. Today’s installment (“Rabbi Daniel Lapin, a long look backward“) provides a fascinating look at Lapin’s personal blend of God, business and politics. It’s a must read.

So for those of you who think I focus unfairly on the schemes of right-wing Christian Evangelicals, I just want to make it clear that I’m an equal-opportunity, non-sectarian critic of fundamentalist extremists everywhere. Especially the corrupt, hypocritical kind.

Comments

  1. 2

    Patrick spews:

    Why should anyone be “thrilled” by (1) greed, (2) corruption, (3) use of religion to promote political agendas, (4) far right politics?

  2. 3

    spyder spews:

    way back in the way back machine, there were two religious organizations getting started at UCLA. well there were more than that, especially including Nichoren Shoshu and Scientology–but the two to which i refer, were the Jews for Jesus and the Christian Students Union. Interestingly both had the same group of leaders. Hal Lindsey was just beginning his evangelical calling and had taken some of the jewish football players from the ’66 Rose Bowl team under his tutelage. The reason i bring this up, is that several of those people are deeply involved in the funding of the various zionist projects to bring about the necessary conditions for the Final Judgement and Resurrection in Israel. They have plans for the new temple and have funded its intial development. Some pretty strange stuff. There are three Texans, connected to DeLay and Abramoff who are on the ground in Israel, ostensibly to explore oil resources along the West Bank under the Temple Mount. All of that is funded by the dominionist zionists.

  3. 5

    pbj spews:

    You know, we often hear the liberal denial of a liberal biased media. But in the case of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, liberal bias is written into the purchase contract:

    “CHICAGO When Lee Enterprises Inc. agreed to purchase Pulitzer Inc. for $1.46 billion, it also agreed that the flagship St. Louis Post-Dispatch will keep its longstanding liberal editorial slant for at least the next five years, according to the purchase agreement mailed to Pulitzer shareholders Friday.”

    Source:

    http://www.editorandpublisher......1000920570

    So much for the liberal lie that the MSM is anything other than a liberal mouthpiece.

  4. 6

    steven spews:

    PBJ (smooth or crunchy?)~

    The purchase agreement requires the buyer to maintain the platform statement for 5 years. I’m copying the platform statement of the St. Louis Dispatch below. I’d be interested to hear exactly which parts of that platform statement are objectionable to you.

    The Post-Dispatch platform statement, adopted in 1911, includes the pledge that the newspaper “will always fight for progress and reform, never tolerate injustice or corruption, always fight demagogues of all parties, never belong to any party, always oppose privileged classes and public plunderers, never lack sympathy with the poor, always remain devoted to the public welfare, never be satisfied with merely printing news, always be drastically independent, never be afraid to attack wrong, whether by predatory plutocracy or predatory poverty.”

  5. 7

    Danw spews:

    Yeah and here is there mantra….don’t want any of this goig on.

    The Post-Dispatch platform statement, adopted in 1911, includes the pledge that the newspaper “will always fight for progress and reform, never tolerate injustice or corruption, always fight demagogues of all parties, never belong to any party, always oppose privileged classes and public plunderers, never lack sympathy with the poor, always remain devoted to the public welfare, never be satisfied with merely printing news, always be drastically independent, never be afraid to attack wrong, whether by predatory plutocracy or predatory poverty.”

    Lets see what an opposite philosophy might look like.

    The Post-Dispatch platform statement, adopted in 1911, includes the pledge that the newspaper “will always never fight for progress and reform, tolerate and promote injustice or corruption, defend the demagogues of all parties, belong to the party with the money, make sure the privileged classes know how to publicy plunderer,lack sympathy with the poor, always remain devoted to our stockholders, never be satisfied with merely printing news unless it is pre canned from the whitehouse, always be drastically independent as the wind might blow, never attack wrong, whether by predatory plutocracy or predatory poverty.

    Now that’s what we need our 4th estate to be doing.

    Bravo for them

  6. 8

    pbj spews:

    But then there is this:

    “Over the years, the paper’s editorials have taken a reliably Democratic or liberal view of issues, positions some worried would change under Lee’s ownership.”

  7. 9

    Danw spews:

    Yes because those are the values Democrats stand for…I know you like to call it communism….but it is more like a better way to make America strong.

  8. 10

    pbj spews:

    By confiscating from the working people and giving it away to the lazy ones? Is that a Democrat value too? Yeah. that’ll make us real strong.

  9. 11

    righton spews:

    re Lapin,
    I grew up w/ plenty of anti semitism, fueled somewhat that jews were pointy headed northern liberals. That was wrong. (most pointy headed liberals are protestants or agnostics). But to the point, having right wing intellectuals and radio and print journalists who happen to also be jewish is a great thing (if you think anti-semitism is bad). Forget the zionist garbage, focus on how great it is to have right wing truckdrivers loving columns by Krauthammer or radio by Medved, etc. I know ya’ll hate their right wing ideas, but focus on how it lessens that anti semitism angle!!

