The Orthodox Union called on the New York Times Magazine to sack contributing editor Noah Feldman after he admitted that he and his Korean-American girlfriend may not have been cropped from a photo taken at his Orthodox school reunion.
Feldman sparked an avalanche of response with his essay in the July 22 edition of the New York Times Magazine, in which he used the example of the cropped photo as the launching point for a pointed critique of the contradictions he see in Modern Orthodoxy.
The New York Jewish Week reported this week that in fact a number of photographs were taken at the reunion and the one in which Feldman and his girlfriend, now wife, were pictured had a large number of people in the frame, a number of whom likely were eliminated from the final shot. According to the photographer who took the pictures, Feldman and editors at the magazine became aware of the situtation shortly before publication.
While Feldman acknowledged in the Jewish Week interview that the crop may not have been an intentional slight on the part of his alma mater, the Maimonides School in Brookline, Mass., he nonetheless stood by the broader thrust of his essay.
“They had several photos to choose from and they chose one that I wasn’t in. There’s no question that one could offer other explanations for what happened,” Feldman said. “It’s not as if [the photo] was an outlying event. It fit right in with the other things,” such as the school’s refusal to print notices of his lifecycle events in the school newspaper.
In a letter demanding an apology, the O.U. expressed “outrage” and added: “We believe that Feldman’s own ‘journalistic’ credibility has been sufficiently shown to be absent, that we ask you to remove him from his position as a Contributing Editor to the Times, just as you would
remove any columnist or reporter found to be knowingly writing articles with false information.”