Michael ha-Levi Rodkinson, or: When you should just publish
That seems to have been the policy of Michael Rodkinson (1845-1904). And his succes has ramifications till today.
Rodkinson grew up as a Habad hassid. His brother moved to Jerusalem and became a respected publisher there. He himself also became a publisher. In 1870 he published editions of the Pardes and the responsa of Rabbi Yosef ibn Migash. He also published a newspaper - the first Hebrew bi-weekly - called Ha-Kol.
But he is more famous, and infamous, for his volumes of hassidic stories, published starting in the 1860s. These, especially Shivhe Ha-Rav about the Baal ha-Tanya, became immensely popular and influential. People who knew nothing about Hassidut thrilled at the stories and were moved by the simple morality they conveyed. More serious students of Hassidut, though, were enraged because many of these stories were entirely fictional. Joseph Dan has in recent years named the kind of nostalgic Hassidic story-telling that Rodkinson popularized Frumkinian Hassidism, and Gedalyah Nigal republished his stories in 1988.
Rodkinson's notoriety grew because of his role in the Rohling affair, in which he opposed Joseph Samuel Bloch, thus, in effect, supporting the cause of the anti-Semites.
Rodkinson was reviled for his stories, his politics and his journalism, by Ephraim Deinard, in a book titled Mashge Ivrim. He was also accused of forging the Khorason Hassidic papers by R Meir Dan Plotsky (see Yeshurun 2). Altogether, he was not a very popular character. Someone who worked with him at his newspaper, Ha-Kol, described him as completely lacking in convictions or beliefs. Which, as Gideon Kouts pointed out, made him the ideal newspaper editor.
But not the ideal translator of the Talmud. Of course, the task of translating the Talmud has often brought out the worst people, and the worst in people. But this particular translation, by virtue of having been published at the beginning of the 20th century and therefore free of copyright, has the distinction of being the only full text version available online. Which has tremendous ramifications, as any Google search for Rodkinson will show you.
So, maybe it would have been better if someone better qualified had just done the job and got it out there.