Thursday, May 2, 2013

Quiz Of The Day: Who is Dov Gordon? The Other Half Of The Story

For nearly two and a half years, a Yeshiva World News blogger who goes by the name of Dov Gordon appears to have been one of New York City Councilman David Greenfield’s biggest fans in the local Jewish media. Now, some unidentified sources and a disgruntled former staffer claim that behind at least some of Gordon’s columns is Greenfield himself, writes City and State’s Nick Powell.

Interestingly enough, Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who has never made his rifts with Greenfield public since the last election season, used the opportunity given to link the councilman’s ties with YWN, calling Yeshiva World’s coverage of him “mean-spirited” and “degrading.” In an interview with City & State, Hikind acknowledged that he had wondered whether Dov Gordon was one person or several people adopting the pseudonym, and that he had noticed a bias in Gordon’s coverage.

“You can criticize me—that’s not the issue, we can all be criticized at times,” Hikind said. “This is way beyond that … this is someone with an agenda. … One of the most interesting things is, there’s one person who’s always very popular with Dov Gordon: David Greenfield.” The Jewish Press, who covers Hikind on a regular basis as a rightwing pro-settler politician was the only Jewish Media outlet to write that Hikind joined the bloggers' accusation of Mr. Greenfield as a phone blogger.

So who is Dov Gordon? And why is Greenfield being raised as the ultimate suspect? The other half of the story.

Looking over @DovGordonYWN's Twitter timeline, it's clear that he is somewhat obsessed with Councilman David Greenfield. However to claim that a council member that has a nice followership on Twitter, that has a good relationship with the media, should hide behind a name that has 117 followers is just absurd. Why would somebody looking for fame tweet at himself, reply and retweet about himself, if he has his own microphone and base of support?  If Mr. Greenfield would've really been obsessed with himself, he could at any time given release a press release, call a press conference or go on to the radio, to tout his achievements.

To suggest that Greenfield or one of his associates write propaganda pieces for him under a pen name, maybe. That's a legit question. But also a legit act. Hence, raising the level of his involvement, using it as a tool to bash his opponents, is somehow unconvincing. Gatemouth has an extensive and persuasive piece questioning of David Greenfield/Dov Gordon's speculation.

A brief search on Google, brought up an article written recently by Ross Barkan over the council redistricting , in which THE Dov Gordon, who identifies himself as a spokesperson for a group called 'Save Flatbush' bashed councilman David Greenfield for opposing the proposal. Obviously, this YWN's Dov Gordon is a Flatbush activist who was a fan of Greenfield. Since Greenfield opposed the council redistricting proposal, that would benefit Chaim Deutsch, Mr. Gordon stopped his obsessive stalking of his favorite councilmember David Greenfield, in favor of promoting Mr. Deutsch's candidacy. 

But to get in deeper behind the scenes of the City and State investigative report.

It is no secret to whomever that monitors the Orthodox Media, that there's a proxy war going on between The Yeshiva World (YWN) and Vos Iz Neias (VIN) in an attempt to gain credibility. What is less known, is that some of Assemblyman Dov Hikind's employees work/ed and write on a daily basis at VIN news.

Allison Witty, who was until Feb. 2013 when she was hired to serve as Senator Simcha Felder's communications director, was a daily writer for VIN and an employee at Dov Hikind's district office.  A brief search on google found Sandy Eller, a frequent writer and interviewer on behalf of the site, and Ms. Witty covering Mr. Hikind in a very positive manner, conducting interviews with the Assemblyman and people of his interest on almost every issue of the day.

Interestingly enough, Witty's last email as Mr. Hikind's press secretary was on Jan. 24, 2013, and her last article on VIN was published on Jan. 25, 2013. Props to my State Senator Simcha Felder, whom I stopped criticizing since elected, had the decency to stop her from writing on VIN, while working on State payroll.  

Other than having a Hikind ad on the VIN website over the last few years, Blogger Failed Messiah claims, based on his resources, that Hikind is one of VIN's owners. According to sources known with the facts, Assemblyman Dov Hikind had a dispute with The Yeshiva World at a rabbinical court around two years ago. Which raises the suspicion on Mr. Hikind playing a dominant role on VIN.

VIN was also very critical of Mr. Greenfield during the 2010 special council election.

It's also interesting to note that Vos Iz Neias was banned by Rabbinical figures, two years ago. On Dec. 22, a kol koreh (public announcement) written in Hebrew, and  signed by 36 prominent charedie rabbinical figures, was posted in Williamsburg and Borough Park forbidding advertisers and Internet users from visiting the site.

“A site exists on the Internet known as ‘Vos Iz Neias,’ as if it were founded only to spread news of the Jewish world,” the letter stated. “Yet it contains a hidden ambush — in the news, it includes stories and events of the corrupt, abominable and lowly. It is full of tumah (impurity), filth, foul language; lashon hora (slander), gossip and embarrassments of Torah scholars; it also brings forth libel and slander regarding individuals and organizations dedicated to Torah ... It also writes against officers and politicians under whose favor we live, to ruin their reputation; the disgrace of G-d’s name is terrible and mighty.”

Examining the VIN site, I couldnt come across a single piece that slams or writes agaisnt Assemblyman Dov Hikind.

