Esther Klein's Brooklyn Porno Adventure

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Don't you hate it when you go to your local library to rent a copy of "Austin Powers" for your barely Bar Mitzvahed-grandchildren, only to find that someone has recorded porn over the end credits?

This sad series of events happened to Brooklyn grandmother Esther Klein, and when she realized that some putz foiled her plan for an evening of wholesome family fun, she contacted a higher being, Assemblyman Dov Hikind. Hikind, who was "fuming" over the incident -- I know him, he's very good at fuming -- blamed the local library, calling it a potentially "unsafe" place for "young children" and demanding the banning of VHS tapes, or something.

Not to belittle this problem, but if Esther Klein is anything like the 3,000 or so bubbies in Brooklyn I know, she really wasn't that fazed. You can't live in Brooklyn and be upset by much. My own late dear grandmother Cyd, who spent 89 or so of her years in Brooklyn, would have laughed. I was once with her in Brighton Beach buying herring from the Russians, and right in front of us, four police cars screeched to a stop, multiple police officers jumped out, guns drawn, and emptied a Cadillac of four or five hookers and a man I assume was their pimp. There was a great deal of cursing and yelling. It was an enormous spectacle. My grandmother was oblivious. I asked her what she thought of the events that had just unfolded before our eyes. She said: "I think the store across the street has the Bismarck herring."

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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