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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec 3, 2007 / 23 Kislev 5768

A rush to analyze, eulogize a slain athlete nobody seemed to know

By Mitch Albom


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I didn't know Sean Taylor. I cannot tell you why he died. What he was into. What he wasn't.


I also cannot tell you what kind of man he was. And neither can many people in the media. But that hasn't stopped them from trying.


Taylor, 24, a Washington Redskins defensive back, was murdered last week, shot by someone who broke into his home. Police are investigating. And that is all we really know.


That, and that Taylor had, at times, run with dangerous people, he had a weapons conviction on his record, and he kept a machete by his bed. These are facts.


So is this: He rarely spoke to reporters. So it was interesting to watch so many of them canonize him as a man who was "turning his life around." You lost track of how many writers and broadcasters repeated the claim in the immediate hours after his death, often citing a 1-year-old daughter as cause for his enlightenment.


One ESPN panelist said, "He had a family, wife, small child and from all appearances he appeared to be turning his life around." The Sporting News wrote "becoming a parent had apparently given Taylor a new purpose and helped him mature."


One Washington Post writer said of Taylor: "He once was lost, but now was found."

THE RUSH TO JUDGMENT
Now, maybe some of these people, at best, spent a moment with a microphone or notepad in front of Taylor. I doubt many knew him. I doubt they ever went to his Miami home. I doubt any saw the machete in his bedroom.


So how do we know where his life was? Maybe it was turned around. Maybe it was turned back. Maybe he knew the person who killed him. Maybe it was a burglary gone bad. Taylor is the fourth current or former Miami (Fla.) football player to be murdered in the last 15 years. Maybe that means something, maybe it doesn't.


But if this world has taught us anything when sports mixes with crime, it is to hold our tongues. Wait and see. Do not rush into tragic prose, idealized caricatures or familiar stereotypes — especially using comments from upset friends or relatives as facts. When the Duke lacrosse case broke, the quick consensus was spoiled white kids raped black single mother. It turned out to be a big lie. When Len Bias died, there were instant experts lamenting his overworked heart and his large body — until we discovered it was cocaine that killed him.


Who knows what happened with Taylor? His house had been broken into eight days earlier, yet nothing had been taken. Taylor left the team to deal with that. Then he left the team again — without telling his coach — to spend the night in Miami on Sunday. To most observers, that's at least a little curious.

A NEED FOR PATIENCE
As for his life being turned around? Who knows? Yes, he had a baby daughter. Not to be harsh, but so what? Maybe it truly opened his eyes to a positive life. Maybe it didn't. Maybe that's how mourning friends want to see it. Maybe it was a combination.


You could just as easily state that Taylor wasn't married to the mother of that daughter. This doesn't make him a bad guy. It's just a fact — like having a daughter. Beyond that, what you draw are your own conclusions.


But from E.G. Simpson to Floyd Landis to Michael Vick, quick assumptions about athletes the minute controversy strikes — often based on teammates or friends — can leave people backtracking and embarrassed. Sean Taylor was murdered. He is gone forever. Many teammates liked him. Those are facts.


But "once was lost, now was found"? That's some pretty strong assuming. And in journalism, to canonize someone too quickly should be as wrong as besmirching someone too quickly.


Time will tell. It always does. And after time tells, then we can. In today's rush to break news, to analyze news, to eulogize faster and better than anyone else, "wait" may be a four-letter word. But it's a four-letter word that needs to be part of our vocabulary.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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