  10. 12

    Danw spews:

    Yeah who are the working people? the employees of United Airlines?..or the President of United Airlines? You just don’t get it do you?
    I am sure you’re Blue Collar, you named yourself after a Red state major foodgroup. You are the one getting nailed, and eventually there will be no more customers for the corporations if the people can’t afford to buy their product…. but at least you can keep them Homos from getting married.
    I am tired of trying to help stupid people.
    You think no body should work at a minimum wage job or two. There not lazy, they just didn’t have the ability to get a higher paying job, because of circumstances they were born into. But guess what? that is what’s out there…unless you want to move to India or the next place the corporations decide to ship jobs to, to cut costs.

  11. 13

    All tools here, and yet there are still screws loose spews:

    “I just want to make it clear that I’m an equal-opportunity, non-sectarian critic of fundamentalist extremists everywhere. Especially the corrupt, hypocritical kind.”

    …*COUGH* bullshit.

  12. 15

    pbj spews:

    No DanW, you don’t get it. Maybe United has problems because of the exhorbitant salaries of the mob boss controlled union boys. They certainly don’t make minimum wage. The salary of their president is probably too much too, but that isn’t the bulk of their expense.

    You said it best yourself “You are the one getting nailed, and eventually there will be no more customers for the corporations if the people can’t afford to buy their product….”

    Now let us examine why people cannot afford to buy their product. Perhaps labor costs where union workers artificially make disproportinately more than those that are supposed to be the customers simply because they are in a mob run organization.

    Please don’t give me that crap about being born into circumstances. I could match SOB stories with anyone you could find. Whether born rich or poor, people decide early on if they are going to be a worker or a slacker. The difference is that some people let their circumstances define them and they whine about it all their life and blame others. Others define themselves by their own hard work and take personal responsibility.

    As for whether or not you want to get married, I could not care less. Just don’t expect a wedding present.

  13. 16

    Another TJ spews:

    pbj,

    Is there a difference between an editorial and news article? Can a newspaper produce unbiased news coverage while at the same time offering commentary of a reliably liberal or conservative bent? Are reporters just tools of editors?

  14. 17

    pbj spews:

    TJ,

    It all depends upon the newspaper and the reporters. In the Northwest, I know of no newspapers where the reporters aren’t tools of the editors. I wouldn’t go so far as saying none exist in the country, there are always one or two exceptions.

  15. 18

    Another TJ spews:

    So you’re saying that, in your experience, ownership and editors are more important to the coverage a newspaper provides than reporters?

  16. 19

    pbj spews:

    No TJ I am not. Nice try though. Owners only care if the papers make money. Editors and reporters, whom studies have shown are liberal in their leanings, are more important in coverage.

    The most recent ASNE study surveyed 1,037 newspaper reporters found 61 percent identified themselves as/leaning “liberal/Democratic” compared to only 15 percent who identified themselves as/leaning “conservative/Republican.”

    Now do I think this is a conspiracy? No. It is a result of the fact that more liberals than conservatives choose journalism as a career. As a result, the market for reporters and editors consists primarily of liberals. Even if an owner wanted to slant coverage in a conservative way, the liberals would all rebel and there would be no staff to run the newspapers.

    Are there exceptions? Of course there are. But by and large the newspapers are liberally biased.

    Now other professions probably tend to bias toward non-liberals, such as NASCAR drivers. The reason being that liberals aren’t drawn to NASCAR.

  17. 20

    Another TJ spews:

    None of the studies cited by the conservative Media Research Center a) separate out self-identity between reporters and editors, b) examine ownership bias, or c) look at actual news coverage.

    If ownership cares first about making money, don’t you think they would rein in reporters or editors who were writing things that the public or sponsors didn’t approve? Or perhaps ownership has its own desired message, and they seek to get that message out at the same time they try to make money?

    I’ll give you an example: Martin Gilens and Craig Hertzman (both of Yale, at least at the time of publication) published an article in the May 2000 Journal of Politics that found the financial interests of newspaper ownership influenced the their newspaper’s reporting on the 1996 Telecommunications Act. According to your argument, that shouldn’t be possible.

    How do you explain it?

  18. 21

    Donnageddon spews:

    pbj @ 16
    “I know of no newspapers where the reporters aren’t tools of the editors. I wouldn’t go so far as saying none exist in the country, there are always one or two exceptions.”

    You have destroyed your argument all by yourself.

    1. You point to ONE example of contractural editorial “slant”, and then make a broad statement about media liberal bias. Or, as you say, is it one of the minor exceptions. Idiot!

