Last night marked the beginning of Yom Kippur, Judaism’s holiest day of the year. And to mark the occasion, Chicago’s very own WGN News ran a story on the high holiday. Unfortunately, some oblivious schmuck decided to use the following image as a lead for the segment.
In case you failed history class (and never saw Office Space), Jews living in Nazi controlled territory were forced to wear the yellow badge (and other similar patches) in order to differentiate themselves from the general public. Short of putting a swastika on the screen, this is probably the worst possible image the network could have used. And as you might expect, the blunder did not go unnoticed.
After the broadcast, WGN was quick to apologize.
We are truly sorry for inadvertently using an offensive image in our Yom Kippur story. We apologize and deeply regret the error.— WGN TV News (@WGNNews) September 23, 2015
“The artwork chosen to accompany the story came from a graphics image bank,” a statement on the network’s website claimed. “Regrettably, we failed to recognize that the image was an offensive Nazi symbol.”
In other words…
Many social media users, including some who initially pointed out the gaffe, seemed willing to accept the apology.
To @WGNNews’ credit, the on-air apology was quick. Let this be a good lesson to all us editors/producers who pick photos on tight deadlines.— Marc Karlinsky (@MarcKarlinsky) September 23, 2015
Others seemed to think the network intentionally ran the image and was fully aware of its context.
@WGNNews I’m finding it hard to believe that could be inadvertent - every educated person knows what that is— Karen D (캐렌 디) (@KaeKaed) September 23, 2015
Personally, I have a hard time believing WGN would do something so blatantly offensive on purpose… unless, of course, the ghost of Tribune founder Colonel Robert R. McCormick has been snooping around the control room again.