To the Editor:
In “Standing Accused: A Pillar of Finance and Charity,” your Dec. 13 Business Day article about Bernard L. Madoff, arrested in a major fraud scheme, there was a striking emphasis on his being Jewish. It was not just once, or twice, but at least three times before the article continued inside. Why?
Yes, he is Jewish. We get it. But was this relevant to his being arrested for cheating investors, or so key to his evolution as a businessman that it needed to be hammered home again and again?
I have read several accounts in The Times of the shenanigans of Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois, yet have no clue what his religion is, nor, frankly, do I care. Why should I? Unless he was acting in the name of his faith, which I assume he was not, what difference does it make? And if a profile is warranted and the governor’s faith matters to him, mention it and move on.
But to refer to the “Jewish T-bill,” “the clubby Jewish world” and the “world of Jewish New York” within four paragraphs near the top of the article on Mr. Madoff was over the top.
David A. Harris
American Jewish Committee
New York, Dec. 13, 2008