The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Controversy as Sport UPDATED!

The following was a comment to a post on a famous Jbloggers blog.

Im not certain why this foster child should attract this special attention. There is no shortage of foster children in need of homes. You should simply link to the general contact info for foster care agencies.
There is only one Jblog where a commenter would actually register a complaint against this post.

DovBear. How did you guess?

In response to my emasil to him advising him of this recent post, Dovbera emailed me to express his disappointment that my first ever mention of the Kolko situation was in the context of my criticism of his blog.

In retrospect, I think that Dovbear's point was fair. I had never given him credit for ranting about Kolko and it was unfair to mention it only in the context of unrelated criticism. (By the way, for the record, there is no place in Hell hot enough for people like Kolko and his enablers).

In fact, my criticism of his blog was that, in general, it attracts farbisiner (bitter) commentors (among many excellent others, of course), and that, in particular, his spoof on Chareidi Airlines (which I personally found unfunny) was gratuitous and enabled the psycho commentors.

Then, when I saw the comment quoted above, it all became clear.

Dovbear is all about controversy. He thrives on it. He invites it. He instigates it. You've heard of a rodeph shalom (one who seeks peace)? Dovie is a rodeph controversy. He loves controversy for the sake of controversy.

So, instead of presenting arguments in a measured, thoughtful way, he will present them in an outrageous, thoughtful (and often hilarious) way. The more outrageous, the better. He will make an argument in the most controversial and annoying way possible while still maintaining his credibility. Thus, his position may well be valid (or, at least arguable) but his method of delivering it is specifically designed to drive those who disagree nuts.

As they say, it sells papers so who am I, whose hit rate is a fraction of Dovie's, to argue?

That style also attracts whackos. That's why, in addition to the many sane and reasoned commentors, he get so many fringe, marginal nutjobs, on both sides of arguments, to comment.

At the end of the day, Dovie plays an important role in the Jblogosphere. He is the Reggie Jackson of the Jblogosphere. The straw that stirs the pot.



  • At 10:46 PM, Blogger AidelMaidel said…

    I don't think you mean Reggie Jackson the baseball player. I think you mean Jessie Jackson the "politician" or Al Sharpton, might be a better analogy. Correct me if I'm wrong...

  • At 10:59 PM, Blogger EquityMD said…

    Well said Maidel.
    Its an assinine comment as the reason for MOC to post about this particular child is obvious. Besides, even if he had no connection to the boy, what normal caring person would begrudge this poor child this post?

  • At 10:16 AM, Blogger Dov said…

    Hey! I didn't write the negative remark about FosterBoy. That was one of my idiot commenters, for whome I am not responsible.

  • At 10:20 AM, Blogger Dov said…

    I also disagree with the rest of your analysis. I get like 1200 hits per day; most of them are from normal people, people like Barry Simon and Yosef Blau (both of whom have contributed guest posts.) In a big olam though there are always going to be some psychos. To suggest I attract idiots is wrong. The truth is I attract everybody, and sadly, everybody includes the idiots.

  • At 10:21 AM, Blogger Dov said…

    MoC, please make it crystal clear that it was a commenter who made that dumb remark abouit Fosterboy, and not me. I posted about Fosterboy in a positive way, and you slaughter me because some moron among my many readers went negative? Unfair.

  • At 11:12 AM, Blogger Dov said…

    DovBear emailed me last week to note his displeasure

    This is misleading. You emailed ME first for the purpose of drawing my attention to the post (your message was "thought you should see this" with the link to the post) and I emailed you back with my response.

  • At 11:17 AM, Blogger Dov said…

    Furthermore, after I wrote you back with my reaction to your post you responded: "I think your point is well taken. I will try to address this on Monday."

    So why are you trying now to make it seem like my response was out-of-left field?

    PS: Monday has come and gone, and still no post?

  • At 12:01 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…


    I made a number of edits to make it clear that it was one of your whack job commentors who made the comment and that you also attract many sane and thoughtful commentors. I also made the point of the email sequence.

    However, I think my analysis is otherwise correct. You style attracts whackos.

    (For example, this blog, the height of sane and reasoned analysis, while getting a mear quarter of your hits, doesn't attract anywhere near that amount of whacko comments)

  • At 12:11 PM, Blogger Dov said…

    Thank you for making the changes.

    I respectfully disagree wtih you conclusion. My style attracts READERS and in any crowd of READERS there are going to be some lunatics.

  • At 1:39 PM, Blogger Shadal said…

    Wow, talk about ungrateful.

    In my opinion its quite clear that his post was intended solely with good intentions. Yes, his blog attracts negativity. But is this the time to point it out, just as he does something kind for someone else with a pure heart?

  • At 3:03 PM, Blogger elster2004 said…

    His blog doesn't "attract" negativity, his blog is negativity personified.

    No offense to Db, but MOC is on the ball - BD writes negatively and controverially for the sake of stirring the drink (Yes Aidle, a Reggie Jackson line).

  • At 3:35 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    Lest anyone get the wrong impression, the fact that DB and I diasgree here is just par for the course. We almost always disagree. Nevertheless, (i) we respect each other and, I think it is safe to say, admire each others blogging skills as different as they are, and (ii) I have a tremendous sense of hakoras hatov to Dovie for his having graciously posted the link to my fosterboy post; it drove a lot of traffic. Who knows, maybe one of his commentors will adopt Fosterboy!

  • At 3:46 PM, Blogger DovBear said…

    I've been a huge MoC fan since before I started blogging, and his early support helped me become the famous, respected, beloved, humble blogger I am today. In short, I think MoC is more than great and I owe him besides.

    However, I think this post was a bit of a low blow. I try to help the guy, and he slams me?

  • At 4:08 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…


    It's not a low blow. It's an observation. What part of it is not true? That you are controversial? Duh.

    That controversy breeds whackos? I never said exclusively whackos, just that your style encourages whackos.

  • At 7:34 PM, Blogger Teddy Douglas said…

    [DovBear] will make an argument in the most controversial and annoying way possible while still maintaining his credibility.

    He lost credibility by me.

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