Wednesday, April 8, 2009

(aside) should I read Laurence Leamer's "Madness under the Royal Palms"?

EVEN MORE: (9th comment)

Thanks for your perspective, TV!

It was good to see it... I do believe this blog could greatly benefit from opinions from people in the community.

Just to clarify, I do not believe that it was irrelevant that Madoff was Jewish, just that I could see why the Boston Magazine article left some people puzzled and Larry appeared to have not seen it coming... (so I basically helped out by pointing out things that made sense to me).

Same for the Jaffe developments, what I put down is just what makes sense to me... I'm wondering what you think of that particular issue. Thanks!


MORE: (6th comment)

OK; I'm curious what you think of the Jaffe developments -- I mean could she be right?

As far as I can tell, having stayed married for 40 years does cast serious doubt on the idea that she just married the guy for his looks (and he married her for her money).

This was information that appears to have been easily accessible to you (for how long have they been married and what does that mean, if anything... -- I mean if the marriage is a sham, the length may have little relevance but if Ellen Jaffe is not lying and they are still very much in love, it seems to me that that piece of information should have made it into your article in the interest of fairness; again, it does not appear that it would have been very difficult for you to find that out, one way or another).

If so, do you feel that your words were unfair to her (well, to both of them), that maybe you should have made sure there was some truth behind what those sources were telling you before committing it to print?

re: "Unlike his father-in-law, Robert Jaffe's not even getting the benefit of the doubt. It's with acid in their voices that his Palm Beach peers remind you how *the former Louis Boston salesman married into his status. "He was looking for a rich wife, and Ellen was the best he could do*" [my emphasis]

Again, I don't think there is something necessarily wrong with what you said per see -- you used it to make the point that Jaffe wasn't given the benefit of a doubt but the reader can't ignore the end of that paragraph and given that you did not disclose evidence to the contrary it appears to be allowed to stand.

Your description of Robert Jaffe also seems a bit unfair to me:

re: "He was Ellen's greatest treasure, a sixtysomething peacock in a black dinner jacket tailored to his tall, lean frame. He had an aging gigolo's looks, with sleek black hair and a face that if not lifted by plastic surgery nonetheless looked not youthful so much as the caricature of youth."

A black dinner jacket sounds pretty bland to me, nothing "peacocky" about it. Also, what are "gigolo's looks"? I don't think there is such a thing but the expression certainly has very bad connotations.


STILL MORE: (4th comment)

see also my 3rd comment to your entry "Confrontation on the streets of Palm Beach" (didn't notice your answer to my first comment there before responding to this thread)


P.S. my comments were just an attempt to help you see what the problems may have been since you appeared to honestly not know why the article provoked such reactions but I can certainly keep my opinions to myself. D.


Laurence, (3rd comment)

I'm assuming the anonymous comment following my first comment was yours -- it certainly reads like it.

I have no idea what intellectual dishonesty you could be talking about. I simply pointed out what point the article, as a whole, *appears* to make, taking into consideration obvious issues brought to mind (things that you and others brought up and rightly took a stand on in the video you mentioned in the subsequent entry). There is a full explanation in my comments to that entry.

Also, the title and subtitle just make it more poignant. I believe that, as long as the content of your article remained the same, you would still have had to address those obvious and important issues if you wanted to make sure nobody would be wondering why you didn't.


MORE: (3rd comment)

#1 I don't think the title *itself* can be viewed as anti-Semitic but the combination of the title (which certainly brings to mind the idea that some people, namely anti-Semitic ones, would be happy with this turn of events) and not addressing such an obvious issue (by bringing it up and taking a stand on it) can easily give rise to suspicion as to where you really stand on this. But just that.

Also, mentioning "my Jewish friends" when none of them appear to be posting on this blog may make some people suspicious -- as I said, it would certainly make some of these entries very interesting and it appears to be a situation where you would expect a friend to help. Again, I don't think *the fact in itself* proves anything, it's just that it may give rise to suspicion for some people.

#2. re:
"When I said I took a certain amusement when a billionaire loses a hundred million dollars"

That seems (to me) to be very different from what you actually said. I see amusement and taking pleasure as very different things. You also did not look at all amused when you said it (around 5:00 time mark), you looked dead serious. You can be amused by something in all sort of situations if you simply find it funny but *taking pleasure* in somebody's problems is something entirely different... it goes far beyond just not condoning that person. At least that's the way I see it.


P.S. Anyways, I'll probably read your book (I could let you know what I think of it if you'd like that). D.



#1 re: "some WASPs take great pleasure in this (...) these Jews finally got what's coming to them."

This is something that would have been good to bring up and take a stand on in your Boston Magazine article. Because you didn't address it, some readers may have suspected you of being anti-semitic, especially given the title of the article: "reversal of fortune."


P.S. I think it would be very interesting if some of your friends that happen to be Jewish would post on this blog and give their take on the whole situation. D.

#2 I was surprised to hear you say that you may take some pleasure in some of these people's loses ("the show- offs")... I'm wondering if you feel that these sort of sentiments make it difficult for you to stay objective both now as well as when you researched and wrote your book. D.

#3 Also, it's surprising that Donald Trump declining being prominently featured in your book. He appears to love publicity ("there is no such thing as over exposure") ... So why not thought your book? I'm wondering if you have any idea or at least theory as to why he declined? D.

EVEN MORE: giving Twitter another try... (seems like a waste of time but we'll see...) D.

MORE: the article talked about D.
Laurence, (1st comment)

It does appear a bit overly dramatized and I'm afraid the book may be more of the same (I'm considering reading it but I haven't made up my mind).

As to the accusation of racism, I think what the guy means is that your article appears to make the point that... it's *the Jews* that made it possible! that it's *their* fault...

In Palm Beach, Boston's Jewish elite created a glittering world that unwittingly helped make Bernie Madoff possible.

When in fact he just *happened* to be Jewish... and not surprisingly moved in predominantly Jewish circles.

On the other hand, Palm Beach may be unique but it's hard to believe that it could not have happened elsewhere... and I see this as another over dramatization in your article. I mean, Ponzi schemes pop up all over the world (Romania, for instance, has had a succession of them).


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