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Holocaust denier uses Jewish named alter ego to defend self

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Yesterday, the New York Times published a funny (to me) article about Holocaust denier Michael Santomauro. Santamauro accidently sent an e-mail touting a book of Holocaust denying essays to the wrong listserv—the one belonging to his kid’s elementary school, PS 290. A hullabaloo (the technical term, I believe) ensued. Even better: It turns out that this isn’t the first time that Santomauro has made this mistake. The Times reported in 2003 that he sent out similar e-mails to users of a roommate referral service he founded.

Now, Heeb Magazine (and our hats off to them) has performed some old fashioned new school journalism and discovered the cherry on the top of this story.

…it gets better, because once this story was posted on various websites, of course, people began to comment, including one “Steven Goldberg,” who stepped up to defend Santomauro (or “Santamauro” as “Mr. Goldberg” spells it.) If you read the local CBS website, all you see is Goldberg’s post. But what “Mr. Goldberg” didn’t realize is that when he posted on the Fox site through his twitter account, it didn’t just show his post, but the account from which it was posted–which belongs to [drumroll, please] Michael Santomauro.

Michael Santomauro: I salute you. Let us hope all Holocaust deniers can rise to your level.

Now, a not so quick admission. In early December, Mr. Santamauro commented repeatedly on Marc Tracy’s fantastic review of Ruth Franklin’s book of criticism A Thousand Darknesses (If you haven’t read it, go now. It is on my list of the top ten best Tablet articles). Santamauro was peddling his shpiel, but was also thoroughly debunked by Tablet’s readers in an excellent exercise of truth winning out.

Today, the editorial staff removed those comments as violating the magazine’s lenient standards policy. Personally, I am uneasy with this decision—and I should say that I’ve been encouraged to voice that dissent. I disagreed, both because I thought our readers rallied to the occasion without any interference, and because, while I occasionally disagree with Tablet commentary and articles, I never feel like I’ve lost anything from reading them, and often the magazine gains something by allowing them.

In that vein, what do you think? We’ll see if I can take it.

E-Mail About Holocaust Book Questioning The Holocaust Shakes A School [NYT]
Users of Roommate Service Receive Anti-Jewish E-mails [NYT]
Holocaust Denier, Michael Santomauro, Puts The “Twit” in Twitter [Heeb]

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Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

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I missed the whole thing but what element of the “magazine’s lenient standards policy” was violated?

If comments were accurate, truthful — “exercise of truth winning out” — what’s the issue?

Blogger JEWDAR knows fully well I have been posting the letter on behalf of him on all the Blogs. I first e-mailed the letter to my group list. Not once did I pretend I was NOT posting for the author of a very powerful statement.

For those parents at the Manhattan New School who are attacking me, virtually all of you have told me that the reason you believe al-Qaeda attacked the United States is because they do not like our freedoms. The terrorizing I have experienced from MNS parents is no different, than the mindset in which you believe is the reason al-Qaeda attacked us on 9/11. –Michael Santomauro

A Fellow MNS Parent Says in MY Defense:

Let me see if I understand what reporter Fernanda Santos wrote in today’s Times (E-Mail About Book Questioning the Holocaust Shakes School). It seems that web journalist and book editor, Michael Santomauro, inadvertently sent an E-mail to all the names on the PTA mailing list of his son’s school, P.S. 290, asking them that they read a book that he publishes entitled ”Debating the Holocaust”. Although Mr. Santomauro apologized for his mistake, Ms. Santos tells readers that, ”Still the damage was done ”. What damage are we talking about…how can anyone be damaged by being asked to read a book? Ms. Santos then tells us that the school’s principal was in the process of contacting the ADL in order to ” seek further clarity ”. Clarity about what?

Ms. Santos goes on to say that the ADL regional director, Ron Meir described Mr. Santomauro using a term borrowed from the porn industry, as ” a hard core Holocaust denier ”. To her credit Ms. Santos does tell us that Mr. Santomauro insists that he does not deny the holocaust but merely wants to encourage debate on the subject. In closing a parent Melinda Batelli-Scopaz is quoted as follows ” this guy is a moron ”. No mention is made of whether or not Ms. Batelli-Scopaz holds any academic credentials in either psychology or history that would give any credence to her assertion’.

I’ve said that least 268377 times. The problem this like that is they are just too compilcated for the average bird, if you know what I mean

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Holocaust denier uses Jewish named alter ego to defend self

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