Thursday, July 24, 2008

The sleeze gets deeper: Agriprocessors impersonates a rabbi!

Outspoken critic of Agriprocessors (the kosher IA meatpacking company which ICE raided May 12 to apprehend nearly 400 undocumented workers), Rabbi Morris Allen was astonished to read blog comments attributed to him that he never wrote. The Iowa Independent reports that someone associated with a New York-based public relations firm hired by Agriprocessors was impersonating Allen online.

Allen remarks: "What's ironic is that [Agriprocessors] is currently being investigated, and there are two plant supervisors sitting in jail for encouraging people to use false identities," Allen said. "Now the Agriprocessors' PR firm believes it is acceptable to just take someone else's identity and run with it. It is outrageous to say the least."

Neither Allen nor the movement he founded to create ethical standards for the production of kosher food has received an apology. The owner of the blog investigated the IP addresses of the phony statements--including one statement in which Allen's name was misspelled--and discovered that they originated from a computer connected to the PR firm's network. The firm, 5W Public Relations, represents diverse prestigeous accounts such as Fannie Mae, Harrah's and the American Bible Society. After an initial denial, the firm acknowleged the truth of the accusations and attributed the situation to corporate growing pains.

Allen, meanwhile, is consulting a lawyer to determine his response.

The joke on the streets in Iowa since May: the meat may have been kosher, but Agriprocessors' business practices were anything but that. Now, the sleeze deepens. To date, no upper management personnel are under arrest. The two middle management supervisors who are in custody are both Hispanic.


eProf2 said...

Unbelievable! How low will Agriprocessor go? Next, we'll find someone in Homeland Security pushing a political agenda, too. As one of the leading attorneys said to Joseph McCarthy many years ago, "Sir, have you no sense of decency?" That needs to be said to Agriprocessor, too!

FranIAm said...

It is sickening on all fronts.

eprof is so right! there is no decency, human dignity is non-existent.

Border Explorer said...

When greed rules and corporate profits are paramount, ethics apparently go by the wayside. I appreciate you joining me in an outraged response, eProf and Fran.

Mariamariacuchita said...

Add me to your list BE. And then for no one at the top of this agency to be accountable!!

I actually read some stuff online by this rabbi earlier in the week when researching this topic and had no idea it might have been a plant.

Border Explorer said...

Right, Maria. The fradulance is actually is quite extensive. Final paragraph of the Iowa Independent article reads:
"...research into the IP addresses used to post comments on [Rosenberg's] blog indicates that at least 40 comments were made from computers on the 5W network. In addition to Allen, two other individuals known to that blogging community were impersonated."

It's hard for me to imagine such an extensive lack of morals, ethics, and intelligence all wrapped up into one operation. Did someone actually think they could get away with that impersonation?

DivaJood said...

//Did someone actually think they could get away with that impersonation?//

Clearly, Agriprocessor felt the rules do not apply to them on any level.

First, they obviously ignore the heart and spirit of the kosher laws, which are all about human and animal dignity. Trust me on this, the kosher laws are about dignity.

Next, they ignore rules about hiring standards, and employ undocumented workers obviously to pay the bare minimum and avoid paying benefits.

Then, to add the feather to their cap of greed and more greed, they impersonate a vocal opponent of their practices. In their arrogant attempt to discredit Rabbi Allen, they further discredit themselves.

That is the epitomy of greed.

Randal Graves said...

It's always some lower level flunky that's the bad apple, isn't it. If you're going to be evil, haven't they learned from the last eight years to not be so bloody obvious about it?

Missy said...

un be effin lievable.

I am outraged.

And that's hard to do with three teenage boys playing piano and singing iCarly in the background.

'scuse me while pound my head on my desk.

Border Explorer said...

Welcome, Randal & Missy!

Re. your comments--

Randal: 1) Right!, 2) Maybe "evil" and "dumb" teamed up. Kinda like Cheney/Bush.

Missy: Girl, save your head! Leave the outrage to me. Your boys need you. I appreciate your sentiments, however.