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Executive editor apologizes to Pritzker for letter comparing him to Hitler

Tuesday, Mar 19, 2019

* Background is here if you need it. From the Peoria Journal Star Executive Editor Dennis Anderson

The Journal Star often gets calls and emails from readers asking: How can you have printed that?

Last Friday we got one from a staff member of Gov. JB Pritzker. The staff member had a legitimate gripe. Actually it was more than a gripe, and the governor should have been mad. We made a decision that was a mistake, and we apologize.

We published a letter from Larry Tadie of Chillicothe, who in making an impassioned point against abortion, compared the governor to Hitler. Tadie wrote that because of his Jewish faith, the governor should not support abortion, ending the letter: “How sad that abortion rights advocates now legitimize extermination at any stage of the baby’s development.”

Since the U.S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, few issues have generated more letters to the editor than abortion. Some letter writers deal with the issue as policy, others get graphic, or tell personal stories. We strive to share all letters to give readers a fair understanding of the debate and what your neighbors think about the issue. The purpose of the editorial page is to allow readers to express their views and opinions. But publishing this letter crossed a line. […]

No matter which side you stand on the issue of abortion, or how passionate that position is, making the link between abortion and the Holocaust is not right. Reckless references to abominable history are part and parcel to the astonishing decline of public discourse in our country, and in this case we should have known better.

After publishing several letters from white supremacist Matthew Hale, maybe they’re finally learning. Giving hateful people unchallenged public platforms normalizes them and encourages more such behavior.

The administration is sure on a roll with Downstate editorial boards this week.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

20 Comments
  1. - Steve - Tuesday, Mar 19, 19 @ 10:24 am:

    If you have to compare someone to Hitler you are probably losing a debate or not an effective debater. No matter how you feel about JB, he doesn’t deserve to compared to a dictator.


  2. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Mar 19, 19 @ 10:29 am:

    Very right of the paper to apologize. There are other media outlets where people can foam at the mouth that are not traditional newspapers.

    Right now we have a president who is encouraging violence against the media, calling them again the enemy of the people today. This rhetoric is so very dangerous and irresponsible. It’s like he does it purposely. Good on the PSJ to turn the temperature down.


  3. - Anon E Moose - Tuesday, Mar 19, 19 @ 10:40 am:

    “Giving hateful people unchallenged public platforms normalizes them and encourages more such behavior.”

    Excellent reason not to air footage of Trump rallies.


  4. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 19, 19 @ 10:43 am:

    Points for copping to it. Please use your head and be more responsible in the future.

    Be better than than the amoral zombies at Facebook.


  5. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 19, 19 @ 10:58 am:

    “Giving hateful people unchallenged public platforms normalizes them and encourages more such behavior.”

    It is about time for those that call themselves journalists to become responsible for the normalization of this and other hate speech.


  6. - MG85 - Tuesday, Mar 19, 19 @ 11:00 am:

    True apologies stem from two sources - acknowledgement of wrongness, then action that is contradiction of the past practice.

    Let’s wait and see if this apology was sincere.


  7. - Actual Red - Tuesday, Mar 19, 19 @ 11:06 am:

    “Tadie wrote that because of his Jewish faith, the governor should not support abortion”

    Love it when non-Jews tell Jews what their faith says. Is Mr. Tadie an expert on Rabbinic law now?


  8. - L.A. - Tuesday, Mar 19, 19 @ 11:06 am:

    -Good on the PSJ to turn the temperature down.

    Too late, they already published it.


  9. - A 400lb. Guy on a bed - Tuesday, Mar 19, 19 @ 11:20 am:

    I’m surprised that it didn’t come from the SJ-R.


  10. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Mar 19, 19 @ 11:33 am:

    I’m still perplexed at how words like Holocaust and Hitler could slip through whatever filters they pretend to have, though the apology seems sincere.


  11. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Mar 19, 19 @ 11:38 am:

    This is another sad example of answer what is the minimum # of staff needed to run a newspaper. PJS like the SJ-R are d0own to a handful. Might be easier to shift to weekly.


  12. - A guy - Tuesday, Mar 19, 19 @ 12:05 pm:

    It was a reboot revelation for the newspaper. Kudos for them for recognizing it and offering the apology. The last words of a confession are: “Go and sin no more.”
    Try your best to honor those words. A good and proper apology is appreciated. Now, if we can accept it graciously, everyone will have done their part.


  13. - A guy - Tuesday, Mar 19, 19 @ 12:07 pm:

    ==This is another sad example of answer what is the minimum # of staff needed to run a newspaper.==

    Not really. It only takes 1 decent editor to keep this from happening…not a staff.


  14. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 19, 19 @ 12:08 pm:

    Day late…dollar short.


  15. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 19, 19 @ 12:09 pm:

    Yep, the Hitler comparisons are harsh. There has to be a special place in history for that man. He was the most destructive human being (in my opinion) in the history of humankind.


  16. - Suburban Mom - Tuesday, Mar 19, 19 @ 12:11 pm:

    “Love it when non-Jews tell Jews what their faith says. Is Mr. Tadie an expert on Rabbinic law now?”

    Fundamentalist Christians always believe they’re experts on Judaism, and don’t try to tell them otherwise or they get very very cranky.


  17. - A 400lb. Guy on a bed - Tuesday, Mar 19, 19 @ 4:21 pm:

    =Fundementist Christians always think they’re experts on Judaism=

    If you have a question about Judaism, ask a Jew.”


  18. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 19, 19 @ 5:53 pm:

    - Anon E Moose - Tuesday, Mar 19, 19 @ 10:40 am:

    You are wrong and very closed minded.


  19. - a drop in - Tuesday, Mar 19, 19 @ 6:03 pm:

    “If you have a question about Judaism, ask a Jew.”

    Better than that, ask two Jews. You will get at least three opinions.


  20. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 19, 19 @ 7:34 pm:

    =Fundementist Christians always think they’re experts on Judaism=

    The Fundamentalists are way-clear on how it ends for the Jews, aren’t they?

    The political alignment between non-secular Likud and non-secular American GOP fundamentalism is beyond belief.

    Like Jerusalem and Tel Aviv — Beyond Belief.

    Seriously, Tel Aviv is a swinging town. If you like beer, bud and the beach, can’t be beat.

    The old city of Jerusalem — there’s no place more moving, but the weight of the idiocy of the Muslim, Christian and Jewish zealot children of Abraham is unbearable.


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