Confessions of a Frustrated TV Consultant

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9 Responses

  1. manny says:

    When does the 20/20 episode air? I can’t wait. Oh, and by the way, I hope there’s enough room on your porch for a severed non-kosher animal head.

  2. sarah elias says:

    Why didn’t you threaten to sue Discovery for distorting your words? Maybe you could have forced them to redo the segment and saved your reputation.

  3. Greg says:

    My perception and experience is that reporters, journalists, filmakers, etc. know what they want to say, they just want someone else to say it for them. It doesn’t matter to them the context or the vehicle, just that their point is made, which is unfortuneate. Hopefully the Kaballah program will work out better.

  4. Yitzchok Adlerstein says:

    Manny – You better wait! I conveniently left out the airing time, since none of our readers should be watching it. It is scheduled for Friday night, June 17th

    Sarah – That’s the point. There are no grounds whatsoever for a suit. You can’t sue someone for deceiving you. There is no legal recourse that I know of.

  5. Shira Schmidt says:

    Friday night 10 b’Sivan ?!? Rabbi Adlerstein said the segment will be shown Friday night June 17. This reminds me of an Israeli Supreme Court “bagatz” case a few years ago when Israeli Tv filmed a segment involving observant people and planned to air it on Shabbat. The Shabbat-observers objected to their interview being included, and eventually won the case, although several judges ruled against them. There are some shomrei-Shabbat who allow themselves to be filmed and shown on Shabbat, on the condition that there appear a caption “this was not filmed on Shabbat.” I realize the situation in the US is different since the overwhelming number of viewers (I wish it were all viewers) will be non-Jews. I thought Rabbi Adlerstein’s point about the Benefit/Cost ratio of doing the segment with the entailing risks; but I wonder what the Rabbi’s thinking is on this issue. Is it possible to have some disclaimer like the aforementioned caption? Or ask them to reschedule the episode?

  6. Edvallace says:

    Rabbi Adlerstein,

    I imagine you’re smart enough to have figured out what I’ve done in this situation and maybe it doesn’t work for you but anytime I’m interviewed by the press I stipulate that I must sign off on the finished version before they can use it. Some have refused to agree to that citing any number of reasons and that’s fine with me. Let them go find someone else. Sometimes it’s been agreed to and then we can work together. Until I learned to do so, I got zapped twice and that’s when I decided that I’d had enough. Perhaps thiss wouldn’t work for you but unless you try you’ll never know.


  7. Yitzchok Adlerstein says:

    Shira –

    Back in the ‘50’s, shows came equipped with the slogan, “This show was prerecorded.” By now, all viewers have long learned that the only programming that is not prerecorded is live sports (if you discount the six second delay for the unexpected.) Airing at a different time is simply not a possibility for network television. I have gone the announcement route when I thought it was necessary, and when I could get away with it. I had a radio program that ran for a while. I couldn’t show up on Yom Tov; the station wanted to rerun a previously taped segment. I was successful in having them announce its prerecording. The only time I got away with it on TV was when a large station couldn’t find a seder to transmit from live in the evening. I allowed them to shoot the set table in the afternoon, with a few talking heads explaining the importance of Pesach, with the proviso that they include the warning you suggested. They were desperate enough to do it.

    Edvallace –
    My experience is that most journalists have a really hard time with allowing the interviewee some final say in the piece. So it becomes a negotiating item. If they want you badly enough, some will do it. It helps to have a relationship with them (which grows out of enough experience with you that they trust you not to make unreasonable demands) from years of NOT making your suggested request! Often, they will meet you half way, and agree to read back to you any verbatim quotes they are attributing to you. This works imperfectly, but is better than nothing.

    One bargaining chip I use works this way: I offer them a choice. I will speak off the record, and walk away from the interview. Or I will allow them to use a quote – but only if I am given the opportunity to vet it before publication.

  8. malcolm says:

    As a cold black man from the deep south, I’ve taken two courses at the Kabbalah Centre here in LA. No, I don’t buy the water nor do I wear the red string. But I have been exposed to “ideas” and “points of view” that I would never have been offered by, I think, an orthodox Jewish person as yourself.

    I’ve read several Kabbalah books, both purchased at the center and outside. The information seems very consistent with the Luria flavor of Kabbalah provided at the center.

    I’m amazed that as a Jew you would object to what the center is doing, and that is educating people. Yeah, they have bills to pay, I’ve seen no-one twisting any arms. If they were Presbyterian, no one would say a word.

    I know for me, the lessons have really widened my prospective on many things in life, especially my opinions of other peoples’ points of view. I respect everyone’s right to believe, what they believe, with out judgement. What ever works for you, is good for you, as long as you’re not hurting anyone else.

    Please explain something to me, Why is teaching jews and gentiles a practice of helping others and not thinking only of yourself such a threat?

  9. Michael says:

    Malcolm, maybe you should read this article. It will explain the problem.

    If you purchased something from the Center then you were, according to the magazine, ripped-off. According to the article, the Kaballah Center advertises on web sites, looking for ghostwriters to write those “kabbalah” books. The red string they sell for $26 can be bought in Israel for a buck.

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