Who rubbed out Hillary?
A Brooklyn Yiddish-language newspaper airbrushed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from the White House’s official Osama bin Laden “war room” photograph because editors decided that their Hasidic readership would be offended by a photograph of a woman.
Der Tzeitung ran a copy of the iconic photo of President Obama surrounded by his advisers during last Sunday night’s raid the terror mastermind’s headquarters — but a photo editor removed Clinton from the iconic, historic image because of the paper’s “long-standing editorial policy” to omit women from photos.
The revision sparked a firestorm of criticism nationwide.
On Monday, the Boro Park weekly issued an apology for altering the photo — but not for the policy itself.
“The readership of the Tzeitung believes that women should be appreciated for who they are and what they do, not for what they look like, and the Jewish laws of modesty are an expression of respect for women, not the opposite,” said Publisher Albert Friedman.
Many Brooklynites were flabbergasted by the paper’s decision to airbrush the country’s most powerful woman from a central moment in our history.
“It’s more offensive on a journalistic level — religious beliefs are good and fine, but altering reality to fit into your ideal world view is troubling,” said Brooklyn-based women’s rights blogger Jill Filipovic. “You [should not] deceive your audience about reality.”
The paper is among the most left-leaning among the Yiddish-language papers, and several sources said Friedman is a “big admirer” of Clinton.
“It is ironic that [Friedman’s] extreme desire to publish the photo because of the way it reflects positively on Obama and the administration is what led him to not pass on the photo, and instead Photoshop it,” said one source who is close to Friedman.
Regular readers of Yiddish papers were not surprised.
“This is typical misogynistic behavior from backwards rabbis who every few weeks make up a new ancient tradition,” said Williamsburg bicycle maven Baruch Herzfeld.
And some Orthodox residents say that the papers are lagging behind Orthodox blogs and social networking websites, which post photos of women leaders such as Clinton and Sen. Kristen Gillibrand with Hasidic leaders during their visits to Brooklyn.
“Hillary has great support from our community when she was running — I have a photo of myself with Hillary,” said Community Board 1 member Solomon Bondo. “A decade ago, there weren’t pictures in the paper at all.”
Others say the Yiddish papers, including Der Yid and Der Blatt, will be so slow to change that the first time their readers see a woman in a picture, it’ll likely be when one is elected to be so-called “the most powerful man in the free world.”
“Call me back when Hillary wins the presidency,” said Williamsburg resident Gary Schlesinger.
Midwood resident Joel Schnur said that it might take even longer for a woman to appear in a photograph in a Yiddish paper.
“Maybe when the messiah comes — and that’s only if the messiah is a woman,” said Schnur.