UPDATE: Jeffrey Goldberg would like all my readers to know that he knows hip-hop from borsht and is indeed a child of the Hood (in Hebrew that would be ben-Hood). I withdraw this particular claim in my article. But his taste in music still leaves much to be desired.
Ugh, why do they give me such good material? No sooner does a settler leader claim that Jews aren’t popsicles then Jeffrey Goldberg cajoles a Mormon U.S. senator to write a dreadful Hanukah song, which Goldberg promptly (and erroneously) labels “hip hop.”
You’ve really got to see this video to believe it. In it, Hatch, who wrote the lyrics (but clearly not the music which was written by a liberal Jewish composer specializing in Christian music–I kid you not), clearly seems uncomfortable with the music written for his song. Unless it’s just his goyische Mormon woodenness exhibiting itself.
There’s far too much irony to go around here. First, Goldberg, who ignorantly claims that all Hanukah music is dreck, challenges Hatch to write a Hanukah song which turns out to be just that. Second, Goldberg calls a pure pop song “hip hop.” Perhaps someone should tell him that nice Jewish boys who’ve never gotten closer to the Hood than driving down the West Side Highway shouldn’t pretend to know anything about such things. Third, the song is performed by a bleached blond Syrian-American from Indiana.
I also take strong issue with the N.Y. Times reporter who calls this song “catchy,” unless you’re talking about it in the same terms as catching a case of H1N1. It also grieves me endlessly to learn that while this is Hatch’s first Jewish song “it won’t be his last.”
“Anything I can do for the Jewish people, I will do,” Mr. Hatch said…
I think you’ve done quite enough, senator. Now, can you just leave us alone to celebrate our holiday without the help of philo-Semites like yourself? Perhaps Jewish philanthropy, known for its fundraising prowess can raise a substantial sum and give it to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on condition that Hatch never set foot in the realm of Jewish music again.
Mr. Hatch keeps a Torah in his Senate office.
“Not a real Torah, but sort of a mock Torah,” he said. “I feel sorry I’m not Jewish sometimes.”
Look, if we make you an honorary Jew do you think you could go away and adopt some other religion as your mascot??
He said his ultimate goal would be for his idol, Ms. Streisand, to perform one of his songs. “It would be good for her and good for me,” Mr. Hatch said…
Barbara, if you’re reading this, take the phone off the hook, screen your calls and mail and stay away from Congressional Christmas-Hanukah parties. Otherwise, you might be blackmailed into singing this piece of dreck at your next Kennedy Center concert.
This passage really gave me the willies:
In short, he loves the Jews. And based on an early sampling of listeners, the feeling could be mutual.
“Mutual?” Says who?
The online Jewish culture-news portal which Dan Sieradski so aptly calls “The Tabloid” is the beneficiary of this super shlock and its editor is kvelling (unjustifiably in my opinion):
“Watching Orrin Hatch in the studio, I said to myself that nothing this great will ever happen to me again,” said Alana Newhouse, the editor-in-chief of Tablet.
Well, I guess if you’re a Jewish Mormon-lover who admires old, white, right-wing U.S. senators who write corny, white-bread lyrics…
The reporter, Mark Leibovich, does the word “mensch” a deep disservice by calling Goldberg a “well-known mensch about town.” He’s no mensch in my book. And I don’t believe in using that term in a corny, sentimental way as Leibovich has done. It should only be used as a term of deep respect, one which Goldberg in no way deserves, at least not based on his published record.