Adar II 5765 – Israeli Politicians & Lashon Hara

4 Adar II 5765
Israeli Politicians & Lashon Hara

Lichvod HaRav,

I am presently learning here in Israel. Most of the politicians in this country are Jewish, and newspapers seem to be constantly badmouthing the politicians and other public figures, and that’s (I assume) all lashon harah. So what’s the heter for reading a newspaper? Or is there some sort of heter for talking about famous people? Please let me know.


Thank you for your interesting question.
To the best of my knowledge there is no Heter to purchase or subscribe to a newspaper that spreads Loshon Hara about anyone, whether they are public figures or not. Although Loshon Hara does not apply to information that is already “public knowledge”, i..e. that three people know about it, if the newspaper is the reason why it became public knowledge you are aiding them in spreading Loshon Hara by buying their newspaper, and this is Ossur. If someone else purchased it and you are just reading it, it would seem that Min HaDin it would be permitted to read what is written there, but a person who is considerate of other’s feelings would refrain from doing so even in this case.

Take care,
Rabbi Aaron Tendler