Tragedies bring out the best — and worst in people.
When news spread on Friday that a 39-year-old father of seven had been kidnapped, tens of thousands of adults and children put all aside and began to say Tehillim for a man whose name they had never heard before.
After an anxious, prayer-filled Shabbos, word was received that the worst fears of the community had materialized, strangers from all walks of life joined together to grieve a family’s devastating loss.
At the polar opposite end of the spectrum of humanity, is the publisher, editors, and reporters of the New York Post. In its coverage of the tragedy, the tabloid broke new ground in the infamous field of gutter journalism.
Only the most depraved of individuals would use anonymous sources to brutally besmirch a victim of a coldblooded murder. Only those who have rid themselves of any vestiges of humanity, and have descended into the nethermost levels of malevolence could possibly write and publish the front-page headline that appeared in the rag that claims to be a newspaper.
In their mad pursuit for sensationalism, the Post didn’t even make the feeblest of attempts to ascertain the truth, or maintain even the vague appearance of journalistic fairness and integrity.
In their sadistic rush to pour salt on the fresh wounds of a grieving widow, young orphans and parents who have lost a beloved child, the Post in effect condoned the killing, and became a willing vehicle for anti-Semitic incitement.
The attack against the deceased, Hy”d — complete with the usage of a picture in which he was wearing a shtreimel and the repeated usage of the word “Hasidic,” — was in reality a vitriolic attack against an entire community.
The victim, now in the World of Truth, can’t respond and refute to the attacks on him; that task falls on the living.
We note with gratitude the long list of leading elected officials, and decent men and women from all backgrounds, who have stepped forward to strongly condemn the reprehensible conduct of the Post and the other media outlets that followed their lead.
But what matters aren’t mere words but actions. Only when this despicable tabloid will see a significant decline in readership, when their advertising revenue will drop and when their sources in law enforcement and other governmental offices will stop cooperating, will the Post begin to rethink their nefarious ways.