Reading About Soros, Putin, and Ailes on Rosh Hashanah

September 11, 2013 12:31 pm 0 comments

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Wiki Commons.

An anonymous person was once quoted as saying, “If you drop gold and books, pick up the books first, then the gold.” I also buy into the theory that books are the path to wisdom, riches, and much more. And I spent much of the Rosh Hashanah holiday reading biographies of people whose work is relevant to the Jewish community and Israel. I found each of the books to be quite educational.

George Soros is someone I have long considered to be a wicked genius. For many years, I shared an office building with the man, and recently completed reading an unauthorized biography entitled “Soros: The World’s Most Influential Investor,” by Robert Slater. Slater also wrote a definitive biography of the legendary Jack Welch.

While there can be no question that Soros has revolutionized certain aspects of investing and has made billions as a self-made man, he is perhaps as well known for his politics. And indeed, what is unique about him are his uber-liberal views, considering he is someone who made billions in a democratic, capitalist nation. The man has made a mint in America – yet claims “The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States.”

His uber-liberalism is commented upon extensively in the book, and one gains insight into what drives Soros. There is discussion of where he was during the Holocaust, and an explanation of Soros’ one-time statement: “European anti-Semitism is the result of the policies of Israel and the United States.” (Yes, Soros has indeed blamed the Jews for Anti-Semitism.)

As a business owner, I enjoy reading about self-made successful people. However, reading this book as a Jew and a capitalist, I found Soros to be even more despicable than I had initially thought him to be.

Another book I read, which I found to be chilling, reads much like a movie. Entitled “The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin,” the book repeatedly describes Russian President Putin as a “dictator.” With a clear left of center political vantage point, the author tells scary stories about Putin (supplying opinions rather than facts), and provides insight into the mind of one of the world’s most powerful men.

Putin is often in the news these days. American-Russian relations are at their lowest point in many years, and Putin is backing the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad – to the vast annoyance of America – without any sign of backing down. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in better understanding the former KGB officer and trying to understand where Putin may lead Russia, America, and the world.

The third biography I read this weekend, “Roger Ailes: Off Camera,” was written by Ze’ev Chafets, the acclaimed Israeli-American journalist, who founded the Jerusalem Report Magazine. Chafets’ biography of Ailes is unauthorized, and is essentially an ode to Roger Ailes. Ailes is credited with single-handedly building the most successful TV network in the U.S. (Fox has higher ratings – and profits – than all of the other cable news networks combined.)

Chafets’ book provides behind the scenes stories at Fox News. As someone who works extensively with Fox, and has done public relations work in the past for them, I found these insights fascinating. While it is apparent that Chafets likes Ailes, it is also telling that Ailes comes across as a quite likable person. Even those who disagree with him politically are quoted repeatedly as praising him.

Indeed, throughout the book, the hard working, take no-prisoners, honest nature of Ailes is quite apparent.

As CEO of 5WPR, an award-winning PR Agency, I know it’s important to do what you love. And its noteworthy that employees of Fox News generally love working there, according to the book.

I have had many a meal in the private cafeteria at Fox, and the intense desire of the employees to win is apparent. Similarly, Ailes’ driving focus on winning is recounted throughout the book. Before Fox News, America was dominated by liberal media, and thanks to Ailes that has changed.

And indeed, Fox News (and of course Roger Ailes) should be thanked by all Israel-supporters for their fair and balanced coverage of Israel. Unlike many others in the media, that outlet is fair to Israel. As Ailes’ boss, Rupert Murdoch, said in 2011, “the media…is the soft war that seeks to isolate Israel by delegitimizing it. The battle ground is everywhere – the media, multinational organizations, NGOs. In this war, the aim is to make Israel a pariah.” It is a great book, and one that makes one respect Fox News and Ailes even more.

Reading opens the soul and teaches us so much. As Jewish sage Judah ben Saul ibn Tibbon once urged, “Cover your bookcases with rugs and linens of fine quality; preserve them from dampness and mice and injury; for it is your books that are your true treasure.”

Ronn Torossian is an avid reader – who is also an entrepreneur and author of the best-selling PR book “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations.”

