Business Insider bails on anti-Semitism thing

Business Insider boss Henry Blodget yesterday affixed a “Writer’s Note” to his boneheaded post that attempted to probe the origins of anti-Semitism. Noting that the response to the piece had been “empassioned” — which sounds like a more extreme condition than simply “impassioned” — Blodget credited it for stirring some positive feedback.

Yet the criticism left a stronger impression on him:

Some readers also felt that, if I was going to ask why some people hate Jews, I should also ask why some people hate blacks, Mormons, Christians, Muslims, and every other group that is occasionally subjected to hate. And I certainly could have asked those questions, too (If the commenters on my Goldman post and the British religious-studies exam had focused on Muslims, I might have asked that question first). One smart reader suggested that I just summarize all those questions by asking “Why do people hate?” And that was a reasonable question.

And then I got the feedback that clued me into the fact that I had crossed a line I hadn’t intended to cross. Some people I like and respect told me they felt insulted by and uncomfortable with the post.

That did it.

Whatever interesting responses came from the post, I now regret writing it. (I’m okay making people feel uncomfortable about some topics, but not this one.)

I am very sorry to anyone I offended. I sincerely apologize.

As apologies go, that’s a sturdy one. Clear sense of regret. Owning the mistake. Absence of conditional contrition (i.e., “if I offended anyone, I apologize”).

Praise the posting symmetry, too. The item clearly went up quickly, free of excessive — and sufficient — deliberation. The “Writer’s Note,” too, appears to be the product of Business Insider’s hurry-up offense, complete with a little redundancy and that rare spelling of “impassioned.” Other organizations would have waited a day or two to bang out such regrets.

And to think: The feedback that Blodget originally received from colleagues on the piece — that it’d spawn a “vigorous discussion” — was right on the money!

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.

opinions

Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Comments
Show Comments
Most Read

opinions

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters