Rutgers Investigating Student Paper Falsely Listing Jewish Student As Author Of 'Good Things Hitler Did' Article

April 6, 2012 - 3:22 PM

The president of Rutgers says the university is investigating a student paper for publishing a Jewish student’s name and photo as author of an article he did not write, entitled “What About The Good Things Hitler Did?”

Yesterday, the Young America’s Foundation (YAF) blog reported:

“The Daily Medium, a student-funded newspaper which dubs itself the “Entertainment Weekly of Rutgers University,” faked an article yesterday writing as YAF activist Aaron Marcus, who is Jewish. The article used his name and picture--obviously without Marcus’ permission--and defended Hitler and the Third Reich.”

The April 4, 2012 edition of the print newspaper with the article listing Jewish student Aaron Marcus as the article’s author (with his photo) is also posted online.

In an interview with “The Right Views,” Marcus says he did not give the paper permission to use his likeness or list him as the author:

“In no way, shape or form did I give the Medium permission to use my name, photo and title of column in their "mock" article. I found out about the column because a friend called me and asked if I had written the article, and I responded that I had no idea what he was talking about.”

“I am Jewish, my grandfather is a Rabbi and my grandparents actually lost family in the Holocaust and yes I also have a copy of the paper,” Marcus tells “The Right Views.”

“I have formally objected to the usage of my name and likeness in this manner by filing a Bias report with Rutgers University,” Marcus says:

“Aside from filing the complaint with the school, I am currently seeking legal counsel in dealing with the matter, The Medium has a right to freedom of speech, but they do not have a right to attribute an anti-Semitic Diatribe that praises Adolf Hitler under my name and image. This was a deliberate attempt to spew anti-Semitic hatred and tarnish my image and reputation.”

Today, Rutgers Pres. Richard L. McCormick published a statement “condemning” the newspaper’s article as “despicable” and “offensive.” McCormick also announced that “Rutgers University is investigating the incident as a bias incident under the university’s anti-bias policies.”

“No individual student should be subject to such a vicious, provocative, and hurtful piece, regardless of whether First Amendment protections apply to such expression. The Medium’s article was particularly despicable in light of Mr. Marcus’ Jewish faith,” Pres. McCormick says.

Update: “The Right Views” contacted an editor of The Medium, who said Prof. Ronald Miskoff, an advisor to the newspaper in issues regarding students, was available for interview.

Prof. Miskoff provides “The Right Views” with The Medium’s rationale for the story, below:

The Right Views: Did you use Marcus' name and photo without permission?

Prof. Miskoff: Permission is not required for a parody.

The Right Views: Who made the decision to publish this story with Marcus' name and photo in the byline, and why?

Prof. Miskoff: The editors made the decision because it was part of a periodic parody version of the newspaper which parodies the Rutgers student newspaper, the Daily Targum.

The Right Views: Why was Aaron Marcus chosen?

Prof. Miskoff: Aaron Marcus is a columnist for the Daily Targum and also a public person.

The Right Views: What is the message of the satire in the article?

Prof. Miskoff: A satirical look at his column and his style of writing.

The Right Views: Do you plan to pull the article from the online version, print an apology, or take any other steps to address Marcus' complaint about the use of his name and image and the potentially anti-Semitic nature that use and of the article.

Prof. Miskoff: These decisions will be made by the editors. They are meeting with me over the weekend.

Statement by Richard L. McCormick, President, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Condemning an Offensive Parody of Student Aaron Marcus in the Publication the Medium

April 06, 2012

Federal courts extend broad protection to student media. However, a recent article in the Medium, purporting to be written by student Aaron Marcus and using Mr. Marcus’ photograph, is extremely offensive and repugnant. No individual student should be subject to such a vicious, provocative, and hurtful piece, regardless of whether First Amendment protections apply to such expression. The Medium’s article was particularly despicable in light of Mr. Marcus’ Jewish faith.

Rutgers University is investigating the incident as a bias incident under the university’s anti-bias policies.

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