July 21, 2004

by Reb Yudel
Debra Nussbaum Cohen on Jewish Journalism

Luke Ford interviews Debra Nussbaum Cohen, my colleague in my pre-internet days working on the telegraph:
"When I was at the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, one of the most important rabbis in the Jewish world lied about what he'd said because it had bit him in the ass politically. This was a moment of spiritual disappointment for me. This happened quickly, by the time I had gotten back to the office from the press conference where he'd spoken. He absolutely lied about it. Thankfully, Gary Rosenblatt was there with a tape recorder. What disappointed me was that my editor at JTA did not just trust what I was telling him was true but felt the need to verify it.

"When I subsequently saw this rabbi at conferences, I wanted to approach him about it for a long time. When I finally did, a year or two ago, he said he didn't remember. If true, that would make it even sadder. That would make it not extraordinary.

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