EDITORIAL: The other day, Bergen Record humor columnist Bill Ervolino posted this on his blog: “Pressing question of the night: Who would you rather see nude: Barack, Michelle, Malia or Bo?” I know Bill. I like Bill. But he screwed up this time. And no one in a position of authority at the newspaper stepped up to make it clear to the public that he had.
Malia and dad
UPDATE: An offensive entry about President Obama’s young daughter has been removed from Bergen Record humor columnist Bill Ervolino’s blog.
Search online through The Record’s files, and you’ll see story after story of detectives arresting men who came to Bergen County from all parts of this state, and others, in the hopes of having sex with a 12-year-old girl — just like Malia Obama.
One particularly disturbing piece, by former justice reporter Carolyn Salazar, shows the inner workings of the squad assigned to find and stop pedophiles. The perverted evil that these investigators deal with on a daily basis forces one of them to take a shower soon as she gets home every night.
You could also check Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli’s web site, where the crimes are listed. “It sickens me, really,” he has told me more than once. Or call up the state’s Megan’s Law database.
Molinelli’s investigators get warrants and seize home computers used for trafficking images of naked boys and girls. But they’ll also pose as kids online and — following strict guidelines — see where the chat goes.
And that’s where intent exposes itself: Before long, meetings are scheduled and arrangements are made. Only it’s not a poor innocent like Malia waiting. It’s a posse ready to put Big Daddy away.
The predator claims it’s a mistake — only to later join the overwhelming majority (somewhere in the neighborhood of 95 percent) of those charged who take a plea deal, reducing the amount of time they’ll have spend in prison.
And that’s not counting those who slip through the net, who get their clutches on our children and abuse them.
Ervolino evidently had to pull the offensive column and write a mea culpa. He did the first.
Whether he produced the latter is up to you.
“Hopefully, the world is a better place now and we can all take a deep breath and move on,” it reads, in part.
“I don’t offend you guys very often, but when I do, I try to apologize. It certainly wasn’t my intent to offend or even to suggest something inappropriate. I listed the names in my question as if it were some kind of dopey personality test. (Maybe TOO dopey, in this case.)”
But he can’t leave well enough alone:
“I have a hard time thinking a question would put that kind of thought into anyone’s head if it wasn’t there already.”
I could think of plenty of things to call Bill. But I never, ever would have considered him insensitive or dismissive — until today.
Producing the blog has been so stressful for Bill that he’s “been struggling with [it] recently to keep up,” he reveals, especially since someone within the organization’s Digital News Team designed a sleeker, more attractive forum for him to work with.
“Unfortunately, the new format makes it difficult for me to include a lot of the photos and things I used to post: They have to be resized, etc., and it’s often too time consuming for someone who, unfortunately, needs to spend some time with his computer manual.”
So they just let him futz around without specific, formal training? Unfortunately, yes.
Bill goes on to discuss his dad being sick and what AHDH meds did to him when he found out he, too, was succumbing to aging.
“It’s making me frustrated, angry and moody and I have to discuss that again with my doctor. It’s made all of my writing difficult, and I’ve been having a hard time concentrating. (Even writing THIS post is taking forever.)
“Right now, I’m actually wondering if I should go back on it, to alleviate some of these weird ups and downs, but I’ve never been on medication before and I don’t really know the best course of action. As I wrote previously, I felt deeply depressed shortly after New Years when I called the doctor to find out if the Adderall could be the cause. I’m still confused about that, and I’m starting to think I feel even worse without it. This is precisely why I didn’t want to start the medication in the first place, but I read so much about it, and it seemed relatively safe.”
And the contrition comes when?
Actually, it doesn’t.
To top it off, there also isn’t a single voice of public indignation from anyone on the staff — not even from Editor Frank Scandale, the person at the top of the Editorial food chain.
I guess everyone figures that’s just Bill being Bill.
You know what? No matter how much we like Bill, it’s wrong. No matter how much traffic he still brings to the newspaper and its website, it’s wrong. Slice it any which way you will, Bill.
And someone at North Jersey Media Group should have the stones to say so.
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