    2. You say that reporters are tools of the editors! Then you provide “evidence” of how personal views of reporters are liberal. The part of the story the wags you quote aren’t telling you is that the editors of newspapaers are predominantly CONSERVATIVE!

    And if the editors play puppet master to the reporters, then by your own admission the media IS CONSERVATIVE NOT LIBERAL. You stinking pile of dogshit!

  19. 22

    marks spews:

    Donnageddon @20

    The part of the story the wags you quote aren’t telling you is that the editors of newspapaers are predominantly CONSERVATIVE!

    pbj seems to be correct in the post, despite your leap on the obvious subjunctive. I would be interested to find out what percentile the editors fell into, but ASNE says it is a non-partisan organization that apparently does not police (or poll) itself. Perhaps you have the goods on this?

  20. 23

    All tools here, and yet there are still screws loose spews:

    Ignore don he’s a close minded old bag that would rather fart in your face than carry on a civilized conversation, I guess when I turn 85 I might end up a little grumpy too.

  21. 24

    drivel spews:

    pbj @ 18, you quoted “The most recent ASNE study surveyed 1,037 newspaper reporters found 61 percent identified themselves as/leaning “liberal/Democratic” compared to only 15 percent who identified themselves as/leaning “conservative/Republican.””, I can only thank God that their is still some responsibility, decency and courage in the newpaper industry. Radio, on the the other hand, is at the opposite end of the spectrum.

  22. 25

    All tools here, and yet there are still screws loose spews:

    drivel @ 24

    “Radio, on the the other hand, is at the opposite end of the spectrum.”

    Duh! people know that when they turn the dial, whereas in the newspaper and on national TV you expect neutrality but get almost anything but. It’s like if CBS said that it was neutral on issues, but then used his journalistic pen and trusty theasaurus to falsely black ball one side or the other… oh wait that already happened.

  23. 26

    chardonnay spews:

    whaaaaaa, FOX is #1 and adding another channel in a month. Seattle PP and Times are losing subscribers and money. Err America is going nowhere while conservative “talk shows radios” rise. May the force be with you.

  24. 28

    Donnageddon spews:

    Ah, another Trollful analysis by All tools Are Up My Ass. @ 23 thanks for you fact based post.

    Try this review of the Liberal Media Myth by Paul Craig Roberts. He is a former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, former contributing editor for National Review, and a former assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury. Not exactly a hotbed of liberalism, those institutions, eh?

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/roberts/roberts81.html

    Then there is Gerald Boyd, managing editor of the NYT, you know the newspaper that provided cover for the lies that lead to the Iraq Quagmire

    “Most journalists are socially liberal, most publishers are conservative. “

    http://tinyurl.com/by4z6

    Remember that pbj told us that it is the editors that control the reporters. The MM is conservative, one only needs to read the papers to realize that. But then that would require learning to read. You are forgiven, based on your conservative lernin’.

    Cheap Whine @ 26. You are of course wrong. But then whenever you post that is the opening position.

    In Seattle, Air America’s listenership has risen 50% from the fall2004 to winter 2005 ratings period. Not bad for a new upstart network. In fact it is ENORMOUS!

    While KKKVI lost 14% of it’s listenership.

    http://tinyurl.com/97jpk

    Bottom line: You neo-con Trolls can continue to LIE by repeating what you hear from Rush and Hannity and O’Liely, but truth will out you every time!

    And never expect a progressive to be polite to a lying neo-con Troll on a liberal blog. You suck, get used to it.

  25. 31

    All tools here, and yet there are still screws loose spews:

    Don gives pathetic backing of his argument @ 28

    Paul Craig Roberts says there was Liberal media before Mar 2002, but he bases his OPINION on the fact that ALL media was deceived, he acts as if they knew it was under false pretence. That is the only thing he bases his conclusion on, not a very good foundation if you ask me.

    The other link names people on both sides of the political aisle as to show their support, but never do you hear what they have to say wether for or against. Once again you have another man’s OPINION, not to be confused with fact.

  26. 32

    Donnageddon spews:

    “Paul Craig Roberts says there was Liberal media before Mar 2002,”

    Nope, you are lying again. Anyone can read it, and see you are lying. Don’t you get tired of getting a red ass everytime you post here?

  27. 33

    All tools here, and yet there are still screws loose spews:

    Don, it is you who are getting Paddled @ 28

    This guy’s research doesn’t support that err america is doing well overall, in fact he says: “Air America now lists 51 mostly tiny affiliates (written on mar. 31st), which is not very impressive after a full year of media attention, industry affection and trade publication hype. Many smaller conservative radio networks can boast twice that number and still not be taken very seriously by radio professionals.”

    http://radioequalizer.blogspot.....tings.html
    However I will give you the winning hand on how err america is doing here: “Liberal talk station KPTK-AM showed some improvement, including a move from 26th in fall to 23rd in winter, and a surge from a tie for 25th in fall to a tie for 12th in winter for the 10 a.m.-3 p.m. segment, which includes parts of the nationally syndicated Al Franken and Ed Schultz shows. ”

    http://www.animaux.net/stern/seattle.html

  28. 34

    Chuck spews:

    While KKKVI lost 14% of it’s listenership.