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Middle East Hamas Commander Reportedly Urges Hezbollah to Join Forces Against Israel

    Hamas Commander Reportedly Urges Hezbollah to Join Forces Against Israel

    JNS.org – Five months after Israeli forces tried to assassinate Hamas military commander Mohammed Deif in Gaza, Deif appears to have signed a letter that the terrorist group claims he wrote in hiding. The letter, addressed to Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, expressed Deif’s condolences for the death of Hezbollah terrorists during Sunday’s reported Israeli airstrike in Syria. Deif is said to have survived multiple assassination attempts, but he has not been seen in public for years. According to the Hezbollah-linked Al-Manar [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Theater Shlomo Carlebach Musical Has the Soul to Heal Frayed Race Relations

    Shlomo Carlebach Musical Has the Soul to Heal Frayed Race Relations

    JNS.org – The cracks that had been simply painted over for so long began to show in Ferguson, Mo., in November 2014, but in truth they had begun to open wide much earlier—on Saturday, July 13, 2013. That is when a jury in Sanford, Fla., acquitted George Zimmerman of culpability for the death of a 17-year-old black man, Trayvon Martin. The cracks receded from view over time, as other news obscured them. Then came the evening of Aug. 9, 2014, [...]

    Read more →
  • Theater US & Canada ‘Homeland’ Season Finale Stirs Controversy After Comparing Menachem Begin to Taliban Leader

    ‘Homeland’ Season Finale Stirs Controversy After Comparing Menachem Begin to Taliban Leader

    A controversial scene in the season finale of Homeland sparked outrage by comparing former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to a fictional Taliban leader, the UK’s Daily Mail reported. In the season 4 finale episode, which aired on Dec. 21, CIA black ops director Dar Adal, played by F. Murray Abraham, justifies a deal he made with a Taliban leader by referencing Begin. He makes the remarks in a conversation with former CIA director Saul Berenson, a Jewish character played by Mandy [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Spirituality/Tradition Placing Matisyahu Back Within a Life of Observance

    Placing Matisyahu Back Within a Life of Observance

    Shining Light on Fiction During the North Korea-Sony saga, we learned two important lessons. The first is that there are two sides to this story, and neither of them are correct because ultimately we should have neither inappropriate movies nor dictators. The second is that we cannot remain entirely fixed on the religious world, but we also must see beyond the external, secular view of reality. It’s important to ground our Torah-based thoughts into real-life activism. To view our act [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Nine Decades of Moses at the Movies

    Nine Decades of Moses at the Movies

    JNS.org – Hollywood has had its share of big-budget biblical flops, but until now, the Exodus narrative has not been among them. Studios have brought Moses to the big screen sparingly, but in ways that defined the image and character of Moses for each generation of audiences. The first biblical epic In 1923, director Cecil B. DeMille left it to the American public to decide the subject of his next movie for Paramount. DeMille received a letter from a mechanic [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Exodus on Screen (REVIEW)

    Exodus on Screen (REVIEW)

    JNS.org – The story of the Exodus from Egypt is a tale as old as time itself, to borrow a turn of phrase. It’s retold every Passover, both at the seder table and whenever “The Ten Commandments” is aired on television. But the latest adaptation—Ridley Scott’s epic film, “Exodus: Gods and Kings”—fails to meet expectations. Scott’s “Exodus” alters the source material to service the story and ground the tale, but the attempt to reinvent the biblical narrative becomes laughable. Moses [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Lifestyle ‘Jewish Food Movement’ Comes of Age

    ‘Jewish Food Movement’ Comes of Age

    JNS.org - In December 2007, leaders of the Hazon nonprofit drafted seven-year goals for what they coined as the “Jewish Food Movement,” which has since been characterized by the increased prioritization of healthy eating, sustainable agriculture, and food-related activism in the Jewish community. What do the next seven years hold in store? “One thing I would like to see happen in the next seven years is [regarding] the issue of sugar, soda, and obesity, [seeing] what would it be like to rally the [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Education Seeds of ‘Start-Up Nation’ Cultivated by Israel Sci-Tech Schools

    Seeds of ‘Start-Up Nation’ Cultivated by Israel Sci-Tech Schools

    JNS.org – Forget the dioramas. How about working on an Israeli Air Force drone? That’s exactly the kind of beyond-their-years access enjoyed by students at the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) industrial vocational high school run by Israel Sci-Tech Schools, the largest education network in the Jewish state. More than 300 students (250 on the high school level and 68 at a two-year vocational academy) get hands-on training in the disciplines of aviation mechanics, electricity and energy control, and unmanned air [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.