Now, consider this: Dov Hikind never took off his ads from the site, despite the ban by some of the renowned rabbis such as: R. Yaakov Perlow, Novominsker Rebbe• R. Shmuel Kamenetsky, Rosh Yeshiva of Philadelphia Yeshiva• R. Malkiel Kotler, Rosh Yeshiva of Lakewood• R. Aharon Schechter, Rosh Yeshiva of Chaim Berlin• R. Matisyahu Solomon, Mashgiach of Lakewood and others. The only reason Mr. Hikind was ready to take on the big guns - rabbis from both the Hasidic and lithuanian community - is because he has his own interest in that website

The reason given behind the ban was as stated: "We are pained the the owner of this website operates in the darkness, and violates “Cursed is he who strikes his friend secretly”; we are pained that we don’t know who this individual is that we could warn him, push him away, or chase him to decimation; as our holy Torah deems appropriate for those who cause the public to fall to sin; it is obvious that the obligation rests on anyone who knows to come to a rabbinic court and make this known, just as the Torah states, “should he not testify, he shall bear his terrible sin.”

Hidden at the very end of the City and State article on Greenfield the editor's note reads: "Before becoming City & State‘s editor-in-chief in 2012, Morgan Pehme worked on the campaign of Joe Lazar, who ran unsuccessfully for City Council against David Greenfield in 2010. Because of this past connection, Pehme recused himself from this story." That proclamation doesn't deny the fact that the editor had some role in at least letting the reporter go ahead with the report and publish the article  following a relatively few weeks of unidentified bloggers and anonymous tweeps piling on Greenfield. 

More so, in Nick Powell's piece he quotes Pete Appel, a blogger who runs the news blog Perpetual Voices, as a credible source in signifying his argument. Not mentioning that the so called Blogger 'Pete Appel' is a non-existent figure. As a matter of fact, I was 'Pete Appel's first target during the month of September, when I managed the No Simcha blog opposing Mr. Felder's candidacy for Senate. Tweep @CordwainerBird links to all the blog posts of Perpetual voices, as he/she occasionally takes on Moshe Friedman, David Greenfield and I.

Apparently, based on the information I gathered from my sources, Pete Appel is non other than another former female staffer at Dov Hikind's district office, and a current government employee (her name is withheld out of respect to her husband, who's a famous askan at a local institute), who also helped out Simcha Felder during his senatorial campaign. 

Which raises the question why City and State quoted a non-existent blogger, who's obsessed with Hikind and disgruntled at Greenfield, as a source in an article that he's investigating the man behind another non-existent figure, suggesting with confidence that it might be Councilman Greenfield.

"The fact that Dov [Hikind] would choose to go so low as to criticize another elected official without any credible proof that Mr. Greenfield is a writer at YWN, gives you a good understanding as to why the person. whoever it might be, would choose to write about inside politics under a pen name - Dov Gordon, and not under his real name" said a Media insider.

Early this morning, the story continued to make the rounds, suggesting this might be a planned anti-Greenfield campaign. In an email circulated and obtained by us, a newly formed committee condemned Mr. Greenfield for shamelessly attacking leaders in the community for his own political benefit.
From: Vaad Haemes (vaad.ha.emes@gmail.com)
Date: Thu, 2 May 2013 12:33:32 -0400
To: Vaad Haemes (vaad.ha.emes@gmail.com)
Subject: How Councilman David Greenfield has disgraced us! 
 When malicious attacks upon Mosdos and frum Yidden come from the goyishe velt, it’s painful. But when these attacks come from within, we must hang our heads in shame.Our rabbonim warn against the Internet because of the shmutz it exposes innocent eyes to, chas v’sholom, but the last place we expect to see shmutz is on a Jewish website claiming to represent the Hareidi community. How painful it has been to see a columnist “Dov Gordon” on the YeshivaWorldNews website regularly beshmutzing The Agudah, Assemblyman Dov Hikind, Senator Simcha Felder, Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver, Chaim Deutsch of Flatbush Shomrim and other members of our community. Many rabbonim have privately warned the YeshivaWorldNews against loshon hara—how much worse is motzi shem ra!But the real shock and shame came when the respected and widely read government publication City & State as well as The Jewish Press revealed that: The real culprit behind all this evil speech is Councilman David Greenfield. 
The publication City & State brings undeniable proof that David Greenfield is columnist Dov Gordon and has been all along. David Greenfield has manipulated the readers of YeshivaWorldNews for his own purposes and shamelessly attacked good Jews who work for our community, as well as non-Jewish elected officials who help us, all for his own benefit.This revelation will cost Greenfield a complete loss of trust among his fellow elected officials who now see this man who dresses like a Hareidi Jew lying to everyone including his own community.This report has brought shame on us. Is this the type of person who should represent our community and our values? What chillul Hashem!
If you notice, in the email above, Chaim Deutch's name is mentioned as one of Greenfield's targets, as to why  mr. Greenfield should be called out for. Subconsciously, a picture of Chaim Deutsch standing next to Councilman greenfield appears in Perpetual Voices' first published video.

All the information above leads to a simple conclusion: This is a dirty proxy war that will not go away easily, as long as its driven by ambiguous tipsters and anonymous tweeps.

According to an Insider in the community, who asked to remain anonymous, Mr. Hikind has never recovered politically from the blackface controversy. "Mr. Hikind never managed to fix the damage done following the purim costume story, not among his colleagues, nor in the community he represents for 32 years," said the insider. "This is clearly an act of revenge on behalf of Hikind." 

2 comments:

Satma rar said...

jacob, i like ur article, nice shmitz on hikind, the fact is both, hikind and greenfeld are 2 curroprt politicians bashmitzing 1 another, just bcuz hikind didnt recover from his blackface doesnt mean that greenfeld isnt dov gordon, the bring proof from a flabush article dov gordon means nothing, show me 1 article on YWN with dov gordon bashing greenfeld! the faltbush article is some other lunatic using the fake gordon name... "D"avid "G"reenfeld is so stupid for using a name with same 1st letter as "D"ov "G"ordon he trying to hide his own name.

Unknown said...

Dov Gordon really seems to be David Greenfield after further inquiries.