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Both American and Israeli politics, and of course those of other democracies, can include a lot of personal attacks, both true and untrue, including inuendo about possible adultery, gay or straight, inappropriate behavior privately and/or publicly, influence-peddling, or even speculation as to whether they are "really frum" or just "pretending to be frum." To what extent can religious Jews listen to, discuss, or repeat loshon hara about Jewish political candidates or incumbent politicians? Does it also apply to non-Jewish public figures as well? Is a person's charachter ever on the table as a legitimate discussion point when our only source must be second-hand?

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Duplicate of judaism.stackexchange.com/q/17617? –  msh210 Feb 18 '13 at 18:38
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@msh210: I think that question is specific only to Mi.Yodeya –  Gershon Gold Feb 18 '13 at 18:54
    
I usually take it that when Rabbis say things like this they only do it because they feel like that by showing the other persons faults they will win the election therefor making sure they win (because if they don't win it could be an issue of army drafting etc.). –  Hacham Gabriel Feb 20 '13 at 3:04

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