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Archive for March, 2017

Juan Thompson, Disgraced Journalist, Jilted Lover, and “Hate Crime” Counterfeiter

Posted by prof e on March 6, 2017

media-ethics-980x560-c-default1The tragic roster of journalists who have disgraced their profession gained a new member last week when Juan Thompson, a reporter for the Intercept, was arrested on a number of serious charges. Those charges include “making more than a half-dozen bomb threats against Jewish community centers, schools and a Jewish history museum” as reported in the NY Times.

This come after Thompson was fired from his job as a reporter last year. According to media reports Thompson was “accused by the website the Intercept of fabricating quotes, creating fake email accounts, and impersonating other people, including the editor of the website. The site had described Thompson as a former reporter for DNAinfo Chicago and for WBEZ.”

Turns out that his journalistic malpractice was just the tip of the iceberg. Actually an iceberg it too generous of an analogy; glacial ice too pure to describe this maleficence. Thompson’s deceptive acts as a journalist were just the festering sore on the surface masking the cancer inside.

Thompson’s threats against Jewish schools and community centers came at a time when other, unrelated, anti-Semitic threats were being made and Jewish cemeteries were being vandalized. These hate crimes have been and continue to be covered by the news media as further evidence of the hatred and divisiveness ailing our country.

But Thompson’s acts were not, as it turned out, hate crimes against a religious minority, but rather an attempt to frame his former girlfriend who ended their relationship last summer. That’s right, a jilted lover stalked, harassed, and threatened his former girlfriend, and then tried to frame her by committing “hate crimes” in her name. According to Daily Mail, Thompson threatened to tell his former girlfriend’s future employers “that [she’s] a racist and homophobe.” Accusations that were sure to intimidate and harass.

Thompson’s crimes do damage to the journalistic profession he once represented and to those who faithfully do their job with integrity and honesty. But they also do damage to the cause of those who fight against the injustice of hate crimes. Sadly, and somewhat ironically, each time the acts now attributed to Thompson were reported as hate crimes it diminished the impact of real hate crimes…crimes that deserve public outrage and judicial action.

 

 

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