GodolHador notes the following email from a reader:
One thing [historian Professor Marc B. Shapiro] said at the end was interesting. Someone asked him about how a historian balances lashon hara and fulfilling his task. So Shapiro answered that the trouble is that he’s never seen a definition of lashon hara. And that he’s read more private correspondence of rabbis than anyone in the room, more than enough to last him a lifetime, and they are full of lashon hara and bashing and pettiness. Of course, he then qualified it by saying that presumably they felt that what they’re saying was le-toeles, but that’s precisely the point: everyone thinks that what they’re saying is le-toeles.
Lovely human beings, rabbis.
Regular readers will know that I have previously argued that the Chofetz Chaim’s Laws of Shmirat HaLashon are used to silence legitimate dissent and that, just as some contemporaries of the Chofetz Chaim warned, are often used to oppress the weak and powerless. The Rabbi Yehuda Kolko man-on-boy sex abuse case seems to be a clear example of this.