‘Forward’ Kills Comments on Klum-Nazi Blog Post
But won’t discuss why
When we wrote yesterday about the Forward’s Sisterhood blog musing on Heidi Klum’s German-ness and how close it is to Nazi-ness, we mentioned comments on the Forward site that both called the post racist and questioned the paper’s decision to publish it. Yesterday afternoon, those comments disappeared from the Forward site. Today, blogger Rebecca Honig Friedman offers a follow-up . “My point was not to attack Klum,” she writes, “but to acknowledge the associations that I, the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, sometimes have—politically incorrect as they are—between ordinary Germans and Nazis…. After years of Holocaust education, if we can call it that, certain images and stereotypes have been so ingrained that I can’t help but think of them, and I don’t think I’m alone in that.” Fair enough, though Friedman fails to note that the disputatious comments were removed from her earlier entry. So we called her to ask why. Editors, not the writer, made that decision, Friedman said, “because they wanted to, I guess, keep the discussion a little bit on a certain plane of not attacking the writer. On the other hand I think that the comments section is a place for free speech as well. So I’m conflicted. But I would go to them for their rationale.” So we asked Gabrielle Birkner, a founding editor of the Sisterhood blog. She replied with an official statement: “We’re going to keep our own counsel on matters of editorial decision-making. We invite readers to post responses, in line with our usual commenting policy, in the comments section of Rebecca’s follow-up blog entry or to email us at email@example.com.” But what about the issue of censoring speech? The Forward editors would only repeat their statement.
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