Scandalous Part Two
As many of you may recall, my father-in-law Marty Roberts had a popular radio show on Israel National Radio (INR). The aim of the show was in line with INR’s goals – “to foster optimism, faith, and Jewish unity by providing programming and content which emphasize the intimate bond between the Nation, Land, and Torah of Israel.” His listeners consisted of both Jews and non-Jews alike. Given his background in broadcasting, it was no surprise that his show was one of the most popular, if not the most popular on the station, and things seemed to be going well. However, my father-in-law would not settle for mediocrity. He wanted to improve the show, and rectify some technical issues. He was also not happy that INR were lying to their listeners by promoting a well known personality as living in Israel, while in fact he lives in the US and broadcasts from there. In short, my father-in-law rocked the boat. And the management at INR were not happy with this. They have cushy jobs, and did not need some guy with integrity coming in and telling them to improve their act. So began the campaign of psychological warfare. They began pulling Marty’s show for a variety of reasons, even though, by their own admission, they were more than happy with the quality of the show, as well as the ratings. It was obvious they wanted him gone. Now all they needed was a pretext. Their pretext came in the form of a very harmless comment on Marty’s last show, in which he referred to “delicious Devorah.” Here is the audio. (There is actually somone called Devorah, but she was not in the studio at the time). After the show, the management at INR called Marty in and informed him that he was fired. This, despite Marty’s high ratings, and the fact that there were no listener complaints. However, the management did not want to come out of this looking bad, so they suggested that they should all fabricate the story. The idea was that everone would come out looking squeaky clean. Marty point-blank refused. He was not going to lie to his listeners, and knew he had done nothing wrong. So INR posted the following message on the site:
After a leading Rabbi of Beit-El saw this message on the site, he ordered INR to take it off. The Rabbi said something along the lines of “You have murdered this man.” (A reference to the Jewish belief that saying bad things about a person is akin to murdering them). After initially removing the message from the site, INR placed it back on, despite the Rabbi’s directive. The hypocrisy of INR is manifest. The management accused Marty of acting “contrary to Jewish tradition and law,” yet they: 1. Lie to their listeners and generally act dishonestly 2. Try to ruin the reputation of a decent man 3. Disobey the directive of a leading Rabbi I am outraged by this, especially since this happened to family. Marty is as Zionistic as they come, and saw his position with INR as his calling, a chance to combine his love of radio with his deep-seated Zionistic beliefs. Now, due to the dishonesty and maliciousness of a couple of individuals, he is no longer able to do this great work. Furtheremore, he feels disillusioned with the whole “movement.” I ask all of my readers to e-mail the individuals concerned and let them know what you think of their actions. They can be reached at:
Israel National Radio apologizes to its listeners One of our hosts, Marty Roberts, publicly made inappropriate comments containing sexual innuendo regarding a female co-worker on the air. For obvious reasons, that show was not uploaded to this website, and it was pulled from scheduled rebroadcasts. Sexist and public sexual remarks are contrary to Jewish tradition and law. They are not tolerated at Israel National Radio. This was the latest in a series of workplace issues and instances of poor judgment. After several days’ deliberation, Israel National Radio has decided to discontinue Mr. Roberts’ program.