Journalists Love Indifference

There’s no emotional quality that journalists prize more in their subjects than indifference.

When you deal with people who react in a volatile way to what you write about them, you can’t help but think they are emotionally weak.

Think about your life. When people react in an extreme way to what you say and do, it is no fun to have them in your life. You sense that these people have little sense of self. They can’t self-soothe their anxiety. They have to act out.

When you write about people and they go to pieces, they’re no fun to deal with. When you write about people who appear indifferent to your words, it’s a relief.

Many rabbis are drama queens. They are used to running things and they react badly to any challenge. They can be great rabbis (think Moshe Tendler, Mordecai Tendler, Robert Wexler, Steven Weil, Elazar Muskin, Joseph Telushkin, Y.Y. Rubinstein, Zalman Shachter-Shalomi, and Bradley Shavit Artson) but they are quick to take offense and if you have ever been unfair to them, you’ve likely made an enemy for life.

On the other hand, many rabbis are emotionally solid. They treat you the same whether you have just praised them or criticized them. Think Aron Tendler, Marc B. Shapiro, Nathaniel Helfgot, Isaiah Zeldin, Moshe Cohen (Aish), Abner Weiss, Kalman Topp, David Rue, Yehuda Bukspan, Yosef Kanefsky, Jonathan Rosenberg, Yosef Blau, Avrohom Union, Gershon Bess.

Journalists love these types. They don’t live and die by what you write about them. Their meaning in life has little to do with your blog. Of course they are emotionally affected by what is said about them, but by comparison to the drama queens, they’re solid.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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