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Late Night: Aren’t There Any Automatic NO WAYS?

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I’m sorry, but how stupid do you have to be? 

Entitled “Why us?,” the essay was identified as having been written by “aJew” and said all the suffering the Jewish people have faced since the destruction of Jerusalem’s Second Temple in approximately 70 A.D. came from God and was “just.”

“We, the Jews, rejected God and hung Him up on a cross to die, and thus we richly deserved all of the punishments that were heaped on our heads over the last 2000 years,” the essay said.

The anonymous writer went on to argue Jews can rid themselves of this “curse” by being baptized as Christians.


“Upon further reflection, we have decided that the tone of the piece still requires additional improvements. We have taken it down for further editing and will be republishing it in the future along with an editor’s note,” Gyde said. “We firmly believe in editorial freedom and giving our authors the right to publish their thoughts even when we may disagree with them, but we also want to acknowledge that the viewpoint currently represented in the article does not represent the view of the staff or the editorial board.”

Look. Even if you think this, even if you write this, how do you not know that this is an automatic shitstorm? As an editor, you get this in your inbox, and you don’t think, wow, this sounds like the previous 50 times somebody has written something like this, and I wonder if the entire Internet is going to come down on us like a plague of sexually ravenous weasels for saying something not just offensive and wrong but NOT NEW or interesting?

How many times do we have to go over this? Is this me getting old, that I feel like by now we should just know, that there are some things that are never going to be provocative in a cool way, and dudebros should just stop trying? That when something like this comes across your desk, you should just OMG NO and not even bother with a response? Jews are being punished by God for killing Jesus, wow, there’s one I’ve never heard before and it’s certainly never resulted in any kind of well-deserved verbal beatdown or been patently nonsense into the bargain.

And do try to come up with better excuses. Taken down for further editing? Try taken down because we didn’t think during the production of our journal of Christian thought. If we had, we’d have remembered all the totally productive and interesting discussion that ensued the last 100 times some jackass tried to assert that, and we’d have decided that all the clicks we’d get could have come just as easily from changing every headline to LIVE NUDE GIRLS.


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Allison Hantschel

Allison Hantschel

Allison Hantschel is a 10-year veteran of the newspaper business. She publishes First Draft, a writing and politics blog, with her partners Holden, Jude and Scout. She is the author of the books Chicago's Historic Irish Pubs (2011, Arcadia Publishing, with Mike Danahey) and It Doesn’t End With Us: The Story of the Daily Cardinal, about a great liberal journalism institution (2007, Heritage Books). She also edited the anthology “Special Plans: The Blogs on Douglas Feith and the Faulty Intelligence That Led to War” (2005, William, James & Co.) Her work has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Daily Southtown, Sirens Magazine, and Alternet. She lives in Chicago with her husband, two ferrets, and approximately 60 tons of books.