Rubashkin's Scandal Gets Jewish Blogs Talking
My introduction to the Jewish blogosphere came in late 2004 following PETA's investigation of Rubashkin's AgriProcessors slaughterhouse. A Jewsweek article around that time said:
In the Jewish community, coverage has been characterized primarily by non-traditional outlets. With the weekly schedules of most Jewish publications simply insufficient to keep up with the demand for information, much discussion and reporting has taken place in the blogosphere. There, various blogs have kept on top of the latest press releases and reporting, but have also begun to do some reporting of their own, contacting individual rabbis and experts for comment. If this keeps up, the PETA video story could be the big one that finally gets the Jewish blogosphere to beat the Jewish weeklies to the punch.Following Monday's news that PETA had investigated another Rubashkin-owned slaughterhouse, the Jewish blogosphere has once again stepped up to the plate in terms of reporting, discussions, and timeliness.
Quite a few Jewish blogs have covered this story. I believe that Failed Messiah and Jewschool were the first to break the news to Jewish bloggers on Monday afternoon. Since then, posts and discussions have popped up on heebnvegan, DovBear, Jewish Blogmeister, Mental Blog, Chaptzem Blog, Jewish and Breaking News, What's It All About?, Hechsher Tzedek, Yeshiva World News, Vos Iz Neias, The Jewish Life, and Shomrei Brit.
The heebnvegan Miracle of Blogging Award goes to DovBear. Following Monday's post titled "Boycott Rubashkin NOW" and containing only the word "Click" (with a link to Failed Messiah's Monday post), an extensive debate with about 80 comments (so far!) sprung up. It's worth noting that the discussion happening on DovBear (and especially some of the frum blogs) isn't 100% positive or constructive, but it's important that this conversation is taking place.
The best post so far is Failed Messiah's second post, which is from today. I'm hesitant to quote from it because, at this point, I don't know if I form the same conclusions. But I HIGHLY encourage people to click here and read it. Failed Messiah is analyzing and reflecting on this debate and pushing it forward. Its firsthand reporting goes a long way to meet the journalistic standard mentioned in the Jewsweek article that I quoted at the beginning of this post.
As for the mainstream secular media, there was an Associated Press article on Monday and coverage by numerous media outlets. It should be interesting to see how this story plays out in the Jewish weeklies that come out tomorrow/Friday. The Forward's article, which was posted online today, did a nice job of covering the story and giving background information.
For speedily creating much-needed discussion about vegetarianism, tza'ar ba'lei chayim, and the kosher meat industry, the Jewish blogosphere deserves a pat on the back.