    Not a deal, the 14% went to 770 and float back and forth….

  29. 35

    Donnageddon spews:

    All Tools “This guy’s research doesn’t support that err america is doing well overall, in fact he says: “Air America now lists 51 mostly tiny affiliates (written on mar. 31st), which is not very impressive after a full year of media attention, industry affection and trade publication hype. Many smaller conservative radio networks can boast twice that number and still not be taken very seriously by radio professionals.”

    Perhaps “this guy” has a web site or URL.

    “Tiny Markets”??? NY, LA Chicago, SF, Detroit, Seattle Portland, etc.. etc.. “This guy” is full of shit, and if you are being sincere, so are you.

    Quit lying Pinochio!

  30. 38

    Donnageddon spews:

    OK, All Tools, I found the link for “this guy”.

    Most amusing, beyond the laughable “tiny markets” BS, his BIO states he “was a 2005 Payne Award For Ethics in Journalism nominee.”

    Consider yourself and Goldy “nominated” for the same award.

    These right wing fools never surprise me with their Balogna, but they do shame me to be a HomoSapien.

  31. 39

    David spews:

    Re: pbj @ 5 et al.: Some of you are not grasping the meaning of the words right in front of you. According to pbj’s quote, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch will maintain its “liberal EDITORIAL slant.” [emphasis added] Not liberal bias in reporting generally.

    By comparison, consider the Wall Street Journal, another bulwark of the MSM. The reporting is top-notch. The editorial page, on the other hand, is slanted heavily to the right. That doesn’t affect the WSJ’s news reporting; it’s no more full of “conservative bias” than the St. Louis Post-Dispatch or other MSM papers exemplify “liberal bias.” (Reporters are mostly dealing with other kinds of biases, like the desire to get a scoop rather than check facts meticulously, the urgency to get a story written before deadline, and the interest in telling a compelling story even when the facts aren’t that exciting.)

  32. 40

    All tools here, and yet there are still screws loose spews:

    Don-a-fizzle @ any

    “Tiny market” refers to how much market share they actually hold, which is a “tiny market(share)”. I find it mind numbing when I have to explain everything to you, I mean read and comprehend the words and then post a reply, it’s really not rocket science old man.

  33. 41

    Richard Pope spews:

    Lapin really has to buy his own air time? Maybe his show is a bit boring. Nice fellow, maybe not as inspiring as some of the other talk show hosts.

  34. 42

    Donnageddon spews:

    All Tools are UP MY Ass @ 40 Keep ‘em spinning! LOL Tiny Market “share” indeed! That is not what “thias guy” said, and it was not what he meant. Words have meanings, and “This Guy” and you are completely wrong as usual.

    Enjoy the crow.

  35. 43

    All tools here, and yet there are still screws loose spews:

    Don-a-fizzle @ 42

    Maybe the crow is up your ass too, you are just to stupid to comprehend it.

  36. 44

    Donnageddon spews:

    Ouch! That stung! At least I can read without adding words to make them more palitable to my preconceived notions.

  37. 45

    Stop their CATerwauling, spay/neuter ALL Pet Libs spews:

    Ahem… that -I- is nowhere near the -A- on your keyboard…

    palatable

  38. 46

    All tools here, and yet there are still screws loose spews:

    Donnageddon @ 44

    I’ll give you the fact that you don’t add words, you take them away to make it more palatable.

  39. 47

    Puddybud spews:

    Hey Donnageddon: Remember me? You are so thick that you can’t see someone dissect your argument, even with a dull straight-edge, let alon a new x-acto knife. More ammunition against you, in the Nation’s Capitol a big market with a tiny listening audience, I hope it is more palatable.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....02181.html

    Excerpt: WMAL was at least able to record some ratings. Two of its AM talk competitors, WTNT (570) and WRC (1260), barely registered. WTNT — which features conservatives Laura Ingraham and Joe Scarborough — captured an average of just 0.5 percent of the Washington area’s 2.3 million adult (25-54) listeners; it finished in a tie for 26th. WRC, which turned to a liberal talk format in January by adding Al Franken and some of his “Air America” crew, was nowhere to be found. It captured less than 0.1 percent of the audience, too low to be counted.

    Yes, there are big markets, and no one cares. Regarding Seattle, well you all are a hell-bent left wingers, now you can get fed by small Al Franken-stein. Dave Ross just ain’t cutting it anymore? Also when you start with one listener, two is a 50% increase!!!

    Pudster