Do you remember that one time it was completely okay for publications to disregard journalism ethics and do whatever they wanted with no fear of backlash? Yeah, neither do I. Apparently a few student “journalists” at Rutgers University live in that fictional world.
The Daily Medium, a weekly student-run satirical newspaper partially funded by the university, recently ran a piece titled “What about the good things Hitler did?” If that wasn’t awful enough, they published the article under the name of Aaron Marcus, a Jewish student at Rutgers who lost family in the Holocaust, without his permission.
Marcus, a columnist for independent Rutgers student newspaper The Daily Targum, said he was horrified when he opened the April 4 edition of The Daily Medium and saw his name and a photoshopped picture of himself attached to that article.
“To say anything praiseworthy of someone like Hitler and to have people actually believe it was coming from me, even in a satirical manner, is just really painful for me and my family,” Marcus told My9TV last Friday.
Professor Ronald Miskoff, one of the two faculty advisers for The Daily Medium, tried to justify the thought process behind this decision to The New Jersey Star Ledger.
”I can’t explain the humor in the article,” he said. “I suppose it’s more about the irony of a Jewish activist writing something that is the complete opposite of what he really believes. The editors are extremely aware that they have hit a hot-button issue, and I am sure they will learn something valuable from the experience.”
No! I don’t care how many times The Daily Medium apologizes for this. Everyone who was involved with the decision to put Marcus’ name on this article should be fired and banned from ever working for another campus publication. Those kids don’t deserve to call themselves journalists.
If you haven’t noticed, I’m angry. I’m angry because I’m Jewish and a large portion of my family was lost in the Holocaust too. I’m angry because someone thought that anything about this piece was funny, which is a different issue worthy of its own article.
But most of all, I’m angry because no one appears to care or be doing more than disapproving of a publication putting someone’s name and face on an article without their permission, completely spitting on the very foundations of journalism. Yes, I know none of it was meant to be taken seriously. But when you commit such a heinous journalistic crime, you can’t hide behind the tired excuse, “But it was a joke!”
A quick Google search of the word “libel” yields this definition: “a published false statement that is damaging to a person’s reputation; a written defamation.” Libel is one of the cardinal sins of journalism, and, by my count, The Daily Medium just crossed a line from satirical fun to libelous filth.
Photo: at http://www.theblaze.com/stories/over-the-line-satirical-rutgers-paper-publishes-fake-pro-hitler-article-under-jewish-students-name/